News from the Cloud in July

A roundup of the month’s top Cloud stories to keep you up to date on the industry. With the Olympics underway it’s unlikely that even the Cloud could dodge stories on the Games. In fact it became the subject of several different stories, mainly thinking about working practices and the computing infrastructure supporting the Games.

The technology budget of LOCOG apparently covered a quarter of the overall outlay. There are over 100,000 pieces of equipment being used by staff. They need to be in touch wherever they are and whatever time of day it in so the reliance on the Cloud is huge. Systems need to be integrated, teams deployed and operations managers briefed. Different suppliers need to be brought under the same umbrella technology and service needs to be quick and without any lag. According to the organising committee, however, not all services are relying on the Cloud this time round as the infrastructure isn’t quite there to support it yet. Like many businesses they’ve opted for a mix and match solution.

However while the Cloud might not have been the overriding focus for technology needs for this Olympics the Park at least will in the future. It’s been announced the London Legacy Development Corporation has selected iCITY to turn the media hub at the Olympic Park into an ‘innovation city’ post Games. It’s a £350 million investment that will rely heavily on Cloud technology.

Growth continues to be a focus for the Cloud, with or without the Olympics. Research by Cisco Systems Ltd says in the UK the cloud is becoming mainstream. Their CloudWatch Summer report saw a huge increase in the number of people who said the cloud was an important process. A third said it was critical for their business, up 24% on last year. Just over 50% said they were worried about security, a drop in 20% from this time last year.

This month Dell reported that more and more IT staff are focusing their money on virtualization. Looking for a private cloud solution they want an option that’s cost-effective and ready-to-install. Inevitably Dell uses this as an opportunity to sell its virtualization offer. Yet it suggests that if the cloud really is going mainstream as Cisco suggests then more and more businesses are opting for an “off the shelf” solution. They want to be able to deploy the Cloud quickly and efficiently without having to wait for a long testing period. Virtualization means greater flexibility so if they adopt one method or server solution then it’s easier to change if it doesn’t work out.

Staying with Dell and this month the tech giant announced it was buying Quest Software. It means Dell get more software solutions as Quest was known for its database management and data protection as well as SharePoint services and the migration and management of Windows servers. Dell’s struggles to really make a splash in the Cloud marketplace have been chronicled so the takeover means they get more services in place. More sales people means more will be told about the new products. It also increases their IP and creates a new revenue stream. If Dell has had trouble selling its Cloud services then linking with a team well respected and with a proven track record in the field is a good and a bold move. It will need to keep its strategy strong, though.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials was released in Beta this month, coinciding with the team from Windows 8 confirming launch dates. The watch words are “simplicity” and “flexibility” and the focus is on the first-server market. For home offices and SME’s this is of big interest. There’s to be more device support and more integration with Microsoft’s Cloud Services. A forum is running on the Essentials page.

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