Are There Workloads that Don’t Belong in the Public Cloud?

According to ESG research, 75% of organizations are currently using a public cloud service while another 19% have plans or interest in doing so (note: I am an ESG employee).  Furthermore, 56% of all public cloud-based workloads are considered IT production workloads while the remaining 44% are classified as non-production workloads (i.e. test, development, staging, etc.).

This trend has lots of traditional IT vendors somewhat worried, as well they should be.  Nevertheless, some IT veterans believe that there are limitations to this movement.  Yes, pedestrian workloads may move to the public cloud over the next few years but business-critical applications, key network-based business processes, and sensitive data should (and will) remain firmly planted in enterprise data centers now and forever.

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Juniper’s new access switches add to its cloud-focused lineup

Juniper Networks’ Unite architecture is living up to its name, bringing more enterprise network gear into its system for simplified management and scaling.

The latest additions to the lineup are entry-level and midrange access switches that also include other features for ease of use.

Unite, introduced last year for the EX9200 core switches and other Juniper and third-party components, is designed to help enterprises turn their own infrastructure into private clouds and link those to public clouds in a hybrid architecture. It’s built around Junos Fusion Enterprise software, which collapses multiple network layers into one for simpler management. That gives administrators a single point of management.

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Containers 101: Linux containers and Docker explained

Like FreeBSD Jails and Solaris Zones, Linux containers are self-contained execution environments — with their own, isolated CPU, memory, block I/O, and network resources — that share the kernel of the host operating system. The result is something that feels like a virtual machine, but sheds all the weight and startup overhead of a guest operating system.

In a large-scale system, running VMs would mean you are probably running many duplicate instances of the same OS and many redundant boot volumes. Because containers are more streamlined and lightweight compared to VMs, you may be able to run six to eight times as many containers as VMs on the same hardware.

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This site aims to be the Yelp of the SaaS world

Online reviews have already transformed the way people choose everything from restaurants to respiratory therapists, and now SaasGenius wants to do the same for enterprise software in the cloud.

This week the company will launch a beta version of its service, and it invites participants to submit reviews of business software in 12 different categories.

In the past, businesses looking for software relied primarily on word-of-mouth reviews, but SaasGenius aims to tap the model that’s become so common on the consumer side.

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IDG Contributor Network: A key factor in the CIO’s ability to drive change

I recently met with a major player in the Internet of Things (IoT) space, and the company is incredibly frustrated with how developments are evolving. They pointed out the promise of the IoT but said it’s not evolving much beyond the use case of predictive maintenance. It seems people are In Denial (ID). Why aren’t use cases and revenue opportunities in the IoT exploding? I believe the hindrance is the same as it is when trying to drive change through any new technology: the change is cross-functional.

The fact that it’s not evolving much beyond predictive maintenance types of use cases is frustrating to any CIO looking for the next big thing in technology-enabled competitive advantages.

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Open source tool manages AWS Lambda apps

A new open source project from Express and Node.js-canvas creator TJ Holowaychuk lets developers create, deploy, and manage AWS Lambda functions from a command-line tool.

Apex, written in Google’s Go language, also makes it possible to run applications in languages not directly supported by AWS Lambda, such as Golang itself.

Apex deploys AWS Lambda functions via projects, aka collections of function definitions described with JSON. It bundles all the needed dependencies and uploads them to AWS, and it automatically cleans up older or outdated versions of functions. In a nod to building versioned APIs, Apex allows users to manually specify which versions of a given function to retain.

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6 Barriers To IoT Data Flow

Enterprises are integrating IoT devices into their ecosystems to get data that was not available previously. As with most new data sources, there may be concerns about whether the data is accessible, usable, valuable, and secure. Here are a few things to consider as your enterprise moves toward IoT.
InformationWeek: Cloud

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IDG Contributor Network: Information-centric networking could fix these internet problems

Information-centric networking (ICN) ticks many of the requirements boxes for 5G, driven by the proliferation of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV). But what are those issues that ICN improves over the current internet? And how does it do it?

