Tag Archives: risc networks

  • Microsoft, RedHat and VMware offer attractive total cost of ownership

    The competition throughout the cloud industry has resulted in affordable suites for organizations. Certain vendors such as Microsoft, RedHat and VMware have made strides to offer adopters low total cost of ownership for their cloud solutions. 451 Research's latest Cloud Price Index: Private Edition discovered the costs of these companies' private models are $0.10 per hour, higher than the $0.08 for OpenStack counterparts. However, firms using the former can hire 3 percent more engineers because there is an apparent skills gap impacting OpenStack deployments, contributing to a higher TCO as a result.

    William Fellows, vice president of 451 Research, said the Cloud Price Index is an opportunity to educate adopters when comparing solutions for hosting workloads and applications or considering the pricing differences between vendors. He added that adopters can access accurate information related to cloud-based pricing to determine if vendors offer dividends or charge clients taxes.

    Microsoft and other vendors are not backing down from Amazon
    Amazon – a company not mentioned in the 451 Research report – is the vendor that all other brands are trying to gain market share from. A separate survey conducted by the research firm found 57 percent of the more than 1,500 IT professionals polled are using Amazon Web Services for their Infrastructure-as-a-Service needs. Another 35 percent of respondents cited AWS as the most important IaaS provider.

    "While the 2015 Vendor Window for IaaS shows Amazon Web Services as the clear leader based on multiple metrics, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and VMware's vCloud Air are becoming competitive challengers," said 451 Research Senior Vice President Michelle Bailey.

    Microsoft Azure in particular has gained significant traction among enterprises. The 451 Research survey discovered 42 percent of respondents have adopted the solution and 20 percent of IaaS users cited Microsoft as the most important vendor in this sector.

    Rackspace is another vendor that is competing head-on with Amazon. The company is commensurate with AWS in terms of customer fulfillment and service-level agreements, 451 Research found.

    "As more mainstream customers move business-critical workloads to cloud environments, the decision criteria for evaluating potential vendors change relative to early cloud adopters, and in turn so do the vendors under consideration," Bailey suggested.

    Thorough testing leads to sound decision-making
    With so many options to consider, organizations planning any cloud deployment should try to find a way to compare the available services prior to launch. Doing so provides adopters insight into how their businesses will succeed when critical assets are transitioned to cloud environments. Some solutions may be less expensive and offer lower TCO, but perhaps operational efficiency is more challenging than the alternatives. It is important to find out which cloud suite is the right fit.

    Organizations that want this necessary insight should seek the help of managed service providers that use cloud migration tools. These systems enable MSPs to determine how applications, servers, networks and data centers perform in hosted environments prior to deployment, making the most informed decisions possible to make sure clients maintain efficiency during the entire implementation process.

    The post Microsoft, RedHat and VMware offer attractive total cost of ownership appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • 2015 is a big year for converged cloud computing market

    The uses of cloud computing have evolved over the years, advancing from cost efficiency, productivity and data accessibility to more critical strategies. Information-Age's Ben Rossi reported organizations now want converged cloud environments to deliver new services and applications to market. This capability is essential for helping brands establish a competitive advantage over their industry rivals.

    The emphasis on converged cloud computing has not replace other considerations for using the technology completely. Rossi wrote companies still want the ability to scale operations to meet ever-changing demands. This desire will remain in 2015. As a result, vendors should offer consulting services to remain competitive in the cloud field this year.

    Rossi indicated service providers may want to communicate with clients on their current IT spending plans, determine their previous spending goals and how these will change throughout 2015. Vendors that do not take this approach will struggle to effectively predict demand and determine how markets are changing based on these analyses.

    What are the trends surrounding converged cloud market?
    Cloud computing has constantly shifted over the years, not only from how businesses leverage the technology, but to which models – public, private or hybrid – are en vogue. Today, it appears hybrid environments are among the most influential trends to the converged sector. Rossi explained hybrid suites are driving the growth of certain technologies including flash.

