IBM cloud backup available this July

IBM announces release of its cloud back up service to be available this July.

By Henry Kenyon

IBM is planning to roll out a set of cloud-based backup services designed to help organizations save, archive and restore data after a system failure or disaster.

The SmartCloud Resilience services, which complement IBM's SmartCloud Managed Backup offering, is scheduled for global release in July, although the exact release date will vary from country to country. The offering consists of a physical and virtual server recovery service that constantly backs up an organization's applications and related data on IBM's secure cloud infrastructure. The service would return an organization to full capacity just minutes after an IT outage, IBM said.

The new services have two parts: SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery and SmartCloud Archive. The virtualized server capability is designed to eliminate business downtime and minimize data loss. It includes a portal to allow clients to remotely access the system on IBM's recovery infrastructure in the event of an outage. It operates by continuously replicating both server software and related data.

SmartCloud Archive is designed to provide advanced search, indexing, retrieval and e-discovery capabilities. The archiving service also includes a document and records-management system to handle structured and unstructured content while meeting privacy and regulatory compliance regulations. It also features data segmenting capabilities for customers.

Another important part of the service is tiered backup and virtualization support, which allows an organization to vary the amount of backup it needs, said Rich Cocchiara, IBM's chief technology officer for Business Continuity and Resilience Services. "One size does not fit all," Cocchiara said.

For example, an organization with business-critical, 24/7 data needs will have very different backup and recovery needs from an agency with less time-sensitive requirements. Tiering allows companies and agencies to provide virtual backup to a certain number of key servers while providing more periodic backup for less critical systems in the infrastructure. Tiered service "lets me choose what service I want at each tier," he said.

Although the SmartCloud offering is rolling out next month, Cocchiara is already looking ahead at potential new enhancements. Among them will be the ability to support Linux, Windows and AIX servers. IBM also will support competing platforms based on customer requirements, he said.

Feedback from test customers indicates a need for additional archiving features. Future updates to the service will allow organizations to index and file information for legal discovery. Another possible feature is e-mail archiving, Cocchiara said.



Microsoft launches Office 365: Here's what you need to know

Office 365 replaces the company’s Business Productivity Suite (BPOS), Office Live Small Business and Live@edu offerings. As of today, June 28, Office 365 is available in 40 countries.

Microsoft is giving current BPOS users who want to stick with Microsoft a year to migrate to Office 365.

Microsoft launches Office 365: Here's what you need to know

By Mary Jo Foley

If you’re a current Microsoft cloud customer — or even someone just kicking the tires of Microsoft’s hosted cloud bundle — here’s what you need to know about Office 365, which Microsoft launched on June 28.

Office 365 is not Office in the cloud, even though it does include Office Web Apps, the Webified versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Office 365 is a Microsoft-hosted suite of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online — plus an optional subscription-based version of Office 2010 Professional Plus that runs locally on PCs. The Microsoft-hosted versions of these cloud apps offer subsets of their on-premises server counterparts (Exchange, SharePoint and Lync servers), in terms of features and functionality.

Office 365 replaces the company’s Business Productivity Suite (BPOS), Office Live Small Business and Live@edu offerings. As of today, June 28, Office 365 is available in 40 countries.

Office 365 competes head to head with Google Apps, among other cloud-hosted productivity suites.

Microsoft is giving current BPOS users who want to stick with Microsoft a year to migrate to Office 365. The Office Live Small Business migration is slated to happen later this year or early 2012.

At today’s Office 365 30-minute launch event in New York City, headlined by CEO Steve Ballmer, there were no surprises — and no question and answer period for the press, partners and analysts in attendance.

Microsoft announced its plans for Office 365 last fall and has been beta testing the offering for the past couple of months.



