Enterprises are showing record levels of interest in private cloud solutions, with 55 per cent of IT decision makers planning on building out private cloud infrastructure in 2014 according to new research by Forrester. Lauren Nelson, an analyst at the firm told Business Cloud News that HP’s Open Sack-based platform is leading the private cloud pack on the vendor side, with Cisco, IBM and Microsoft following closely behind. But the research also suggests vendors are mainly lagging in hybrid cloud support, which may give enterprises cause for concern as they figure out how to bridge the private-public cloud divide.
Scabal, a Brussels-based luxury clothing designer whose threads have been donned by the likes of Daniel Craig and David Beckham recently embarked on an ambitious cloud migration project, moving all of the company’s IT infrastructure including voice communications over to Interoute’s cloud platform. Jose Largo, the company’s IT director leading the migration says that the project will help make Scabal more flexible as it grows – and completely change the nature of its IT department in the process.
We all remember the days when IT upgrades required significant financial investment up front. Psychologically this forced end users to think long and hard about the contracts they were signing. On the flip side, the simplicity of the cloud often means that customers look a little less closely at the Ts & Cs. They are however still putting mission critical applications in the hands of a third party and as such contracts should be treated with no less caution than any other agreement negotiated within the business.
The buzz around big data tends to centre on how, with emerging analytics and database technologies, businesses can optimise their operations, products or services, improve customer retention, and – fundamentally – improve the bottom line. But the University of North Carolina Health Care (UNCHC), a large non-profit healthcare provider based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina recently put these technologies to work keeping patients out of hospitals and saving lives. Dr Carlton Moore, associate professor of medicine at the UNCHC says data and analytics are increasingly at the heart of how his hospitals run.
Each week it seems another telecoms operator enters the cloud fray, eager to grasp market share from incumbent IT service providers and datacentre operators with cloud offerings that increasingly cover the SaaS, PaaS and IaaS spectrum. In this Q&A with Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global, a subsidiary of HKT, Business Cloud News looks at the evolving role of the telco in the cloud computing space.
Across the United States, thanks in part to healthcare IT reform initiatives introduced under President Obama, healthcare organisations have flocked to adopt electronic health record (EHR) systems, integrating them into larger existing systems in order to improve patient care. Chad Skidmore, director at Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), a healthcare-focused IT service provider, says increased uptake of EHR is also encouraging a broader shift to cloud services. But big legacy integration challenges remain and service providers and medical facilities will have to conquer them before the benefits of cloud can be fully realised.
Gatwick airport, London’s second largest airport has been moving its core internal and customer-facing IT systems since 2012 in a bid to make it more agile, efficient, and – as it mulls the addition of another runway – scalable. Michael Ibbitson, Gatwick’s chief information officer says that while the airport’s embrace of cloud has already begun to yield significant benefits, the aviation sector remains largely underserved by specialised cloud offerings which he says may create roadblocks in its endeavour to become the most innovative airport in the UK.
Two KVM founders have recently announced the launch of OSv, an open source operating system designed to give applications better access to the raw compute power of the underlying infrastructure. Dor Laor, chief executive officer at Cloudius Systems – the startup behind OSv – says that the problem Cloudius is trying to solve has to do with an abundance of layers in today’s cloud stack, something the organisation is looking to fundamentally change with the new operating system.
Headed by Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure Frank Frankofvky, the Open Compute Project was launched two years ago in a bid to integrate open source principles into the design of datacentre infrastructure including servers, switches, cooling and rack design. And though none of the big three – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google – have joined OCP the designs being developed by the community have already demonstrated significant optimisations over today’s datacentre kit.
Interoperability in the cloud is something most vendors talk about and all enterprises desire, but achieving the goal of large, scalable, interoperable clouds will require a revolution in the datacentre. This is not happening fast enough for Nigel Beighton, vice president of technology at Rackspace. But as the open source philosophy begins to take hold in the development not just of software but of physical datacentre assets, that revolution might not be too far off.