13
Apr 17

Arthur Cole – The New Cloud and the Old Data Center

What do your business requirements tell you about your best data center or cloud solution?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s a trite saying but appropriate for today’s cloud infrastructure market, which seems to be evolving along much the same vendor-defined trajectory as the data center before it.

According to new data from Synergy Research Group, the top three vendors duking it out for cloud dominance are … wait for it … Dell EMC, Cisco and HPE. This may come as a surprise to some, considering commodity manufacturers in the APAC region are supposed to be taking over. But according to the company’s research, the new Big Three each hold about 11.5 percent of the market, while an equal share went to multiple ODMs in the Pacific Rim. Microsoft and IBM each held smaller shares, which means that more than a third of the market is divvied up between numerous small to medium-sized vendors.

More of the IT Business Edge post from Arthur Cole


10
Apr 17

ZDNet – VMware shifts away from public cloud hosting with sale of vCloud Air to OVH

VMware exits the public cloudinfrastructure game as it shifts focus onto hybrid and cross-cloud software.

VMware is selling its infrastructure-as-a-service offering vCloud Air to global hyperscale cloud provider OVH.

VMware launched vCloud Air Network in 2014 with the aim of providing greater flexibility to users of VMware technology. Three years on, its public cloud business is set to be bought by French cloud computing and web hosting company OVH.

In an interview with Fortune, VMware chief executive Pat Gelsinger said the sale will include vCloud operations and sales staff, datacenters, and customers. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, and the buyout is expected to be completed during the second quarter of this year.

More of the ZDNet article from Danny Palmer


07
Apr 17

CustomerThink – Do CMOs Really Spend More on MarTech Than CIOs? A New Study Says No

Like many people in the marketing technology industry, I was tickled in 2011 when Gartner predicted that CMOs would soon have bigger tech budgets than CIOs, and even more tickled when Gartner said in 2016 that it had happened. But my recent pondering of the relationship of marketing and IT departments had me rethinking the question. On an anecdotal level, I’ve never seen or heard of a company where the marketing technology group was anywhere near the size of the IT department. And from a revenue perspective, there’s no way that marketing technology companies make up half the total revenue of the software industry.

But just as I was working myself up for some back-of-the-envelope calculations, the good people at International Data Corporation (IDC) announced a report with authoritative figures on the topic. Actually, the study estimates spending on 20 technologies and 12 corporate functional areas across 16 enterprise industries in eight regions and 53 countries, comparing the amounts funded by IT departments and by business departments.

More of the CustomerThink article from David Raab


06
Apr 17

The Register – Researchers steal data from CPU cache shared by two VMs

A group of researchers say they can extract information from an Amazon Web Services virtual machine by probing the cache of a CPU it shares with other cloudy VMs.

A paper titled Hello from the Other Side: SSH over Robust Cache Covert Channels in the Cloud (PDF) explains the challenges of extracting data from CPU cache, a very contested resource in which the OS, the hypervisor and applications all conduct frequent operations. All that activity makes a lot of noise, defying attempts to create a persistent communications channel.

Until now, as the researchers claim they’ve built “a high-throughput covert channel [that] can sustain transmission rates of more than 45 KBps on Amazon EC2”. They’ve even encrypted it: the technique establishes a TCP network within the cache and transmits data using SSH.

The results sound scarily impressive: a Black Hat Asia session detailing their work promised to peer into a host’s cache and stream video from VM to VM.

The paper explains that this stuff is not entirely new, but has hitherto also not been entirely successful because it’s been assumed that “error-correcting code can be directly applied, and the assumption that noise effectively eliminates covert channels.”

More of The Register article from Simon Sharwood


05
Apr 17

CIO Insight – Despite the Cloud’s Value, Funds Are Often Wasted

On average, the IT pros surveyed said their organization wastes 30% of its cloud spend.

With its days as an emerging technology behind us, the cloud is now firmly established in the fabric of modern companies: Nearly all organizations are investing in the cloud in some way, according to a recent survey report, “State of the Cloud,” from RightScale. The hybrid cloud has emerged as the most preferred option, followed by the public cloud. Regardless of the chosen cloud pathway, companies are reaping the rewards of faster access to infrastructure, greater scalability, higher availability, quicker time to market and more assured business continuity. Challenges linger, however, especially in the form of security concerns and a lack of needed staffing expertise.

More of the CIO Insight slideshow from Dennis McCafferty


03
Apr 17

HBR – Why CIOs Make Great Board Directors

According to Korn Ferry unpublished data, there has been a 74% increase in the number of CIOs serving on Fortune 100 boards in the past two years.

