May 20, 2013
Volume XLIII, Issue 11
CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2013 Ongoing Now
Come to CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2013 (CCE:2013), which continues through Tuesday May 21st at the Marriott Boston Copley Place in Boston, MA.
CCE:2013 is focusing on the use of cloud-based technologies by government, healthcare, and financial services to revolutionize business processes, increase efficiency, and streamline costs.
Learn about attendance options here.
On Monday morning, keynote and panel sessions include Stefan Bewley, Altman Vilandrie; Matt Stevens, AppNeta; Jason Warman, Aspera; Larry Freedman, Edwards Wildman Palmer; Fabian Gordon, Ignite Technologies; Dan Rooney, Kronos; Brad Maltz, Lumenate; Joe Foxton, MediaSilo; Larry Veino, Presidio; Brian Benfer & Cameron Jahn, ShareFile; and Omar Torres, VeriStor.
Aiter a pace-changing workshop entitled Take the Bore out of Boardroom by Wes and Amy Peper, and conference luncheon, attendees will have the opportunity to choose from among three event tracks offering panel discussions and case studies including the following speakers.
Nicole Nakashian, Agio; David Cerf, Crossroads Systems; Mike Dinsdale, Docusign; Pete Manca, Egenera; Brian Campanotti, Front Porch Digital; Jamie Brenzel, KineticD; Brad Maltz, Lumenate; Scott Swartz, MetraTech; Yung Chou, Microsoft; Kevin Nyberg, NaviSite; Arwin Holmes, NorthPoint, Doug Natal, Oracle, Chris Christy & Marlyn Zelkowitz, SAP America; Peter Spellman, TraceLink; Erik Salazar, Unitas Global; Amit Khanna, Virtusa; and Adam Firestone, WSO2.
At day's end, there will be a networking reception in the Exhibit Hall.
On Tuesday morning, we'll continue our in-depth examinations of the subject matter with such speakers as Doug Barbin, BrightLine; Brian Benfer, Citrix; David Linthicum, Cloud Technology Partners; Tom Mountcastle, CSC Leasing; Chris Poelker, FalconStor; Daniel Beazer, FireHost; Whitney Vickrey, GCE; Owen DeLong, Hurricane Electric; Mark Lundin, KPMG; Praveen Lobo & David Wayne, Lumedx; Russ Hertzberg, SoftServe; Jim Duval, Telestream; and Gerry Stegmaier, WSGR.
After a working luncheon that will feature solution provider showcase demonstrations, keynotes and panels will continue with James Mitchell, Cloud Options; Kenny Li, Cloud Spectator; Geof Griebel, Eoscene Corporation; Yesica Schaaf, IBM; Jonathan Chisholm, Iron Mountain; Esmeralda Swartz, MetraTech; Allan McLennan, PADEM Group; Jaye Connolly, PathCentral; Jay Gleason, Sprint; Mark Levitt, Strategy Analytics; Mohamad Ali, Wexford Health Sources; and Brian Drewes, ZYNC Render.
Platinum sponsors for CCE:2013 include Citrix Systems and ShareFile, and gold sponsors are A10 Networks, Aspera, FalconStor, MetraTech, and VeriStor. Silver sponsors include AppNeta, Ce3, CSC Leasing, Lumenate, NaviSite, Presidio, SoftServe, and Virtusa.
Associate Sponsors for CCE are Apptix, Aspiryon, CommVault, Cloud Options, Edwards Wildman Palmer, Ignite Technologies, Infoblox, and Permabit Technology Corporation.
Register now to attend CCE:2013.
Fusion PPT CEO Keynotes at CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2013
Fusion PPT, a recognized cloud computing strategy and technology firm, announced today that CEO Michael Biddick will be a featured keynote speaker at CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2013 (CCE:2013) in Boston, MA.
The CCE:2013 conference, sponsored by the Cloud Computing Association (CCA) and the Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA) is now taking place and continues through Tuesday the 21st. Biddick, an expert in cloud computing and government solutions who has written over 50 articles and a book on federal government cloud computing, will present a case study keynote on government cloud computing deployments during a panel discussion on Government Cloud Models.
