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is Cloud Technology Anything New?

Cloud Computing as we see it's simply good quaint technology that's over 25 years old rebranded, re-spun and pumped bent the market in various guises. Large enterprise companies like HSBC, Barclays and lots of other banks are deploying server-based computing for many years.

When security, disaster recovery and business continuity are paramount, server-based computing comes into its own. information technology education Banks have used terminal servers across multiple sites, offering their actual users nothing quite a Virtual Desktop that's locked down and is actually a dumb terminal wont to access the backend servers from any location for ages.

With an enterprise IT solution, you'll find that the hardware is ‘enterprise-grade’, owned by the enterprise and designed, built and supported by staff at the enterprise using the technology. Users are generally locked down at the desktop level, unable to put in applications of their choosing and are given minimal yet sufficient email accounts. This results in a really stable, secure, robust and hassle-free IT solution which suggests the phone rarely rings as not tons can go wrong!! An enterprise system is usually designed in order that ‘the phone won’t ring’ because if it does ring too frequently then questions are going to be asked of senior IT members of staff.

So, role on to round the year 2005-2006 when a couple of young wise heads left enterprise-type companies was that they had unrolled large Citrix or RDP deployments for Banks or Insurance companies and that they thought…..’Ah…..I can build this during a Data Centre, petition off segments for SME’s to use and earn revenue!!’

Thus was born the first stages of what we now call Cloud Computing. Cirrus Stratus runs it’s own Enterprise platform built on enterprise hardware and enterprise principals because our founder has worked for several large enterprise customers and has been working with Citrix since 1991. once I say enterprise hardware I mean hardware that as large enterprise like a bank would be happy to use, hardware that's robust, secure and more importantly totally scalable for unlimited growth. Cirrus Stratus owns its own IBM terminal servers, it’s own exchange platform and controls it’s own data storage/backups over IBM SAN’s (soon to be SAN Volume Controllers offering real-time data replication).

With regards to enterprise principals I mean a system built whereby the phone rarely rings with unhappy and frustrated users, I mean where a corporation owns all its own hardware and doesn't use third parties for key components like MS Exchange and Data storage, data backup where essentially it's not a very managed service because you're at the behest of third parties.

So, during a nutshell, Cloud Computing is using an equivalent 25-year-old technology that enormous enterprises over multiple global offices are using for ages however this point all of the infrastructure resides during a Data Centre and is protected to a secondary Data Centre Companies that check in to the Cirrus Stratus service are simply given their own locked down, a secure petition on a server that's load balanced and monitored to make sure the user gets the simplest experience possible in terms of speed and functionality. The user is given a Virtual Desktop with MS Office 2010, an email account, data storage and backup, network drives and practically any 3rd party application also can be loaded onto the servers at the info centre.

The end result's that the user can use any device and go online via a secure, encrypted and stable Citrix gateway and access their data and applications from anywhere and at any time. If you're curious about adopting an enterprise Virtual Desktop solution for your business at affordable prices, then please ring Cirrus Stratus on 0208 543 3322.

What is Cloud Computing?

By Richard May, director of Virtual DCS

Cloud’ doesn't exist.

It is simply a metaphor for the web and within this metaphor, there are a variety of services that are placed under the Cloud Computing label. the foremost popular currently include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Recovery as a Service (RaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). the amount of ‘as a service’ products which will be included within the Cloud umbrella are limited only to the imagination of the business and therefore the technology available to them, with more Cloud services being created on a day today.

Infrastructure as a Service is probably the idea for several of the opposite Cloud services. IaaS is where a corporation splits a server’s resources into smaller partitions, which after this process, are then referred to as ‘Virtual Machines’, or ‘Virtual Private Servers’, counting on how the server is partitioned. For a technical comparison of Virtual Private Servers and VMware virtual machines, click here.