Red Hat declares war against VMware on cloud front

By Paula Rooney | June 23, 2011, 12:01pm PDT


Red Hat declared war against VMware on the cloud front today, noting that the rapid expansion of OVA and its own expanding open source
Red Hat declared war on VMware’s Cloud Foundry today, announcing that 65 new companies have joined the Open Virtualization Alliance backing KVM in a month’s time.
In May, Red Hat, SUSE, BMC Software, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IBM and Intel, announced the formation of the Open Virtualization Alliance.
As of today, 65 new members have joined, including Dell. Scott Crenshaw, who leads Red Hat’s cloud effort, denounced what he called VMware’s proprietary cloud platform.
Red Hat has backed and been evangelizing the open source hypervisor since buying Qumranet several years ago, and offers significant KVM support in its Enterprise Linux 6.1. The company also recently announced a number of multi-platform cloud products based on KVM including its OpenShift PaaS and Cloud Forms IaaS.
KVM is incorporated in the Linux kernel and is backed by some open source advocates while others prefer Xen. (Interestingly, the two founders left Citrix yesterday to launch a startup). Still, it’s been an uphill battle — and a development challenge — for the lesser known KVM open source hypervisor to make headway in the enterprise market.
At the recent Red Hat Summit, execs insisted that KVM is enterprise ready. Today’s announcements — including the release of Red Hat’s MRG 2.0 — are designed to further that goal.
“The floodgates have been lifted and [there's] a massive wave of support for KVM and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization,” said Crenshaw, vice president and general manager of Red Hat’s cloud business. “Lock-in doesn’t benefit anyone but VMware … the tide is rising against VMware’s hegemony.”
He said VMware’s Cloud Foundry purports to be open but claimed that at its core it is based on VMware’s proprietary ESX virtualization technology. He also said Microsoft’s claims of openness and no cost for Azure are not yet proven.
The full list of OVA announced today is packed with many open source companies, includes Abiquo, AdaptiveComputing, Afore Solutions, Arista Networks, Arkeia, autonomicresources, B1 Systems, BlueCat Networks, Brocade, Carbon 14 Software, Cfengine, CheapVPS, Cloud Cruiser, CloudSigma, CloudSwitch, CodeFutures, CohesiveFT, Collax GmbH, Convirture, Corensic, Censtratus, EnterpriseDB, Everis Inc., Fujitsu Frontech, FusionIO, Gluster, Inc., Grid Dynamics, Groundwork Open Source, HexaGrid Computing, IDT us, Infinite Technologies, Information Builders, Killer Beaver, LLC, Likewise, Mindtree Ltd, MontaVista Software, Morph Labs, nanoCloud, Neocoretech, Nicira Networks, Nimbula, novastorm, One Convergence, OpenNebula / C12G Labs, Providence Software (XVT), Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH, Qindel, RisingTide Systems, ScaleOut Software, Sep Software, Shadow Soft, Smartscale, StackOps, stepping stone GmbH, Storix, UC4, Unilogik, Univention, Usharesoft, Virtual Bridges , Vyatta, Weston Software Inc, XebiaLabs and Zmanda.
KVM once battled to be a serious contender to Xen.  Now, its chief commercial backer — Red Hat — is taking on the behemoth — VMware

Oracle Announced Its version of Sunset during HP Discover

Oracle in Vegas: Guerrilla tactics

Last week HP took Oracle to court. Further evidence, if it were needed, that Oracle and HP may be the best of enemies was provided during the recent HP Discover conference which took place in Las Vegas from June 6th – June 10th this year. This video was shot on June 8th at around 5:50pm. DCD was travelling from the conference to Las Vegas’ McCarren airport when we spotted this vehicle a couple of hundred yards from the conference hotel. There were 10,000 HP customers and partners at HP Discover. Coincidence? Guerrilla marketing? You decide:


How to invest in the cloud

By Michael Brush

Everybody's talking about it (reason enough to be cautious). Know which technology companies can give you a piece -- or a bigger helping -- of the action.

Image: Money © John Lund, Blend Images, Jupiterimages

Is the much-hyped trend toward cloud computing an investor's ticket to cloud nine?

I'm as leery as anyone else about following an investment crowd, particularly one in technology. And the cloud has drawn a crowd. But it would be a mistake to dismiss this trend as a bubble or a fad.