Today’s internet has seen significant changes. With forecasts for 2020 predicting 50 billion IoT devices, the scale of connectivity is ever increasing with nearly every computing device today providing some form of connectivity option.

This will have a tremendous impact on the size of IP routing tables. This is not a problem in your typical home router on the edge of the internet. But as you move up to the core (into the so called Default Free Zone), the nodes in this part of the network literally need to store the whole internet in their routing tables. This is driving up memory costs in each IP router, as well as increasing processing complexity and power consumption. Even in SDN-enabled environments, this trend can be observed through increasing flow matching tables (growing similarly as the IP routing tables in the traditional internet), leading to an arms’ race between vendors for ever larger and costly table memory.

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The method behind Google’s machine learning madness

First there was TensorFlow, Google’s machine learning framework. Then there was SyntaxNet, a neural network framework Google released to help developers build applications that understand human language. What comes next is anyone’s guess, but one thing is clear: Google is aggressively open-sourcing the smarts behind some of its most promising AI technology.

Despite giving it away for free, however, Google is also apparently betting that “artificial intelligence will be its secret sauce,” as Larry Dignan details. That “sauce” permeates a bevy of newly announced Google products like Google Home, but it’s anything but secret.

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Kubernetes – the platform for running containers – is getting more enterprisey

Application containers are all the buzz nowadays. They’re an easy way to package applications and their dependencies into Linux container boxes and run them anywhere – public cloud, a private data center or a developer’s laptop.

The problem comes when managing a whole lot of containers together.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Everything you need to know about Google I/O 2016 | Will containers kill the virtual machine? +

screen shot 2016 05 19 at 2.49.55 pm

There are a handful of platforms emerging for managing containers at scale. Docker – the company that is credited with generating much of the market buzz about containers – has its own tool called Swarm. Google – which has said that most of its internal apps run in containers – has open sourced its own container management platform named Kubernetes.

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AWS Offers New Options For Running SAP HANA On EC2

AWS is launching a new, memory-optimized instance on EC2 dubbed X1 that aims to make it easier to run SAP’s HANA in-memory database. The announcement comes on the heels of a deal between SAP and Microsoft.
InformationWeek: Cloud

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LinkedIn zombie hack returns for your braaains

LinkedIn was hacked way back in 2012, but the leak of passwords four years ago wasn’t the end of the story. Another 117 million have turned up, and many of those old passwords still seem to be valid.

But surely, I hear you ask, LinkedIn invalidated those old passwords in 2012? Nope. That turns out not to be the case — LinkedIn only forced a reset of the 6.5 million leaked ones, for fear of inconveniencing the other users.

Initially, LinkedIn’s response this time was the same, but thankfully saner heads prevailed and the company’s finally doing the right thing.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers also consider changing their email addresses. Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

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Google Sheets, Slides APIs Revamped To Improve Workflow

Revised APIs for Sheets and Slides aim to help developers make data in Google Apps for Work more readily accessible to third-party apps.
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Microsoft and Amazon look to scoop up SAP workloads headed to the cloud

As SAP holds its annual Sapphire Now user conference in Orlando this week, two of the leading IaaS providers are making the case for running SAP apps on their public clouds.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined SAP CEO Bill McDermott during the Sapphire keynotes on Tuesday to announce a broad partnership between the two companies that will optimize the Azure public cloud to run SAP workloads.

Not to be outdone, early this morning before the keynote even kicked off Amazon Web Services issued a press release announcing a handful of customers – including General Electric, Brooks Brothers and Lionsgate are running SAP apps on its public cloud.

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A new app from SAP helps line managers keep track of their budgets

It’s not often easy for line-of-business managers to get a real-time view of their budgets and spending, but a new app from SAP aims to change that.

Based on SAP’s Hana Cloud Platform, the app pulls data from core financial reporting systems and makes it searchable, so that line managers can do ad hoc spend analyses and other on-the-fly calculations.

