This Week in Cloud: July 20, 2012

Cloud Economics, US DoD’s cloud plans, Microsoft Office Cloud. And more…


Cloud News




  • The US Department of Defense has released a four-step plan to expand its use of cloud computing, according to this Federal Times article. The DoD will incentivize the use of cloud computing and train new professionals on how to procure cloud services, in addition to incorporating cloud software and hardware into their data centers. The plan allows for the purchase of both government and commercial cloud solutions.


  • The next version of Microsoft Office will include social and cloud computing features, according to this PCMag article. Microsoft Office 2013, which will work with touch-screen devices run on Windows 8, will save documents to Microsoft’s SkyDrive and enable access to files from mobile devices.


  • RightScale acquired the Scottish cloud computing cost forecasting website ShopForCloud, according to this SYS-CON article. The site allows users to access the current pricing of many of the most popular cloud services and shows what a business’s cloud will cost with various architecture models and usage patterns.


  • Fujitsu will launch Akisai, a new cloud-based platform for Japan’s farming industry, in October, according to this PCWorld article. The service will keep track of soil temperature, rainfall, humidity, and moisture. The service will also allow users to input information about their crops and receive data on the profitability of their yield and expenses.   

Featured Content on Cloud Commons


Gartner Report: Cloud Sourcing: Lessons Learned from Early Adopters


Cloud offerings continue to grow in maturity and volume. CIOs look at them as an alternative in their IT value chain. Gartner recently assessed organizations that purchased cloud-based service offerings. This report by Gartner (compliments of Cloud Commons® Ecosystem) shares some early lessons from their experiences.


Feature article


The Balance Sheet of the Cloud


By Ravi Rajagopal, CA Technologies


Last week I spoke at an Information Week roundtable sponsored by CA Technologies. About 35 executives, mostly from financial services companies in New York City, discussed the economics of cloud computing, and one particular subtopic of interest was costs – planned versus actual. According to the Information Week Cloud ROI Survey, of November 2011, 38% of companies using or evaluating cloud computing fear runaway costs if a service scales up unintentionally, such as by error or mismanagement. Is this fear based on facts, or based on certain unknown parameters always associated with technologies that are still evolving? Or, maybe a little of both? Read the full article.


 


 


Cloud Views




  • In the July episode of CloudViews Unplugged, Andi Mann and George Watt of CA Technologies wrap up the month’s cloud computing news in 10 minutes. This month’s episode topics include Europe’s cloud, Oracle’s cloud, Google Coordinate and IaaS, Facebook and more!  


  • Are there warning signs to an impending cloud outage? In this GigaOM blog, Barb Darrow takes a look at two recent Amazon cloud outages, the signs leading up to the outage and how the outage affected Newvem’s customers. She also offers suggestions on how to prevent loss of data during an outage.


  • Does cloud computing need universal standards? In this Wall Street Journal blog, Charles Weaver discusses the need for universal standards and what businesses can do in the meantime to ensure that their clouds are secure and reliable.

MSP Corner




  • Will cloud offerings do away with the managed services business? In this MSPmentor blog, John Moore discusses how MSPs can take advantage of SaaS hosting in order to stay relevant and successful as cloud computing continues to grow.


  • The prevalence and ease of public cloud services are swaying some companies to adopt cloud services without consulting their service providers. In this VAR Guy blog, Kelly Ricker discusses the growing trend and the upcoming CompTIA conference.

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Derek Stevens

Derek Stevens (@DerekintheCloud or @CloudCommons) is the associate editor of Smart Enterprise. He specializes in social media and is the author of This Week in Cloud, a weekly newsletter on cloud computing and IT trends. Derek is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Journalism at Stony Brook University.

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