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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

AWS Supports Hybrid Cloud with EC2 Container Service #reinvent

“Why do developers love containers?”

This is the question Werner Vogels, CTO and Vice President of Amazon.com, asked attendees of the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas just before announcing the preview availability of EC2 Container Services (ECS) – the new service for managing Docker containers that boosts AWS support for hybrid cloud.

After answering his question with a listing of benefits such as ease of development management, portability between environments, lower risk in deployments, smoother maintenance and management of application components, and the ability for it all to work together, Vogel went on to talk about the challenges of working with containers. 

“It’s really hard, I find,” he said. “Scheduling containers requires a lot of heavy lifting.” For example, he noted issues such as placement for higher availability, dividing resources per container, launching, rolling back, and handling custom management. 

With ECS, he said, customers can get all the benefits of containers without the overhead.

SharePoint in the Clouds: Choosing Between Office 365 or Azure

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Every time I read about “the cloud” I want to drag out a red pencil and edit the sentence. Why? Because we should really be talking about “the clouds,” plural.

There are dozens of cloud hosting options for SharePoint, beyond Office 365. Amazon, Rackspace and Fpweb offer compelling alternatives to Microsoft’s public cloud for SharePoint online with a mix of capabilities.

AWS Woos Enterprises with New Security Services #reinvent

Amazon is taking steps to ease enterprises’ biggest concerns around moving to its AWS platform. During a keynote at its AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas yesterday, the company announced three new security and compliance services developed specifically for enterprise customers.

Enterprises have been reluctant to move "the number of workloads they really wanted to move” to the cloud and AWS because of security and compliance issues, said Andy Jassy, senior vice president of Amazon Web Services. “What we see as the new normal now is that security and compliance are becoming reasons that customers are moving to the cloud.”

The Paperless Office? Dream On

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The paperless office is only a dream, and we should be setting our sights a little bit lower.

That's how Doug Miles introduces this year’s AIIM Industry Watch report on document management, specifically on paper-free processes.

Even though office workers are mobile, computer literate and aware that paper-free processes improve productivity and lower costs, most organizations are still struggling against the tide of paper documents that clog offices and stall business processes.

AIIM — the Association for Information and Image Management — is a global community of information professionals.

Box Wraps Enterprise Files in Snazzy iOS Features

Stop the presses. Box built a new user interface (UI) for its enterprise sync and share apps. Perhaps it’s a little rude to say so, but who cares?

Those of us who have been watching the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) market for a few years know that one vendor innovates and in the next few weeks another catches up or comes up with something compelling of their own.

New features cause us to drop our jaws at first. Then they become ordinary.

IBM or Twitter: Who Needed the Deal More?

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IBM posted disappointing quarterly revenues last month. Twitter hasn't found a way to make good money.

They needed a boost, and they hope it's each other.

But who needed who more?

"That’s arguable. Both need to can some lightning," said Tony Baer, principal analyst at Ovum Research.

"For Twitter it's the need for another path to market where they don’t have to compete with the Facebook colossus head-on. For IBM, this is entirely consistent with directions such as Watson where it is striving to establish cognitive computing as the new de facto enterprise solutions building block."

Few Businesses Use Social and Mobile to Improve Productivity

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Enterprises are using social and mobile to improve customer engagement, but not using them to improve productivity. At least that is the conclusion of new research from UK-based Advanced Business Solutions (ABS).

The findings are somewhat surprising given that the uses of enterprise social networks are largely associated with internal collaboration. But that is a myth, at least in the mid-sized enterprises segment.

Rackspace Simplifies Deployment of Open Source Applications

Private cloud solutions offer a number of advantages to businesses. They’re deployed on site, which provides improved control and flexibility, yet they also have the cost and scalability advantages of a public cloud.

But there is often one big drawback. The companies that use private clouds often have to develop the apps they need to use them effectively from scratch, a considerable challenge.

In an effort to ease this burden, Rackspace this week rolled out a suite of free, single-click solution templates that customers can use to quickly deploy today’s most widely used open source applications. The templates allow customers to launch a production-ready application stack on the company’s private cloud.

Jive Selects New President as CEO Retires

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What do you do after you are appointed as president of Jive Software?