    Hybrid models, on-site private solutions and software-defined architectures can benefit from converged clouds because they offer automation and SD-network functionality. For vendors and resellers to take advantage of these tools and trends, Rossi indicated both parties will have to work with one another to deliver IT- and-cloud consultancy.

    Regardless of cloud model, security is often at the forefront of any implementation. Rossi emphasized this point, noting vendors and resellers must make sure cloud environments function simply and securely.

    Otherwise, breaches may occur, leading to compliance fines, unwanted news coverage and loss of trust among clients and customers whose data is exposed during these incidents.

    Cloud computing exceeding companies' expectations
    As Rossi touched on, the traditional and popular reasons behind cloud computing adoption are not going anywhere. The desire to adopt the service to facilitate productivity and reduce operating costs is still strong even as more firms look to converged environments. A Tata Communications survey discovered 85 percent of organizations believe the cloud has matched the hype, with nearly one-quarter of respondents asserting the service has exceeded their expectations. A similar percentage of companies have experienced unexpected advantages, including productivity, improved data access and cost reductions, eWEEK reported.

    In an interview with the news source, John Hayduk, chief technology officer of Tata Communications, said cloud solutions are supporting IT standardization practices.

    "So tasks like creating a server can be done virtually, and not require any real human intervention to connect or install a server," Hayduk told eWEEK. "In the cloud application space, you simply have to create a commercial relationship to get access to the service and start using. Gone are the days of getting software, installing it, testing it, and then rolling it out to your user base."

    Managed service providers looking for a leg up on the competition when helping clients transition to cloud suites should consider incorporating cloud readiness tools into their offerings. These solutions enable MSPs to determine how customer IT infrastructures will perform in cloud environments before launch, identifying any challenges that may harm efficiency and finding a suitable alternative.

    With the market heading toward more converged cloud assets, MSPs that can support clients' demands and help them successfully and securely implement new cloud applications will be the ones leading their respective industries by keeping customers on track even when the market constantly evolves.

    The post 2015 is a big year for converged cloud computing market appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • Cloud computing may help SMBs transition to modern infrastructure

    Small and medium-sized businesses currently have a lot on their plates. Some are concerned their infrastructures are not secure enough to combat cybersecurity attacks or not modern enough to sustain success. Cloud computing could be one way for SMBs in the United States to address these potential shortcomings.

    CompTIA polled 500 U.S. SMBs and discovered 42 percent cited security as one area in which they must improve. In addition to protecting critical data, SMBs are also eager to use this content to their advantage. The survey found 42 percent of participants want to improve how they accumulate and maintain information.

    "Small businesses are not immune to attacks simply because their data sets are smaller," said CompTIA Technology Analysis Director Seth Robinson. "Cyberattacks stem from a variety of motivations. Attacks of the smallest firms, where defenses are often weak, occur just as often as attacks on larger companies."

    For SMBs to safeguard data and use it in an advantageous fashion, companies will require some upgrades to their core systems. Nearly 40 percent of SMBs admitted to CompTIA their firms must modernize their IT environments. Before the advent of cloud computing, accomplishing this feat may been far more difficult. CompTIA explained, however, businesses can procure affordable cloud solutions to achieve functionality even large enterprises enjoy.

    Cloud offers world of benefits to SMBs​
    Cloud computing is affordable due to its flexible pricing model. SMBs that have purchased on-site hardware may have had to allocate upfront capital investments for the systems, paying flat rates for solutions that could never be used to full capacity. The cloud, on the other hand, is scalable, so firms no longer have to worry about wasting resources during low-traffic periods or not having enough computing power to satisfy peak workloads. All of these updates occur on the server side of the cloud hosting provider.

    In addition to offering subscription packages that can be monthly or longer, SMBs can procure cloud applications through other means. Some vendors include pay-as-you-go models, so clients are only charged for the resources they consume. This service model is ideal for companies that experience fluctuating traffic periods, such as retailers, which are flooded with activity during peak shopping ​seasons and special promotions.

