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Early Bird Savings at Cloud Expo This week, Amazon took a step with EC2 that many had long anticipated: They announced spot pricing for cloud compute instances. EC2 customers can now name their own price, and Amazon will bring compute instances up at variable discount prices according to these "bids". This complements their March 2009 move at the other end of the spectrum, extra-cost reserved instances. This evolution of the cloud compute market was predicted by many, but Amazon deserves credit for making it happen. The obvious next question is whether spot pricing can work for cloud storage. Although there are cases where spot pricing might make sense, the nature of data storage trends against this sort of pricing model. Let's explore the question further. Cloud Compute Cloud compute is obviously different from cloud storage: The former deals with running applicat... (more)

What Are the Cloud Computing Challenges and Risks?

Perhaps by now, after you have read the: - Cloud Computing, in Plain English, to IT Directors, VP's, CIO's and CEO's - Why Should IT Directors, VP's, CIO's and CEO's Care About Cloud Computing? - Cloud Equals SaaS, Grid, Utility Computing, Hosting...? - What Exactly is Cloud Computing? - Why Large Public and Private Sector Organizations (not just SMB's) Are Seriously Considering Cloud Computing? you may be asking the following questions, among many others: • Where is my data? • How does my data securely enter and exit the cloud? • How is my data protected in transit? • Who has access to my data? • Who is accountable if something goes wrong? • What’s the disaster recovery plan, including response to a pandemic? • How to comply with Export and Privacy laws? • Will my data disappear when my online storage site shuts down? • What happens if my cloud provider disappears? • How is the envi... (more)

EMC to Enhance Performance, Security and Management of VMware View Deployments

EMC today announced a range of new products, solutions and services designed to enhance the value of the VMware View(TM) 4 desktop virtualization solutions. These offerings provide organizations with new technology capabilities, along with consulting services and actionable guidance to apply EMC(®) management and security controls for hosted virtual desktop environments. Businesses across many industries and government entities are deploying hosted virtual desktops using VMware View solutions to centralize management, improve security, increase operational efficiencies, and address compliance. Centralizing the management of employees' desktop and laptop environments through virtualization and applying security controls such as strong authentication, data loss prevention, security information and event management along with management controls such as server configu... (more)

VARs, Clouds and MSPs

What do VARs and Clouds as well as MSPs have in common? Several things it turns out: Some Value Added Resellers (VARS) (links to VAR related content and comments here, here and here) sell cloud services or solutions Some VARs are also cloud or managed solutions providers (MSPs) themselves, thus some cloud or MSPs are VARs Some VARs, cloud and MSPs compete on lowest or cheapest price Some VARs, cloud and MSPs have diverse product offering portfolios Some VARs, cloud and MSPs compete on value (e.g. not price) Some VARs cloud and MSPs value is in the trust and security or piece of mind that they provide For some, the value of a given VAR, cloud or MSP is the ability to shop around for a resource to get the lowest price. For others, the value of a given VAR, cloud or MSP is the ability to get the best value which may not be the lowest price, however may be the most effec... (more)

NOSQL, BigData, Hadoop – Find out More….

Webinar: Bridging the gap between the NOSQL world and legacy relational applications without using SQL to Do IT -  Understand the NOSQL movement - who is leading - who is following - why are the big legacy database companies worried? -  Understand the different NOSQL products and technologies and how you can benefit from them - why is it compelling - what do you need to know? -  Understand how to bridge the gap between the NOSQL world and your legacy relational applications and Don't Use SQL to Do IT. -  Learn more about Virtual Data Manager - the first "NOSQL Data Integration and Data Management Solution for the NOSQL World" -  Understand how the Power of Advanced Data Virtualization technology works with NOSQL PRE-REGISTRATION: Friday March 25, 2011 - 10 am PST / 1 pm EST.  NOSQL.  BIG DATA.  HADOOP.  Find Out More. Too Busy?  No Time to Spare?  Download a FREE white ... (more)

Tackling Big Data on Police Use of Force

According to a review recently put out by the the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) was faced with a riddle. In recent years, violent crime and assaults on officers have been declining, training has been adapted to focus more on deescalating conflicts and avoiding physical confrontations, the department procured and trained officers on less-lethal weaponry, a non-disciplinary Early Warning System was put in place to identify officers with warning signs of excessive use of force based on recent incidents, and a Crisis Intervention Team created to help deal with mentally ill persons, which are present in 65% of officer-involved shootings nationwide. Still, Albuquerque’s rate of police-suspect encounters involving use of force remained unusually high relative to comparable cities. Eager to find out what was going wrong, AP... (more)

