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Cloud computing is grabbing headlines as more and more enterprises are turning to this emerging technology as a way to enable flexible computing power over the Internet. In 2008, many companies were wary of the risks and vulnerabilities of participating in the cloud computing model, and although the buzz was high, adoption was feathered. "This all changes in 2009," said Sajai Krishnan, CEO of cloud storage start-up ParaScale.  "The economic downturn and the addition of private cloud solutions to complement public offerings are creating an environment that enables incremental adoption of cloud storage on a very broad scale." In discussions with end users, ParaScale has found that the overwhelming majority indicate they are considering both public and private cloud storage. Storage Clouds are Attractive for Many Companies Krishnan identifies several considerations drivi... (more)

Cloud Computing, SOA and Windows Azure

For a complete list of the co-authors and contributors, see the end of the article. Microsoft's Software-plus-Services strategy represents a view of the world where the growing feature-set of devices and the increasing ubiquity of the Web are combined to deliver more compelling solutions. Software-plus-Services represents an evolutionary step that is based on existing best practices in IT and extends the application potential of core service-orientation design principles. Microsoft's efforts to embrace the Software-plus-Services vision are framed by three core goals: User experiences should span beyond a single device Solution architectures should be able to intelligently leverage and integrate on-premise IT assets with cloud assets Tightly coupled systems should give way to federations of cooperating systems and loosely coupled compositions The Windows Azure platfor... (more)

Is a Private Cloud Worthwhile?

Much discussion in the cloud computing world has focused on a simple question: Is a private cloud infrastructure worthy of the name? It's been posed in many ways, with some going so far as claiming that there is no such thing as a private cloud. Although discussions like these are all too common in many areas, the question really amounts to little more than counting angels dancing on pin heads. The key issue is whether private cloud-style infrastructure can deliver real benefits like public clouds can. First, let's set out some definitions: The draft NIST definition, perhaps the best we have at this point, states that "Cloud computing is a pay-per-use model for enabling available, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and rel... (more)

Private Cloud Is Not the Cloud: Amazon CTO

"We have been listening very closely to the real requirements that our customers have and have worked closely with many...CIOs and their teams to understand what solution would allow them to treat the cloud as a seamless extension of their datacenter," wrote Amazon's VP & CTO, Werner Vogels, in a blog posting yesterday on the 3rd anniversary of the launch of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) - the date chosen by Amazon also to launch its new Virtual Private Cloud, or Amazon VPC. Dr Vogels keynoted SYS-CON's 2nd International Cloud Computing Expo Vogels writes about the many conversations he has had with CIOs around the globe: "They have bought into the cloud as a target for a significant portion of their services, as the benefits are too obvious to ignore, and most expect that their transition will be a continuous process. They would accelerate the adoption o... (more)

ParaScale Cloud Computing Predictions for 2010

ParaScale Session at Cloud Expo In 2009 users were presented with a lot of choice, especially with cloud computing and cloud storage. Two primary trends were evident including the arrival of private cloud storage options with increasing choices for businesses looking to deploy their own storage clouds inside the firewall; and a rapid proliferation of public cloud storage service options with many service providers coming to market with varied offerings. Tweet this: #ParaScale announces predictions for #cloud storage http://bit.ly/7Oys93 2010 promises to bring with it even more excitement and advances in cloud computing and storage. Sajai Krishnan, CEO of ParaScale, predicts that in 2010:   Cloud becomes an action verb – We’ve already seen “Cloud” taken to new heights as an overused adjective and noun. In 2010, marketers will out-do themselves by clouding the la... (more)

Five Reasons to Choose a Private Cloud

As enterprise interest in cloud computing offerings and concepts continues to increase, the number of solutions in both the public and private cloud spaces increases as well. There's been much debate over public versus private cloud, even to the point of debating whether there can be such a thing as a private cloud. I'm not here to debate the latter (in my opinion the location of the service has nothing to do with whether or not it is a cloud), but rather I want to take a look into why consumers would choose private clouds over their public counterparts. During the last several months, Ive been lucky enough to chat with numerous enterprise users about their thoughts on cloud computing. Quite a few of these users are already utilizing the cloud on some level, and they are doing this by leveraging both public and private clouds. In my experience, enterprises have bee... (more)