    Companies interested in flexible environments can also make employee productivity even more widespread with cloud computing. Staff members, regardless of location, can use Internet-connected devices to access cloud suites to view the data needed to perform their jobs.

    SMBs are a driving force behind cloud market
    As more SMBs realize their IT infrastructures depend heavily on solutions such as cloud computing, the market for hosted services will undoubtedly increase at a healthy pace. A TechNavio report suggested the global SMB cloud industry will achieve a compound annual growth rate of 20.2 percent between 2014 and 2019.

    The research firm noted SMBs are implementing cloud environments to reduce operating costs and capital investments.

    Despite all of the advantages associated with cloud computing, there are ways that SMBs can experience hiccups with their deployments. The sheer number of different vendors available, as well as the various models, makes every decision critical to achieve efficient implementations.

    Technavio indicated SMBs do not always need the most robust cloud suites. However, they still require personalized suites that account for their unique brands and respective markets.

    Hybrid clouds in particular may support SMBs' specialized demands. Faisal Ghaus, vice president of Technavio, noted vendors are already creating hybrid environments that deliver control over critical corporate assets.

    SMBs eager to achieve successful cloud deployments should seek third-party vendors that take advantage of cloud readiness tools. Service providers with these solutions can determine how customers' critical infrastructure – networks and servers – perform in cloud environments prior to launching suites, so businesses can make the most informed decisions pertaining to products available on behalf of their clients.

    The post Cloud computing may help SMBs transition to modern infrastructure appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • AWS VIDEO: Application Portfolio Migration

    This is a very interesting video from Miha Kralj, Principal Consultant, AWS Professional Services that was presented at AWS re:Invent 2014, this past November.

    What is most interesting is Miha’s take on CMDB applications. Miha stated “CMDB’s lie, if you think you have anything good or meaningful information in your CMBD, good luck. We didn’t find anything of use and don’t trust anything that is in the CMBD. Agents are not really being taken care of in CMDB’s. Most enterprises already have a dynamic virtualized infrastructure, and CMDB’s are just too slow to catch up. CMDB’s are a snap shot in time, and that snap shot in time can’t be done once a week. Enterprises say “that snapshot is two weeks old”. Do you know how much I can spin up and spin down on Amazon in two weeks. That why CMDB’s won’t work to prepare for migrations.”

    We get the question from many analyst, systems integrators and customers as to why they need our tool instead of using their existing CMDB. Miha’s presentation gives a great explanation as to why tools like our CloudScape tool is very valuable during the discovery process and why using it ongoing is critical to ongoing cloud projects

    The post AWS VIDEO: Application Portfolio Migration appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • Cloud computing responsible for fair share of IT infrastructure market

    Cloud computing has taken up a mantle throughout the IT industry, especially in critical market verticals. A new IDC report indicated the technology accounted for one-third of ethernet, disk storage and server infrastructure budgets during the third quarter of 2014. Overall year-over-year cloud revenue for the period improved 16 percent to $6.5 billion, with public clouds accounting for almost half of this figure, achieving 18 percent year-over-year increases.

    Richard Villars, vice president of data​ center and cloud research at IDC, explained public and private cloud computing make up a part of the 3rd Platform, which also includes mobile devices, social networking, and big data and analytics. Cloud solutions are "digital content depots" and "compute factories" that will usher in this next IT phase.

    "Whether internally owned or 'rented' from a service provider, cloud environments are strategic assets that organizations of all types must rely upon to quickly introduce new services of unprecedented scale, speed and scope. Their effective use will garner first-mover advantage to any organization in a hyper-competitive market," Villard said.

    Cloud computing's impact could be even greater
    The amount of organizations using or planning to launch cloud services is already at a healthy level. Should more businesses overcome their data concerns, the sky might be the limit in terms of the technology's adoption rate.

    A joint NCC Group and Vanson Bourne study found 40 percent of companies have not implemented cloud computing yet because of data loss fears. These worries are due primarily to whether cloud environments are offline, with roughly 75 percent of respondents reporting it would take more than one week to incorporate contingency plans following such outages. Another 5 percent noted their recovery time would require between two to three months.