The Cloud provider would then sell these individual partitions to the user who can gain access to the present, typically via the web. By using virtualisation technology, the user pays for his or her partition on a monthly or quarterly basis while avoiding purchasing and maintaining redundant hardware, as upgrades and patches are typically maintained by the provider. The user also has the power to expand their partition size whenever their resources require it, only paying for the facilities that the business uses.

Within IaaS, the user also can choose between either a ‘Public’ or ‘Private Cloud’ solution, a ‘Public Cloud’, as described above, is where the server would be divided into several secure partitions, each partition housing a special business. A ‘Private Cloud’ is where the user would have use of the whole server, either offsite and maintained by the Cloud provider or onsite and maintained by the business. the choice to use a ‘Private Cloud’ over a ‘Public Cloud’ is usually hooked into the legal requirements and legislation of the business.

Recovery as a Service (RaaS) may be a Cloud-based method of disaster recovery, however, unlike traditional solutions, the user doesn't need to purchase a replica set of hardware just in case of a disaster. RaaS, like all Cloud technology, is flexible to the requirements of a business, with options for real-time replication, or bulk backup schedules. Furthermore, (depending on the extent of service that the Cloud provider offers) a Cloud-based solution would typically restore data within a matter of minutes, whereas a standard tape-based solution could take days.

Platform as a Service may be a solution that permits the user to develop, and launch, custom applications from their environment. most ordinarily employed by software developers, this method enables the user to stay on top of things of their environment, while still receiving the complete benefits of virtualisation while only paying for the resources that they use.

Finally, Software as a Service (SaaS) enables software developers to securely release their software via the web, enabling them to charge for his or her software on a monthly or quarterly subscription service. SaaS offers a further layer of control and security for the software developer while giving them access to a world revenue stream that might are previously unavailable.

For more information on Cloud Computing and our services, please visit www.virtualdcs.co.uk/ or call a Cloud expert on 08453 888 327.

About virtualDCS:

Yorkshire Cloud Computing company Virtual Data Centre services (virtualDCS) were established in 2008 by Richard May and John Murray and have since had a 100% rate of growth each fiscal year.

Since January 2011 virtualDCS has employed 6 new staff members.

Using the newest Cloud Computing technology from VMware, their solution delivers significant cost savings, improved availability and reduced carbon emissions. Who is Strategic Blue? An interview with Dr James Mitchell

CTC: Who is Strategic Blue?

We’re the world’s first cloud broker-dealer, based in London but offering our services globally. We bring trading expertise from the commodities markets to cloud computing.

CTC: What’s Strategic Blue’s business model?

We buy from cloud providers on terms that suit the providers and sell to cloud users on the terms that suit the users. cloud technology

 this is often a purely financial, non-technical service, which doesn't interfere with the technical means of access to the cloud.

As a cloud “broker-dealer”, we step into the billing chain between the cloud provider and therefore the cloud user. We’ll pay the cloud provider for the usage of all our consolidated cloud users on the cloud providers’ terms…maybe beat USD, often with an outsized prepayment in exchange for a reduction. We then ask each cloud user how they might wish to pay. this might involve a special currency, or they'll need a pre-agreed price for a project that doesn’t start immediately, or they'll need extended payment terms to match off against their revenue stream. If the customer is in a position to form a commitment to a minimum amount of usage for a particular period, we will often offer a reduction to the cloud user. And if their requirements change, we will be flexible to accommodate their needs, effectively selling the discount back to them.

The reason why brokers and broker-dealers are so common in commoditised markets is that they supply a fast-track to finding the simplest product and therefore the best price, without having to possess a discussion with every vendor. The difference between a broker and a broker-dealer is that a broker arranges a trade between a buyer and a seller, whereas the broker-dealer is that the buyer to the seller and therefore the seller to the customer, assuming credit risk and sometimes a financing and risk-taking role. Broker-dealers are ready to offer deal structures that aren't available directly from the providers.

CTC: You come from a commodities trading background – how does one apply this to cloud computing?