“Pack for Disney,” certainly isn’t Elisa Steele’s answer. Instead she’s spending the day talking with investors, discussing the company’s better than expected third-quarter results and getting ready to lead its day-to-day operations come Monday.

There’s nothing but confidence and excitement in her voice. As executive vice president of marketing and products at the social business software provider that Gartner named a Leader in its Workplace Social Software Magic Quadrant earlier this year, Steele has overseen a number of innovations, updates and integrations such as Find Your WorkType,  Jive X (which is used for external collaboration), its integration with cloud-based productivity apps (Office 365 and Google) and more. In less than the year she’s been at Jive, Steele has been promoted twice.

Hey CIO, CEO: You're Leaking Data

Of all the vital responsibilities C-level executives have, keeping data secure is a big one. Especially today, when many managers consider data to be the "new gold" or the "new oil”… feel free to add your own metaphor.

The Harvard Business Review has published a number of articles that say that those who leverage their data best will be at a competitive advantage.

“Data-driven decisions tend to be better decisions. Leaders will either embrace this fact or be replaced by others who do,” wrote Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson in an article in 2012.

But what happens when your strategic data is at someone else’s disposal as well? And we’re not just talking about data that’s been hacked or deliberately open sourced and shared with select parties, but also the stuff that your employees lob over company firewalls for convenience sake.

If you’re a manager this kind of behavior should be cause for concern because we could be talking about the very strategic assets and intellectual property you’ve been charged to protect.

Creating Governance Solutions for Hybrid SharePoint Environments

2014-03-November-Air-Ground.jpgWhat are the differences between SharePoint governance in online versus on-premises deployments? This question comes up regularly at conferences and events -- administrators and business owners alike want to know if their organizations need to change their administration activities for the cloud. With many organizations either planning a move to the cloud or developing those plans, they need to know whether there are differences in what you can manage and how SharePoint is managed in the cloud.

Are there differences? Yes. Will these differences impact your existing governance policies and procedures? Most definitely.

IBM's Tencent Deal Could Best Twitter Partnership

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IBM announced today that it has partnered with the Chinese Internet Services Provider (ISP) Tencent Holdings — a deal that has the potential to be a lot more lucrative than its recently announced partnership with Twitter.

IBM is trumpeting this one as a major step into the Chinese market that it has been targeting for a long time. What's really interesting is that the agreement between the two is for the provision of public cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions in China. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

You May Have Opened the Door to Your Biggest Business Threats

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It only takes one employee to create a monumental security nightmare. And that person may already be wreaking havoc at your organization.

A quarterly analysis by Skyhigh Networks, a cloud visibility and enablement company, found one user who uploaded gigabytes of data to high-risk cloud services — opening the company up to malware or a massive leak of confidential information.

This wasn’t the only security problem uncovered in the Cloud Adoption and Risk Report. Created by Skyhigh and Cloud Security Alliance, it looked at usage and risk metrics for 13 million enterprise employees from 350 organizations.

Office 365 Strengthens Mobile Device Management #TEE14

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Cloud first, mobile first. Remember that one? If you don’t, let us remind you that it’s the new Microsoft mantra that was chanted first by Satya Nadella on his first public outing as the company's new CEO.

Earlier this week at TechEd Europe, Microsoft talked a lot about securing social business in the cloud through Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Yesterday it talked about managing mobile data.

But this wasn’t just about managing mobile data and devices in a general sense, with a doff of the hat to Microsoft’s work on Windows Phone. This was about managing mobile devices and data specifically for Office 365.

EMC Should Sell Documentum, HP Should Buy It

EMC made big news yesterday when it announced its hybrid cloud play. Headlines raced across the wires saying things like “EMC Frantically Pivots Toward the Cloud” and “EMC Moves Fast To Retain Relevance And to Survive - More Acquisitions Announced.” This isn’t us making the drama. The eye-grabbers come from TechCrunch and Forbes respectively.

Not one of the articles mentioned Documentum. In fact, it doesn’t seem to play a role in EMC’s survival. And this isn’t just what the lack of media attention to EMC’s Enterprise Content Management play suggests. In EMC’s quarterly call with investors last week, neither EMC CEO Joe Tucci nor his lieutenants (David Goulden, CEO of EMC Information Infrastructure and CFO Zane Rowe) uttered the name of its spawn at all.

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