    The interesting part of the survey is that cloud computing can actually enhance disaster recovery if the proper service is available. Cloud environments enable end-users to access corporate content through PCs, tablets and smartphones, so employees can get back to work following a disruption. Firms may be forced to close their offices for a period of time, so having a somewhat productive workforce in place goes a long way toward generating revenue during difficult periods.

    Daniel Liptrott, managing director of NCC Group, noted 2e2, an IT services provider, is the perfect example of how an organization can struggle without the necessary disaster recovery protocols.

    "In a sector where time equates to large sums of money, organizations should ensure that they have comprehensive and effective disaster recovery plans in place to avoid costly delays if something goes wrong," Liptrott added.

    Support your IT infrastructure, disaster recovery with the right cloud model
    Businesses that research potential cloud offerings before any implementation can determine whether certain services offer the necessary data protection. The key to achieving this goal is through testing different cloud environments prior to launch.

    Cloud-readiness tools enable companies to compare services and how their unique IT environments will interact with each solution. First-time adopters that want to minimize any complications with the technology from the start can do so from the beginning of the process with RISC Networks CloudScape.

    The post Cloud computing responsible for fair share of IT infrastructure market appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • 451 Research Report on RISC Networks

    Earlier this week, Mr. Owen Rogers of 451 Research released a report on our company, titled RISC Networks aims to help its partners act as trusted cloud advisors, this is the second report Mr. Rogers has written about RISC Networks. It is great to see the analyst community see the values that our products can contribute to the partner community.

    This report indicates that ninety-nine percent of our revenue comes from our partners, which is primarily because our assessment and analytics platform is designed for system integrators, managed service providers, cloud providers and technology providers like Cisco Systems, HP, VMware and others like them. We launched our Cloudscape product to market earlier this year, but are finding that although the benefits span from the systems integrator through to the IT organization at their client, it is best situated for SI’s, Cloud Providers and Data Center providers.

    Mr. Rogers stated in his report “by embedding cloud-assessment tools within enterprises, CIOs can assess their options on an ongoing basis, taking into account different workloads, applications, cloud providers and cost benefits”. We believe our partners and future partners can add a tremendous value to their clients by giving these medium to large enterprises a clear picture of their current environment and to help them identify ideal candidates for cloud and/or data center moves.

    The RISC Networks technology offers much more than the traditional network or cloud assessment, many of our current clients and partners have said things such as “the RISC Networks cloud assessment delivered us more information than we have ever before and will help us execute our cloud strategy”. Our platforms ability to compare and model cloud provider pricing using the clients existing infrastructure usage and performance, build models for data center implementations, map applications dependencies using netstat and network flow data, build a network impact analysis for cloud moves, construct cloud migration move groups and plans, and much more is entirely unique in the industry.

    We tend to agree with Mr. Rogers comment “With partners, customers, revenue and profits, RISC seems to be onto something good”. Moving into 2015, our partners and clients will see some amazing changes that will strengthen our relationships with our existing partners and open up a lot of opportunity with new partners.We continue to develop our assessment and analytics technology in network infrastructure, data center, and cloud computing areas, because those are the areas that we see our partners needed the most assistance with. /p>

    If you are a systems integrator, cloud provider, data center operator, managed service provider or technology provider (Dell, HP, Lenovo, VMware, Cisco, etc.), I would encourage you to check out Mr. Rogers report and go to our CloudScape page.

    The post 451 Research Report on RISC Networks appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • Cloud computing is the backbone of Web-scale IT

    Cloud computing is the foundation of many operations, including Web-scale IT. Cameron Haight, research vice president at Gartner, recently explained the term was founded by the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix and Rackspace. The tech model improves service delivery capabilities, enabling smaller businesses to directly compete with larger enterprises.