Biddick will explore several government public, private, and hybrid cloud case studies, including goals, obstacles, and solutions. Panelists will examine how cloud computing is being used to increase effectiveness, reduce costs, and improve efficiency in the Government sector and discuss what lessons there are to be learned that will benefit Government Agencies and professionals. Topics of discussion will include: emerging market trends relevant to Government Agency needs; efforts to enable cloud computing interoperability and portability within government; cloud broker technology; reducing the risk of cloud computing vendor lock-in; and where the cloud computing industry is heading to meet government needs
Biddick's presentation, part of the "Cloud Computing for Government (gCLOUD)" track at the conference, will be held at 4:50 PM at the Marriott Boston Copley Place on Monday, May 20th.
Come to this session armed with your questions. Participants in the session will have the opportunity to submit questions directly to Biddick and fellow panelists for a live Q&A session at the end of each presentation.
To register for this event, please click here.
PathCentral CEO to Explore Future of the Cloud at Prestigious Event
"There is perhaps no business enterprise that is larger — and at the same time, more fragmented and technologically disconnected — than the American healthcare industry."
So observes the Cloud Computing Association, co-host of CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2013 (CCE:2013) with the Distributed Computing Industry Association ongoing in Boston through May 21. At the event, PathCentral CEO Jaye Connolly will explore how healthcare organizations can deploy cloud-based solutions to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and deliver consistently better outcomes for patients and healthcare institutions alike.
PathCentral is a technology-enabled company dedicated to the success of the international pathology community. The company was recently named a finalist in the Health and Medical Technologies category for the 2013 TechAmerica Foundation American Technology Awards (ATAs).
"The strategic value of cloud computing lies in its ability to bring medical professionals together, from all over the planet, for an unprecedented level of sharing," Connolly said. "The trickle down benefits are immense — not just for a given physician or researcher, but also for the secondary audiences they affect: other specialists, academics, hospitals, the broader medical community, and, of course, patients."
A seasoned financial expert with strong acumen in both healthcare and technology, Jaye Connolly serves as Chief Executive Officer of PathCentral. Connolly is responsible for executive oversight of the company, a web-based anatomic pathology IT solutions provider serving community pathologists around the globe. Connolly has demonstrated leadership across a variety of roles at the intersection of finance and healthcare IT, diagnostic imaging, clinical laboratory, physician practice management and hospital services.
Cloud Computing — the practice of using a distributed network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage and process data — is revolutionizing the way virtually every sector of the economy does business. Spending on information technology (IT) products & services exceeded $2 trillion globally.
As recently as 2011, global spending on cloud-based technologies represented a small fraction of that — $28 billion.
However, by the end of 2012, that number exceeded $50 billion, and according to a recent study, spending on cloud-based technologies will grow by more than 70 percent per year, creating in excess of 213,000 new jobs each year for at least the next five years.
Three sectors of the economy are leading the way in adopting cloud-based IT solutions: government, healthcare and financial services.
Report from CEO Marty Lafferty
At CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2013 (CCE:2013), we're addressing the many ways cloud computing brings a fresh approach to an ever present challenge for the healthcare, government, and financial services sectors: how to add new services for users, developers, and IT departments quickly and effectively.
The conventional response would be to expand infrastructure: buy new servers, increase software costs, and provision more data-center capacity.
But if you choose the alternative of the cloud: you just pay for the bandwidth and server resources that you need. And when your push is done, you turn the whole thing off.
High profile skeptics of "the cloud as panacea" have included Larry Ellison, who said, "We've now defined cloud computing to include everything we already do. Our industry is more trend-driven than the fashion industry. I have no idea what anyone's talking about. It's complete gibberish. It's insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?"
And indeed, we are probably guilty of ascribing the potential benefits of cloud computing to everything and the kitchen sink.
But the fact is you are probably already in the cloud. If you use Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa, Google, Bing, Google Docs, or Quicken, congratulations, you're in the cloud.
There are four basic attributes of cloud computing: it's virtual; it's scalable; it's efficient; and it's flexible.
Understanding cloud architecture gets more involved with a number of strategic considerations.
A simpler way to look at this is from the perspective of the end-user - whose access to a web app is accomplished by interfacing through cloud servers.
One of the best cloud definitions comes from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It includes five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.
Private cloud data centers are internal to an enterprise, and may connect to external public clouds, whose data centers support many customers, and may also include virtual private clouds.
Hybrid clouds combine private on-premises with public off-premises clouds.