Understanding Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

In Windows Server 2008 R2 (WS2008R2), Terminal Services (TS) has been expanded and renamed to Remote Desktop Services (RDS). RDS is the backbone of Microsoft's VDI solutions. And in Windows Server 2012, RDS is further enhanced and with a scenario-based configuration wizard. Still the concept and architecture remain very much the same since WS2008R2. The new and enhanced architecture takes advantage of virtualization and makes remote access a much flexible solution with new deployment scenarios. To realize the capabilities of RDS, it is essential to understand the functions of key architectural components and how they complement one another to process a RDS request. There are many new terms and acronyms to get familiar with in the context of RDS. For the remainder of this post, notice RDS implies the server platform of WS2008R2 and later, while TS implies WS2008. Th... (more)

Step-by-Step: Build a SharePoint 2013 Lab in the Cloud on Windows Azure

My good friend and colleague, Tommy Patterson, recently blogged about leveraging the Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) preview offering to build a FREE lab environment in the Cloud.  You can read Tommy’s step-by-step article at: Building FREE Lab VMs in the Microsoft Cloud What about a SharePoint 2013 Lab in the Cloud? Now that SharePoint Server 2013 has been released, I frequently get asked about ways in which a SharePoint 2013 lab environment can be easily built for studying, testing and/or performing a proof-of-concept.  You could certainly build this lab environment on your own hardware, but due to the level of SharePoint 2013 hardware requirements, a lot of us may not have sufficient spare hardware to implement an on-premise lab environment. This makes a great scenario for leveraging our Windows Azure FREE 90-day Trial Offer to build a free lab en... (more)

At-a-Glance: Comparing VMware vSphere 5.5 & Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V

There’s been lots of buzz on the virtualization front over the past month …  In August, Microsoft announced the RTM version of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, the latest major releases of the Windows Server and System Center families.  In addition, at VMworld this year, VMware announced the latest edition of their vSphere hypervisor platform: VMware vSphere 5.5. IT Pros have been very interested in learning about the pros and cons presented by each offering – particularly because the total cost of Windows Server 2012 R2 + System Center 2012 R2 can be quite attractive in comparison to VMware’s offerings. More information: See Shopping for Private Clouds for a sample cost comparison between Microsoft and VMware virtualization solutions based on real-world requirements. With so many features called by differing names in each virtualization platform... (more)

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 as Private Cloud Enabler

This is the first article of a 5-part series examining the key concepts and operations of a private cloud based on VMM 2012 including: Part 1. Private Cloud Concepts (This article) Part 2. Fabric, Oh, Fabric Part 3. Deployment with Service Template Part 4. Working with Service Templates Part 5. App Controller VMM, a member of Microsoft System Center suite, is an enterprise solution for managing physical, virtualized, private cloud, and public cloud resources. In addition to the system requirements and the new features and capabilities, there are specific concepts presented in this article, although fundamental, nevertheless important to know before building a private cloud solution with VMM 2012. This blog series is for readers with a basics understanding of cloud computing. For those new to cloud computing, I recommend first acquiring the baseline information form: ... (more)

Public vs. Private Cloud Debate is Real

Zebras and tigers and bears, oh my! Well, there were no bears on an invigorating Power Panel at the 4th International Cloud Computing Expo in Santa Clara Tuesday night, but the subject of the two striped animals mentioned above did come up. Re-visiting a topic that re-appears during times of seismic change in the IT industry, panel moderator Jeremy Geelan, SVP of the event's producer SYS-CON Media, mused as to whether the private cloud was a zebra (based on a comment he heard from way high up in HP) and the public cloud a tiger, ie, you're discussion two completely different animals here that both happen to have stripes. Panel members included Rob Walters from The Planet, Willie M. Tejada of Akamai, and three small-company CEOS--Terry Woloszyn of PerspecSys, Adam Blum of Rhomobile, and Greg O'Connor of AppZero. Geelan's question went to the heart of the private vs. ... (more)