It’s no wonder CIOs are the fastest-growing addition to the boardroom: They can help address a host of issues of crucial importance to boards, including using technologies to create operational efficiencies and competitive advantage; identifying opportunities related to cloud computing, digitization, and data; addressing threats and risks associated with information security; and using their experience and judgment to oversee, question, and provide input on technology budgets.

But there’s room for growth. Only 31% of Fortune 100 boards currently have a director who is a CIO, even though technology is at the core of every business today. As Sheila Jordan, CIO at Symantec and director at FactSet, put it, “All companies are technology companies today. Technology is a lever to run the business, but also to change and grow.”

More of the Harvard Business Review article from Craig Stephenson and Nels Olson


15
Mar 17

The Register – It’s time for our annual checkup on the circus that is the Internet Governance Forum

Unaccountable? Check. Pointlessly bureaucratic? Check. Blocking reform? Check

It’s March again so it must be time for an annual checkup on the Internet Governance Forum – the United Nations body that is tasked with working through the complex social, technological and economic issues associated with a global communications network, and runs an annual conference to that end.

Around this time every year, the IGF’s organizing group the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) meets in Geneva to decide how the annual conference will be structured and what topics it will cover, and to set the rules for how sessions and the conference itself will be run.

And we are pleased to announce for another year, the IGF remains a circus, an unaccountable and pointlessly bureaucratic organization that goes to great lengths to pretend it is open to everyone’s input and even greater lengths to make sure it isn’t.

At the two-day meeting, the IGF’s three core issues again took pride of place at the event:

  • Fantasy of democratic representation
  • Opaque decision-making and finances
  • Bureaucratic blocking of any efforts at reform

Let’s take a look at each:

More of The Register article from Kieren McCarthy


17
Feb 17

Washington Post – Weather Service suffered ‘catastrophic’ outage; website stopped sending forecasts, warnings

On a day when a blizzard was pasting Maine and Northern California faced a dire flooding threat, several of the National Weather Service’s primary systems for sending out alerts to the public failed for nearly three hours.

Between 1:08 p.m. and 3:44 p.m. Eastern time Monday, products from the Weather Service stopped disseminating over the Internet, including forecasts, warnings, radar and satellite imagery, and current conditions.

Updates to the Weather Service’s public-facing website, Weather.gov, ceased publishing.

In an email to staff on Tuesday, David Michaud, the director of the Weather Service’s Office of Central Processing, said a power outage had triggered the outage and characterized the impacts as “significant”. The cause of the outage was under review, a Weather Service spokesperson said.

“[I] want to ensure you that everyone involved is working hard to avoid these outages in the future and find ways to better communicate to employees across the agency in real time when outages occur,” Michaud’s email said.

More of the Washington post article from Jason Samenow


13
Feb 17

TheWHIR – Why Does It Seem Like Airline Computers Are Crashing More?

Another week, another major airline is crippled by some kind of software glitch.

If you feel as if you’re hearing about these incidents more often, you are—but not necessarily because they’re happening more frequently.

Delta Air Lines Inc. suffered an IT outage that led to widespread delays and 280 flight cancellations on Jan. 29 and 30, a problem the carrier said was caused by an electrical malfunction. A week earlier, United Continental Holdings Inc. issued a 2 1/2-hour ground stop for all its domestic flights following troubles with a communication system pilots use to receive data.

These two shutdowns were the latest in what’s been a series of computer crack-ups over the past few years, including major system blackouts that hobbled Southwest Airlines Co. as well as Delta for several days last summer—affecting tens of thousands of passengers.

More of the WHIR post from Bloomberg


10
Feb 17

SearchCloudComputing – For enterprises, multicloud strategy remains a siloed approach

Although not mentioned in this article, enterprise cloud providers like Expedient are often a key player in the multicloud mix. Enterprise clouds deliver VMware or HyperV environments that require little or no retraining for the infrastructure staff.

Enterprises need a multicloud strategy to juggle AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform, but the long-held promise of portability remains more dream than reality.

Most enterprises utilize more than one of the hyperscale cloud providers, but “multicloud” remains a partitioned approach for corporate IT.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to dominate the public cloud infrastructure market it essentially created a decade ago, but other platforms, especially Microsoft Azure, gained a foothold inside enterprises, too. As a result, companies must balance management of the disparate environments with questions of how deep to go on a single platform, all while the notion of connectivity of resources across clouds remains more theoretical than practical.

Similar to hybrid cloud before it, multicloud has an amorphous definition among IT pros as various stakeholders glom on to the latest buzzword to position themselves as relevant players. It has come to encompass everything from the use of multiple infrastructure as a service (IaaS) clouds, both public and private, to public IaaS alongside platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).

More of the SearchCloudComputing article