We play to our strengths – we've experience in originating structured deals that meet the requirements of the customer. There are well-documented analogies between cloud or “utility” computing and electricity, and that we find that our experience is very transferable and relevant. Importantly, we try to not stray out of our core financial intermediation expertise, preferring to partner with people that bring technical expertise to supply a complimentary, full service offering to our customers.

CTC: What cloud vendors does one work with?

At the instant, we are ready to offer our services to varying extents on Amazon Web Services, CloudSigma, OpSource and Joyent and Fire host, and are in discussions with a variety of others. We’ve also recently started offering our financial intermediation services for media-related Software as a Service, through our “CloudMediaHub by Strategic Blue” initiative, which is launching at the NAB media show in Las Vegas in April.

CTC: Why would someone come to you instead of work directly with the cloud vendors?

The buying preferences of a cloud user mismatch really quite badly with the selling preferences of the standard cloud provider, leading to a compromise that neither are particularly proud of. once we become involved, the cloud provider gets paid on terms that they're very proud of, and therefore the cloud user has the bizarre experience of truly being asked how they might wish to pay, and the way long they might wish to commit for, which currency they might prefer etc.

CTC: What sort of customers are you currently engaging with?

Our business model is usually applied to any user of cloud computing, from a start-up through to large enterprises. a part of our team are generalists, who work across industries, but we've also developed a specialism within the media sector. This specialism originated because the media sector has certain drivers that encourage early adoption of this game-changing technology. However, since the beginning of 2012, we've suddenly seen a rapid acceleration in uptake from other industries too.

CTC: What does one define as cloud computing?

At its simplest, cloud computing is utility computing – it’s available “on-demand” and on a “pay as you go” basis.

We consider “public” and “community” clouds, i.e. clouds that are provided by a 3rd party, instead of a “private cloud”, which is formed available onto to users inside an equivalent organisation.

Our view is that start-ups will typically use public cloud computing services 100%, with major enterprises operating their own private clouds, which “burst” to a public cloud, to make a “hybrid cloud”, once they have a spike in demand. The economics of understanding when the “bursting” should happen is really very almost like understanding when different types of power station should be run to realize rock bottom cost of electricity, so we feel quite a reception analysing this!

CTC: What current offerings would you wish to spotlight within your portfolio?

We are particularly trying to find existing or would-be SaaS vendors, who have a product that's applicable to the media industry, for inclusion in our CloudMediaHub initiative. we offer both a way to optimise the economics of buying the infrastructure to run your SaaS on, and also a sales channel to the end-user.

In general, our services are of the foremost value to companies who run large compute-intensive projects on the cloud, that last for a variety of months. we discover that we will generally save significant costs for these sorts of projects.

CTC: What advice does one offer any company looking to adopt the cloud computing model?

Run a risk register for every application…but start with a risk analysis of your existing setup. You’ll find that you simply exchange certain risks related to a DIY approach for various risks related to a utility billing model. The Strategic Blue team are going to be happy to speak you thru this.

CTC: What major changes to the cloud computing industry does one envisage in 2012?

We are now seeing major players come aggressively into the market to compete against Amazon Web Services, also as vast numbers of smaller players operating in geographic or speciality niches. Our major prediction for the longer term is that it'll rapidly become impossible for an end-user who features a day job to stay au courant all that's happening. Cloud Brokers and Broker-Dealers will then proliferate to assist customers to find the proper technical solution and therefore the best price.

The timing of this is often not a coincidence…the adoption of cloud computing generally, including a proportion of public cloud usage, is widely considered inevitable by most enterprises, and as a “no-brainer” for SMEs.

Finally, as more people enter cloud use, we’re getting to see tons of inefficient purchasing, with users potentially buying the incorrect thing, or purchasing happening remotely from the people actually using the cloud. virtualization technology

 Obviously, this is often something that we will offer an answer to, and we’d be happy to assist on!