    "Gartner has identified six elements to Web-scale IT: industrially-designed data centers, Web-oriented (or microservices) architectures, programmable management, velocity-focused processes, a collaborative organization style, and an innovation-centric and learning culture," Haight said.

    Companies with Web-scale hardware can take advantage of affordable solutions that offer more computing power and storage capacity compared to other options. Haight added this equipment is also effective at addressing infrastructure failure, since businesses can replace nodes if one breaks.

    This scalability is a welcome addition for organizations, especially small businesses that must compete with much larger brands. Haight noted smaller companies with Web-scale IT can essentially achieve "higher IT velocity" than the competition, taking advantage of new market trends before their rivals.

    Firms with a combination of on-premise equipment and cloud services should be able to implement their own brand of Web-scale IT, according to Haight.

    Successful businesses will be cloud users, survey suggests
    Small companies that embrace Web-scale IT can hold their own against even larger counterparts if they play their cards right. Cloud computing will remain a key building block in helping businesses accomplish this goal for the foreseeable future, according to a Canopy survey.

    The study polled chief financial officers and chief information officers regarding their stance on cloud computing and the technology's impact on their companies. Of the CFOs polled, 75 percent are concerned their organizations will fall behind in their markets if they lack access to cloud-based infrastructure and applications.

    A total of 70 percent of both CIOs and CFOs fear their companies will be uncompetitive at some point in the near future, with more than three-quarters expecting this situation to rear its head as early as the end of 2015.

    Cloud computing the gateway to digital transformation
    Organizations without forward-thinking strategies will be unable to succeed in their highly competitive markets. Cloud computing is a technology that can help these firms migrate to the digital frontier.

    Jacques Pommeraud, CEO of Canopy, asserted digital solutions such as the cloud must be in companies' DNA to gain market share and achieve maximum revenue. Businesses in specific industries – manufacturing, retail and hospitality – can leverage digital technologies to find new revenue opportunities.

    "One of the keys to unlocking digital transformation is cloud computing. From the work we're doing with clients, we're seeing that it has the power to create revenue by making the customer journey effortless across any device, enables faster customer sign-ups so they'll spend sooner and support real-time analytics to make more accurate targeting decisions," Pommeraud explained.

    Pommeraud added the most innovative companies will be the ones to use cloud computing and analytics to discover new revenue streams.

    Take measured approach to cloud deployments
    Businesses planning a cloud implementation in the near future can achieve a smooth transition if they put in the effort before making any final decision. Cloud readiness tools enable adopters to test how various cloud services will impact their networks and other mission-critical IT infrastructure.

    Such solutions are essential for companies that want to avoid choosing cloud environments that may be cost-effective, but do not deliver consistent efficiency on a daily basis. There are plenty of affordable cloud services available. It is all about finding the right fit, however, which can be accomplished through cloud readiness suites.

    The post Cloud computing is the backbone of Web-scale IT appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • Cloud computing among top IT projects for 2015

    Corporate decision-makers believe cloud computing will account for its fair share of projects in 2015. TechTarget’s recent IT Salary and Careers Survey discovered 21 percent of CIOs said the cloud will receive the majority of their companies’ attention next year, while the same percentage listed security.

    Perhaps the most surprising finding of the survey was the decline in mobile projects. In 2013, these initiatives were No. 2 among those executives polled. In 2015, they will be No. 5 with 14 percent of the vote.
    Sasi Pillay, CIO and associate vice president at the University of Wisconsin System, however, asserted mobile technology is still a key cog in CIOs IT projects.

    “You mention security and cloud as top focus areas, but you can’t have success in those areas without mobile [technology],” Pillay said, as quoted by the TechTarget study. “It’s all connected – cloud, security, mobile, data. Information is accessed on mobile devices from the cloud and you need application and data security.”

    The beauty of adopting the cloud in general is that companies no longer have to manage critical infrastructure themselves. Anthony Peters, director of Burr Pilger Mayer Inc, explained his organization lacked the in-house personnel to effectively integrate data sources. To overcome this problem, the firm opted for a cloud system
    Disaster recovery, business continuity also among top projects.