The cloud offers so many benefits to consumers and businesses that there's still a decade's worth of huge spending as companies try to catch this trend. This should help drive up the stocks of the key companies involved, including (CRM, news), Apple (AAPL, news), Google (GOOG, news), Microsoft (MSFT, news), (AMZN, news), EMC (EMC, news), VMware (VMW, news), International Business Machines (IBM, news) and Accenture (ACN, news). (Microsoft is the publisher or MSN Money.)

Before we get to the best stocks to buy to invest in the cloud, let's ask simply: What's the cloud?

A mainframe in the air

If you ask 10 experts, you'll get 11 answers, quips Jimmy Lin, an associate professor at the University of Maryland who was recently part of a Google-IBM effort to get universities to better train computer-science students to work in the cloud. After talking with at least 10 experts in the space, I can tell you he's got a point. But it boils down to this:

  • In the early days of computing, people had dumb desktop devices that tapped into mainframes. The big boxes handled the heavy lifting of running software and storing data.
  • Later, computing power shifted to the desktop in the PC revolution -- which made a lot of investors very rich.
  • In a way, with the cloud, we're going back again. Software and storage are moving to a central location, away from your desktop. Thanks to the Internet, this place may now be far away -- on a server farm in another state or country, not down the hall on a business or university mainframe.

One benefit is that you can reach your stuff from anywhere, using a variety of devices. You don't even need to plug in. Another advantage, says David Rudow a tech stock analyst at Thrivent Asset Management, is that pooling resources like massive server farms shared by many companies mean lower computing costs.

There's been buzz around cloud computing since 2008, but the trend is still young. There are many ways to slice the market, but by one measure, annual spending by companies on cloud computing will grow to $227 billion by 2020, from around an estimated $18.6 billion last year, according to Forrester Research. A lot of that spending will happen over the next three to five years. Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates companies will spend $117 billion on cloud computing during that time.

"Over the next three years, most small and medium-size companies will move a lot of their operations into the cloud," predicts Eric Openshaw, a cloud expert and vice chairman at Deloitte. And big companies will keep setting up there, too. "The cloud is one of the most important shifts in technology to happen in a very long time," says Shan Sinha, the group product manager of Google Apps for Business, which offers services that help businesses move to the cloud.

Based on a recent survey of corporate tech managers, Morgan Stanley predicts the workload handled by the cloud will grow 50% a year for the next three years, or twice as much as most investors currently estimate. In other words, investors recognize this is big -- but they underestimate how big.

Most of the money will be spent behind the scenes by businesses using the cloud. But let's start with the segment of the cloud that's most visible to consumers.

The personal cloud

Back in the old days, you had a computer at work and maybe one at home. Music was on CDs. Family photos were in albums on the shelf. Home videos were on tape.

How quaint.

These days, many of us have three or four devices -- a PC, a notebook or laptop, a tablet, a smartphone and perhaps something else. Last year, 124 million adults in the U.S. regularly used at least two devices connected to the Internet, and that will grow to 184 million of us by 2016, according to Forrester Research.

Forrester says this trend has turned the Internet into the 'Splinternet.' Each of your devices probably holds a different collection of music, photos and personal contacts. Wouldn't it be nice to have all that in one place?

Various companies are working on this as they help consumers grab their piece of the cloud.

Is cloud computing safe?

Apple tried to get an edge earlier this month when it announced the iCloud, which lets users access digital content from any Apple device. Analysts think iCloud will be popular, and it will increase loyalty to Apple devices -- its revenue bread and butter. "Apple is bringing the integration of its platform to a new level," says Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope, who has a "buy" rating and 12-month price target of $470 on the stock, from about $320 now.

The business cloud

By now, lots of businesses have begun using the cloud to run key software and store data. "It has really become a part of the DNA of a business," says Phil Garland, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers who advises companies on how to use the cloud. The following advantages will drive a continued ramp up in business spending on the cloud over the next several years:

