IAAS (infrastructure as a service)

IBM launches development and test cloud

With a nod toward the heterogeneous application development environments that exist in most enterprise IT departments, IBM on Wednesday launched a pair of services targeted at building cloud applications.

The first, the IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud, is a cloud service hosted in IBM's data centers that provides tools and interfaces designed to support developers using Java, .NET, and Open Source environments. This service provides computing and storage capacity, and support for WebSphere middleware, Rational Software Delivery Services, and its Information Management database. It also provides "pre-configured integrations" of some Rational services … Read more

Does cloud computing need malpractice safeguards?

Recent failures to protect consumer data stored on the Internet (aka "the cloud") point to an alarming gap between the value of that data and the care with which some vendors treat that data.

Microsoft subsidiary Danger failed to put in even adequate safeguards for its customers' data. Amazon Web Services failed to discover an obvious problem that kept a loyal customer down for 20 hours. Coghead's agreement to sell to SAP without any provisions to continue support for existing customers.

The truth is that cloud computing means that now, more than ever, IT operations is a … Read more

Cloud computing and the big rethink: Part 5

To date, this series has tried to guide you through the changes happening from the infrastructure, developer, and end user perspectives that signal the demise of the full-featured server operating system and the virtual server. Virtualization, and the large scale, multi-tenant operations model we know and love as "cloud computing," are enabling IT professionals to rethink the packaging, delivery, and operation of software functionality in extremely disruptive--and beneficial--ways.

So, what does this mean to the future of information technology? How will the role of IT, and the roles within IT, change as a result of the changing landscape … Read more

Cloud computing and the big rethink: Part 4

So far in this series, I've described why the very form of application infrastructure delivery will change in the coming years, and why both infrastructure and software development will play a major role in that. These are powerful forces that are already at work, and you are already seeing their effects on the way enterprise IT and consumer Web applications are being operated.

There is one more key force that will change the way we acquire, build, and consume enterprise application functionality and data, however. It is the very reason that enterprise IT exists. I am speaking, of course, … Read more

Cloud computing and the big rethink: Part 3

In the second part of this series, I took a look at how cloud computing and virtualization will drive homogenization of data center infrastructure over time, and how that is a contributing factor to the adoption of "just enough" systems software. That, in turn, will signal the beginning of the end for the traditional operating system, and in turn, the virtual server.

However, this change is not simply being driven by infrastructure. There is a much more powerful force at work here as well--a force that is emboldened by the software-centric aspects of the cloud computing model. That … Read more

Five ways that Apps.gov is a trendsetter

I'm one of many who believe this week's announcement of Apps.gov--a portal targeted at reducing the cost and effort for public agencies to acquire cloud services--is forcing all of IT to face the economics of cloud computing.

Apps.gov, a federal government initiative out of the General Services Administration, demonstrates several concepts that have been the dream of many private enterprise IT departments for some time, but have been successfully executed by very few. Here are the five trends that I think Apps.gov demonstrates, and why you should pay attention:

The IT service catalog. For … Read more

Enterprise cloud computing coming of age

One of the most interesting aspects of the weeks leading up to and including this year's VMWorld was the incredible innovation in cloud-computing service offerings for enterprises--especially in the category of infrastructure as a service. A variety of service providers are stepping up their cloud offerings, and giving unprecedented capabilities to their customer's system administrators.

In this category, enterprises are most concerned about security, control, service levels, and compliance; what I call the "trust" issues. Most of the new services attempt to address some or all of these issues head on. Given that this is the … Read more

Virtualization and the cloud: Tech, talk to converge

SAN FRANCISCO--The claim has been made in the last couple of weeks that cloud computing has reached the top of analyst firms' famous hype cycle and is a top-of-mind issue for most IT organizations.

That's a bit misleading, as the interest in cloud computing is often taken out of context, and when you bring virtualization into the picture, that interest seems to remain exploratory rather than strategic.

Amazing innovation is happening in both public- and private-cloud offerings, and the overwhelmingly positive response to cloud computing--in particular to Amazon's top-notch Elastic Compute Cloud, Simple Storage Service, and related offerings, … Read more

Amazon introduces Virtual Private Cloud service

On the third anniversary of its Elastic Compute Cloud launch, Amazon Web Services late Tuesday announced a new service, the Virtual Private Cloud.

Targeted at customers with existing IT investments, the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) service provides a way for companies to create a logically separated set of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances and a secure VPN connection to their own networks.

Jeff Barr, Amazon Web Services strategist, said in a blog that the service requires three elements: a VPC instance, an IPSec VPN gateway, and a block of IP addresses provided by the customer. The VPC's address space … Read more

Telecoms are missing their cloud opportunity

For some time now I've been advocating to my core network provider customers (and anyone else who would willingly listen) a concept that I think is both central to the future of cloud computing and one of the great opportunities this market disruption presents. The idea is simple: who will be the cloud service aggregator to enterprises, large and small?

Think about it. Even the smallest of businesses require multiple software systems to both meet minimal data management and creative expectations and (I would hope) to establish come competitive differentiation where it counts. Large enterprises scale this need to … Read more