    Although CIOs listed disaster recovery and businesses continuity as a top five IT projects for 2015, these initiatives declined from third place in 2013. However, businesses still understand the importance of safeguarding corporate data and quickly responding to restore operations following disruptions.

    Cloud computing in particular is an effective disaster recovery and business continuity solution. The technology enables organizations to migrate mission-critical data and applications to cloud environments, which are available through the Internet. Employees can access work documents using PCs, laptops and smartphones to remain productive even if they are unable to come into the office.

    Cloud services are no longer merely luxuries for companies. The solutions offer a broad range of functionality not present with other tools. Firms that have yet to adopt the technology may quickly find there are simply too many advantages to replacing legacy equipment in favor of flexible and affordable environments.
    Once skeptics put their concerns aside and make the move to the cloud, the market for cloud models could reach even more impressive levels in the future.

    The post Cloud computing among top IT projects for 2015 appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • What’s the IT forecast look like? Cloudy with a chance of more clouds

    There's a strong chance that most companies have at least heard of cloud computing by now. There's also a strong possibility that many businesses worldwide have already adopted the technology or are planning to do so in the near future, as a way to replace antiquated IT systems, promote employee collaboration and reduce operating costs, all while outsourcing management of these environments to a third-party vendor. Now, firms can focus on their brands instead of tech-related maintenance.

    Organizations that have kept cloud solutions at arm's length are doing themselves a disservice if they continue down this path. The fact of the matter is that more companies will be cloud users soon enough, meaning those on the outside looking in will be in this position until they make the switch. Businesses assertive in their stance that their on-site systems are fine don't have to move all in with a cloud deployment – migrating mission-critical data and a few applications to a hosted environment to put the solution through its paces.

    Firms not happy with the technology can simply end their subscription with the service and go back to normal. But organizations owe it to themselves to at least give the cloud a chance because, before long, they will be in the minority when it comes to using the technology.

    North Bridge Venture Partners, Gigaom Research and 72 collaborating firms found adoption of the cloud has never been higher during its research that spans four studies over four years.

    "With four years of data, we're now really beginning to see some interesting trends, such as the five-fold increase in SaaS adoption to 74 percent and the nearly six-fold increase in PaaS adoption to 41 percent." said Michael Skok, founder of the Future of Cloud program and general partner at North Bridge.

    Businesses, execs hoping cloud delivers results
    Decision-makers must always be ready to establish long-term roadmaps that set their businesses on a successful path. The survey found nearly 50 percent of respondents are using the cloud to create new products and generate revenue. Another 45 percent of participants plan to or already operate their companies from a cloud-based environment.

    David Card, vice president of Gigaom, said "long-suffering IT execs" are benefiting from the latest cloud innovations, especially in terms of offloading functions and instead focusing on new business objectives.

    Data security is perhaps the only inhibitor of the cloud's momentum at the moment. The survey found 49 percent of respondents cited this concern as a problem area. The report indicated vendors that rise above the competition and communicate with customers about their corporate safeguards can set themselves apart from their rivals by gaining client trust.

    Are the security concerns overblown?
    The cloud's security is often a hot debate topic, due primarily to the fact that information is no longer stored at a company's office. Such content is now located at an off-site location and managed by another company. However, the locale of this data is actually its greatest strength.

    For example, data backed up on disks, tapes and external hard drives can be misplaced, stolen or damaged during natural disasters. Companies that migrate information and applications to a cloud environment do not have to worry about such incidents if these resources are accessible through the Internet.

    Any cloud vendor that wants to remain in business for the long run will undoubtedly offer encryption services to safeguard customer content, allowing only authorized personnel to access data and apps.

    It's never easy for an organization so used to operating a certain way to make a major corporate shift. However, the knocks against cloud computing no longer hold as much weight as they used to, making the technology a perfect way for companies to sustain success for years to come.

    The post What’s the IT forecast look like? Cloudy with a chance of more clouds appeared first on RISC Networks.