  • Lower capital spending. Before the cloud, companies had to fork over a lot of money for servers and software before they even knew if the equipment would do what they hoped. "Now you can rent computing from Amazon," says Lin. For entrepreneurs, this can dramatically cut a big capital expense. The cloud does this for startup divisions within big companies, too.
  • More agility. When companies rent software and storage space in the cloud, they can quickly add capacity. Openshaw cites the example of Animoto, the online photo album company, which quickly expanded its server base -- to thousands from a few dozen -- after it took off. "That type of elasticity is not available in any (traditional) data center I know of on the planet," says Openshaw.
  • Better data mining. The cloud gives companies "massive computational resources" that would otherwise be tougher and more expensive to get, says Lin. This computing power might help fund managers run complex simulations on options-investing strategies or help pharmaceutical companies crunch drug-study data.
  • Support for the 'digital native.' Increasingly, a lot of jobs are performed "in the cloud." We store work there. We go there to collaborate with co-workers in other cities, when we work from the road or from home, or when companies hire employees who work from remote locations. Forrester calls this the new kind of worker the "digital native."

How do you invest in a cloud?

As with any big tech trend, the cloud can put you knee deep in jargon pretty quickly. Let's sum things up by saying cloud companies typically offer software services (the biggest growth area in the space), platforms where other companies can run their own software, and infrastructure such as massive server farms. Then there are the "enablers" that help companies understand how to use the cloud.

The big players in the space -- tech giants -- do most of the above. Google, for example, is betting that a lot of businesses will want keep things simple by renting their apps. It also has massive server farms to give companies a place to do that.

"The cloud gives companies an easier way to manage all their technology," says Sinha, of Google Apps for Business. "It moves all the hard, boring parts into the sky and makes it invisible." Companies seem to like this. Sinha says Google Apps for Business sales have tripled over the past year. The company doesn't break out numbers, though, so it's hard to know how big an impact it is having on overall revenue growth.

Still, Google's cloud efforts are part of what makes it a buy right now, say analysts. Trading at about $490, down from above $640 earlier this year, Google looks cheap, says Michael Scanlon, a stock analyst at John Hancock Asset Management. Down here, the stock trades for less than 10 times expected earnings, if you take out its $36 billion in cash. Scanlon believes the contributions to growth from cloud computing and mobile search are being overlooked by investors. "Anything that can get people into their ecosystem benefits the wider franchise," he says.

Of course, by attempting to move business computing to the cloud -- and away from the PC -- Google and other cloud providers pose a direct threat to Microsoft, which makes a lot of its money by selling desktop operating systems and business software deployed inside companies.

But don't count Microsoft out, because it has cloud offerings of its own, known as Azure and Dynamics. "Its public cloud offerings polled the strongest of any vendor in our survey," says a recent report on the sector by Morgan Stanley. "Microsoft is likely to gain the most from a broader adoption of public cloud environment."

Besides, as useful and popular as the cloud is, it's not clear the PC is going away. "The cloud won't replace conventional computing, because it is still convenient to have your data and applications on one machine," says Michael Cusumano, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management and author of "Staying Power: Six Enduring Principles for Managing Strategy and Innovation in an Uncertain World." "And remote access doesn't always work well. It may be at least 10 years before we have such ubiquitous broadband wireless connectivity that people will want to give up their desktops or laptops. It may never happen."

Amazon, through offerings called the Elastic Compute Cloud and Simple Storage Solutions, is another major player that provides a combination of software services, and the platforms and infrastructure to run it all.

Getting pure

Unlike these giants, which are involved in a lot of different businesses, several smaller companies represent more-focused ways to invest in the cloud. serves as a nearly pure play. It offers software that helps corporate sales teams track leads and sales as well as share developments inside their companies, all from the cloud.

This is a stock that traders love to short, or bet against, mainly because of a rich price of 74 times earnings. But the company has defied such investors. "They own their market. They are taking share," says Rudow, at Thrivent.

On the infrastructure side, VMware plays a big role by selling software that helps cloud providers subdivide servers for private use by customers. "It's like two kids sharing a room, and not knowing it," says Scanlon.

And of course, EMC is a major cloud play because it sells storage devices and the virtualization and security software that make them run. "They have a lot of the key technology. When you are setting up cloud servers, it is hard not to buy something from EMC," says Abhi Gami, senior analyst for the Invesco Van Kampen American Franchise Fund (VAFAX), which has beaten the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) over the past year.