Called SAP RealSpend, the app lets managers drill down and perform a fine-grained analysis of actual and future spending. It can also deliver related forecast and budget plans.

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Hacker psychology: Understanding the 4 emotions of social engineering

Although vendor-written, this contributed piece does not promote a product or service and has been edited and approved by Network World editors.

While technological know-how certainly plays a large role in enabling attackers to hack any given system, corporation or individual, what often is overlooked is that some tricks of the trade, like social engineering, are also psychological games. That means that protecting and defending against these kinds of attacks is, in turn, part mental as well.

It’s important for IT professionals to understand the ways in which social engineers take advantage of human emotion in order to carry out their attacks. Let’s examine the four human emotions and behaviors hackers most commonly exploit as part of a social engineering campaign, the distinct campaign characteristics for each manipulated emotion, and some key considerations for better positioning your employees and your organization against falling prey to these types of attacks in the future.

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IDG Contributor Network: SuiteWorld 2016 — what to expect?

SuiteWorld is always fun. Unlike Salesforce‘s DreamForce conference, SuiteWorld is still small enough that I get to spend some time with high level executives. Over the previous events I’ve had extended conversations with NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson to get the story, from the horse’s mouth as it were, of where the company is going. While other vendors seem to be focused on attendee numbers as their only measure of success, NetSuite, in keeping with its specialist area, seems to have a more “curated” view of its event. (Disclosure: NetSuite covers my travel and expenses to attend the event.)

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Amazon discovery service marks on-premises apps for assimilation

Sometimes the hardest part of performing a cloud migration is figuring out what has to be migrated in the first place. That’s one idea behind Amazon’s now generally available AWS ADS (Application Discovery Service), which polls existing on-premises systems and determines what apps they’re running as a prelude to migration.

Originally announced in April, ADS is yet another sign that Amazon is more interested in building a one-way bridge into its cloud than in creating a two-way street involving a hybrid cloud strategy.

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Salesforce Outage: Can Customers Trust The Cloud?

Salesforce experienced an outage and service disruption to the NA14 instance, sending customers to Twitter to complain and organizations to evaluate the best way to work with cloud software providers.
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Why the former CIO of Gap moved from clothes to cloud

One Big Bang digital transformation was enough for Tom Keiser. After overhauling legacy IT systems and updating ecommerce platforms, the former Gap CIO has joined SaaS provider Zendesk as its first CIO. The move comes more than a year after leaving the apparel retailer. Now Keiser will build out IT, security and data analytics capabilities for a cloud service provider seeking to top $ 1 billion in revenues by 2020.

Zendesk founder and CEO Mikkel Svane told CIO.com via email that he hired Keiser for the wealth of “enterprise technology and operations experience” he brings to a company that is entering its next stage of growth. Zendesk, which has expanded to more than 1,400 employees from fewer than 800 a year ago, sells customer service software for ecommerce call centers and help desk tools to support enterprises’ trouble-shooting needs.

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Amazon Alexa Now Tracks Flights, Plans Trips

The Kayak travel search engine is now accessible on Amazon’s Alexa to let users search for and track flights.
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What’s WhatsApp’s desktop app? A bloated, pointless, Windows/Mac download, that’s what

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Colos and MSPs cash in on cloud — while they can

According to professional services firm Jones Lang LaSalle, “More business than ever is happening online, and data centers are feeling the effects. The data center market saw tremendous growth in 2015, with independent providers in the United States alone earning revenues of $ 115.3 billion and experiencing 6.1 percent growth.”

How can the data center market be growing when enterprises are moving to the cloud? Some people say the surge in data centers is concentrated at the cloud computing providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple, who are all building out more data center space to handle their expansion in services.

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IDG Contributor Network: No IPO, debt funding instead. Intacct gets some fuel

Cloud ERP vendor Intacct last week announced that it has secured debt funding by way of a $ 40 million facility from Silicon Valley Bank. This comes at the same time as Intacct announced year-on-year new bookings increasing by some 34 percent.