Building Windows 8 Apps with C# and XAML Book Review

This book is the perfect size and the perfect depth for getting up to speed quickly with building Windows 8 Store Applications. The book starts by introducing WinRT. This introduction includes a really nice history of how Microsoft got to where they are now. It starts with a look back at MS-DOS, MS-DOS Executive, the Win32 API, COM, and.NET. The introduction leads us up to NUI (Natural User Interface) and the Windows Store Application Design Principles. The first chapter ends with a look at the Windows 8 tool that are available to developers and designers. They include, Blend for Visual Studio, C++ and XAML, HTML5 and JavaScript, and VB/C# and XAML. I have listed all the chapters below. 1. The New Windows Runtime 2. Getting Started 3. Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) 4. Windows 8 Applications 5. Application Lifecycle 6. Data 7. Tiles and Toasts 8. Giving Your A... (more)

Ceph Day Amsterdam 2012 (Object and Cloud Storage)

Recently while I was in Europe presenting some sessions at conferences and doing some seminars, I was invited by Ed Saipetch (@edsai) of Inktank.com to attend the first Ceph Day in Amsterdam. As luck or fate would turn out, I was in Nijkerk which is about an hour train ride from Amsterdam central station plus a free day in my schedule. After a morning train ride and nice walk from Amsterdam Central I arrived at the Tobacco Theatre (a former tobacco trading venue) where Ceph Day was underway, and in time for lunch of Krokettens sandwich. Let's take a quick step back and address for those not familiar what is Ceph (Cephalanthera) and why it was worth spending a day to attend this event. Ceph is an open source distributed object scale out (e.g. cluster or grid) software platform running on industry standard hardware. Ceph is used for deploying object storage, cloud s... (more)

Putting Some VMware ESX Storage Tips Together | Part 1

Have you spent time searching the VMware documentation, on-line forums, venues and books to decide how to make a local dedicated direct attached storage (DAS) type device (e.g., SATA or SAS) be Raw Device Mappings (RDM)? Part two of this post looks at how to make an RDM using an internal SATA HDD. Or how about how to make a Hybrid Hard disk drive (HHDD) that is faster than a regular Hard Disk Drive (HDD) on reads, however, more capacity and less cost than a Solid State Device (SSD) actually appear to VMware as a SSD? Recently I had these and some other questions and spent some time looking around, thus this post highlights some great information I have found for addressing the above VMware challenges and some others. The SSD solution is via a post I found on fellow VMware vExpert Duncan Epping's yellow-brick site which if you are into VMware or server virtualization... (more)

HP Moonshot 1500 Software Defined Capable Compute Servers

Riding the current software defined data center (SDC) wave being led by the likes of VMware and software defined networking (SDN) also championed by VMware via their acquisition of Nicera last year, Software Defined Marketing (SDM) is in full force. HP being a player in providing the core building blocks for traditional little data and big data, along with physical, virtual, converged, cloud and software defined has announced a new compute, processor or server platform called the Moonshot 1500. Software defined marketing aside, there are some real and interesting things from a technology standpoint that HP is doing with the Moonshot 1500 along with other vendors who are offering micro server based solutions. First, for those who see server (processor and compute) improvements as being more and faster cores (and threads) per socket, along with extra memory, not to m... (more)

Can We Get a Side of Context with Them IOPS and Other Storage Metrics?

There is an old saying that the best I/O (Input/Output) is the one that you do not have to do. In the meantime, let's get a side of some context with them IOPS from vendors, marketers and their pundits who are tossing them around for server, storage and IO metrics that matter. Expanding the conversation, the need for more context The good news is that people are beginning to discuss storage beyond space capacity and cost per GByte, TByte or PByte for both DRAM or nand flash Solid State Devices (SSD), Hard Disk Drives (HDD) along with Hybrid HDD (HHDD) and Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) based solutions. This applies to traditional enterprise or SMB IT data center with physical, virtual or cloud based infrastructures. This is good because it expands the conversation beyond just cost for space capacity into other aspects including performance (IOPS, latency, bandwidth... (more)