Among the "enablers," Accenture and IBM stand out as public companies that should continue to get meaningful business by helping companies set up in the cloud.

Of course, among the big risks here are concerns about the safety and privacy of data in the cloud. Openshaw, at Deloitte, says such fears are overblown. "Security is good, and probably better than what most individual organizations can muster on their own."

Besides, having all your data up in the cloud and not on your laptop can be a blessing, says Google's Sinha. "Your data can't just get up and walk out the door with the device."

At the time of publication, Michael Brush did not own shares of any company or fund mentioned in this column. Brush is the editor of Brush Up on Stocks, an investment newsletter.

Michael Brush is the editor of Brush Up on Stocks, an investment newsletter. Click here to find Brush's most recent articles and blog posts.

HP DL980 VMware–Testing results

HP to provide free processor upgrades and/or additional processors and chassis for free if you're not happy with HP DL980.... "We are so confident in the HP ProLiant DL980’s price/performance that if the performance of our system does not meet the requirements, we will provide upgraded and/or additional processors and chassis for free."

Microsoft Open Government Platform of the Future

For our Open Government Canada webinar, Nik Garkusha, a leading Open Data expert from Microsoft, will cover the ‘Open Government Platform of the Future’.
You can follow Nik’s pioneering Open Source Community work at their Port 25 site.
Open Government Platform of the Future
The future of Open Government is transparency, efficiency & civic engagement. The challenges they face in realizing this vision include:
  • How to take the Gov’t beyond just sharing data & drive more use of open data?
  • How to enable “Gov’t as a Platform” to drive a vibrant ecosystem of citizen-ready applications (not just data dumps)?
  • How to empower citizens to use & add value to open data apps via familiar web, mobile & social media channels?
  • How can technology enable governments to transition to this future, and how will government organizations need to evolve in process?
Nik will explore the answers to these questions and explain what a future Open Gov Platform may look like, and what technologies will play a pivotal role in bringing better efficiency, innovation & more citizen engagement, while also enabling effective listening and learning mechanisms to harness the “knowledge of the masses”.
Nik Garkusha is the Open Platforms Lead at Microsoft Canada, responsible for a number of Open Source, Open Data and Open Government innovation programs in Canada. He founded, a citizen-led Open Gov initiative in the Halton Region, Ontario and is a technology evangelist, open data hacker, web architect and a “professional geek”.

Angry Birds: Google’s Trojan Horse?

Is Angry Birds the trojan Horse Google is looking for to expand Chrome’s market share?


Looks Like to me

HP SchoolCloud

HP SchoolCloud in ClassLink site which is providing their LaunchPad as a software component for SchoolCloud.

What is HP SchoolCloud?

HP SchoolCloud is a Virtual Academic Desktop designed for K12 schools and Districts. Delivered via an industry standard browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, FireFox) HP SchoolCloud mimics many of the attributes of a typical ‘desktop’ experience of a Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh computer. HP SchoolCloud solution which incorporates ClassLink Launchpad is a public-private cloud solution that provides a virtual instructional desktop that follows students and teachers wherever they go and lets IT managers manage a few servers versus hundreds of PCs.

The following page has the same solution brief, but contains ClassLink logo as partner.

Oracle Blade 6000 + OVM : Oracle Optimized Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure


Oracle’s private IaaS/cloud.. based on Oracle VM and OVM templates, using Sun Blade 6000 plus NEM switch. Storage is based on their ZFS appliance.

Provisioning is based on OVM templates (almost similar to VMware template), and oracle provides preconfigured templates for their db/middleware etc.

Here are 2 papers from oracle..

“Oracle Optimized Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure is a

complete, integrated solution which can dramatically reduce the time required

to architect, deploy, and manage Infrastructure-as-a-Service clouds, and

ultimately lower TCO and improve productivity for enterprises and cloud

service providers.”


Added Oracle Exadata details


AWS OpenHouse - DC Containers

I loved this quote


“Every day Amazon Web Services adds enough new capacity to support all of’s global infrastructure through the company’s first 5 years, when it was a $2.76 billion annual revenue enterprise,” Hamilton

Full slides at