Intacct has an interesting job in front of it — it is a mid-market vendor and therefore fills the space between tools designed for small and mid-sized businesses (QuickBooks and Xero, for example) and more enterprise-focused tools such as NetSuite, SAP, and Oracle. The mid-market space is a difficult one — customers have a plethora of different requirements and often the complexity, if not the budgets, are similar to those of larger enterprise organizations.

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Lyft and GM in self-drive EV taxi tie-up

Old-timey car-making giant GM and new-fangled ride-sharing startup Lyft are cooking up something huge, say sources. The unlikely pair are getting ready to test a fleet of autonomous electric taxicabs, and they plan to do it by May 2017.

[Developing story. Updated 2:40 pm PT with more comment]

It seems Lyft and General Motors will be using the new Chevy Bolt electric car. We’re not told where this pilot program is to be, but it’s said to involve real, paying passengers.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers drive themselves into a frenzy. Not to mention: HOWTO make a how-to video

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Open-source really could help get you a job, study finds

Experience in the open-source world is a valuable asset for technology job-seekers, and it’s getting more so over time, according to the latest Open-Source Jobs Report, which was published today by Dice and the Linux Foundation.

The report, which surveyed tech hiring managers, found that nearly two-thirds were planning to increase open-source hiring more than other areas of their business in the near future, and that 59 percent had definite plans to add open-source workers.

The news was also good for open-source workers who are already employed. Four out of five hiring managers who responded to the survey said that they had increased incentives to retain open-source employees — 44 percent had hiked salaries to this end, while 43 percent had offered more flexible working conditions like telecommuting.

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IDG Contributor Network: ZipBooks wants to shake up the accounting software market by helping customers collect cash

The accounting software industry is, contrary to what you might think, a pretty interesting place. Characterized by three large vendors that hold the lion’s share of the market in their respective geographies, until recently it has been a fairly sedentary place with Intuit (U.S.), Sage (U.K.) and MYOB (Australasia) happy to organically grow their businesses. That all changed around 10 years ago when Xero, a New Zealand-based startup, came on the scene and started taking well-aimed kicks at the three sleeping bears.

Since then, Xero has gone on to take significant market share in its home market of Australasia, pretty positive market share in the U.K., and is trying its hardest against a newly invigorated competitor to gain a toehold in the all-important U.S. market. That isn’t proving quite as easy as in Australasia and the U.K., due to some structural and competitive issues and also due to the fact that Intuit is doing a fantastic job (at last) of innovating and doing what it needs to do to keep market share.

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Cloud coding pitfalls: Tips for avoiding big, bad bugs

According to this ACM article, the seven coding constructs that have been the most frequent source of bugs are function calls, assignments, conditions, pointers, uses of NULL, variable declarations, function declarations, and return statements. There are dozens of other conference presentations, books, and taxonomies that provide statistically valid guidance — or at least opinions — on coding practices to avoid.

But so far, I haven’t found anything like that for coding in the cloud.

And make no mistake about it, the distributed, multi-language environment inherent in the cloud presents some real coding challenges. But before we nerd out entirely, let’s do a bit of bug triage. There are three interesting categories of bugs:

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Simplivity attacks the ‘unbearable complexity’ of IT

Hyperconvergence is a relatively new buzzword but Westborough, Mass.,-based Simplivity is already boasting of creating version 3.0 of this emerging IT model. In this installment of the IDG CEO Interview Series, Simplivity CEO Doron Kempel talked with IDG US Media Chief Content Officer John Gallant about how Simplivity’s OmniStack outperforms competitors like Nutanix and claims customers deploying workloads on Simplivity can save 22% to nearly 50% compared to running them on Amazon Web Services. Kempel also talked about Simplivity’s partnerships with Cisco, VMware and Lenovo and explored why it took nearly four years to bring the company’s vision of hyperconvergence to reality.

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(Insider Story)
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