Cloud service models typically are geared towards certain types of users. SaaS offers applications to end-users. PaaS supports execution platforms for developers, and IaaS provides infrastructure for IT operations.
In each case, the enabling technology delivers the cloud solution at scale, and in some cases all of them as a unified service.
The classic cloud service pyramid moves down from narrow niches to increasing breadth and scope.
Looking at SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS more closely, SaaS is increasingly popular with small-to-midsize enterprises because there is no hardware or software to manage and the service is delivered through a browser..
PaaS is attractive because platforms are built on infrastructure, which is expensive, and since estimating demand is not even close to a science, platform management isn't exactly fun.
IaaS more broadly involves the infrastructure stack comprising operating system access, firewalls, routers, and load balancing
Common factors for all of these include pay-per-use, scalability, security, reliability, and APIs.
And advantages include lower cost of ownership, reduced infrastructure management responsibility, the ability to allow for unexpected resource loads, and faster application rollout.
These are derived from being multi-tenanted, leveraging virtualization, basic economies of scale, and using an automated update policy.
A core economic benefit to cloud users comes from paying by actual use instead of provisioning for peak usage. By having the available capacity of data center resources more closely match demand over time, the waste of unused resources can be largely eliminated.
In basic terms, cloud economics address the fundamental risk of data center capacity over-provisioning, which is under-utilization.
And what may not be so obvious, they also address the penalties for under-provisioning: lost revenue and, arguably worse, lost users who over time need to find alternatives if their demand for computing resources is not met.
So what are the risks? The greatest is security - having proprietary and confidential data in the hands of a third party; plus downtime, access concerns, dependency on a mission critical vendor, and interoperability with other computing functions.
But these are mitigated by six compelling properties of cloud computing: it is user-centric, task-centric, powerful, accessible, intelligent, and programmable.
It's critical to weigh both the pros and cons: scale and cost versus questions of security; encapsulated change management versus being locked-up with a vendor; next generation architectures versus reliability concerns; and choice and agility in many areas versus a lack of control in some others.
Delegates will leave CCE:2013 with specific ideas about how to implement a unified strategy for architecting and deploying software in the cloud. Please click here to register now. Share wisely, and take care.
DoD Works to Fortify Cloud, Acquisition, Data Processes
Excerpted from American Forces Press Service Report by Amaani Lyle
The Defense Department is taking bold steps to provide sound information and proper analysis as it fortifies its cloud computing, acquisition and data processes, a senior Pentagon official said here yesterday.
Mark Krzysko, DoD's deputy director for acquisition resource analysis and enterprise information, explained the effort in remarks during a government technology conference.
Krzysko said cloud computing is among several new ways to provide decision-makers timely access to accurate, authoritative and reliable information.
"The technology, architecture framework and data management constructs the cloud can bring to us create 'app-like' thinking that enables us to move faster and forward more data sources out," he said. The concept builds on an initiative begun in 2008 to streamline the acquisitions process, he added.
As an ever-increasing number of people continue to fuse data on mobile phones every day, Krzysko said, cloud computing should and will be the paradigm shift for the DoD as well. The challenge, he added, lies not only in deciphering how to make technology and cloud information work together, but also in how to best orchestrate the transition from a desktop environment to a mobile one while maintaining data security and integrity.
"It is pretty much a known … intractable problem, so it gives us the opportunity to experiment … and create an organization to manage data and delivery in support of the decision-makers," he said. "We're a bit of an enigma in the department, because we're not a program, we're not an initiative, but we are a part of the fabric there."
Krzysko noted various laws that have influenced DoD's efforts, including a mandate to report and certify major acquisitions at various milestones of the process.
"We have to tell Congress that the cost, schedule and performance are right," he said. "We've got an awful lot of things within the policy layer of the department that influence both the processes and, ultimately, the data."
Krzysko cited a success story of processes and data, noting that DOD technology analysts recently accessed PDF and Microsoft Word documents, compiled them, added tags, reviewed encryptions and, in six weeks' time, "had the last year's budget up and running on an Apple iPad."
"We're creating a cadre of people within the defense secretary's office that are experts in acquisition information," Krzysko said.
He stressed that the requirement remains to fully understand the processes, people and policy framework around the technology, data and acquisition evolution.
"We're the fuel in the decision-making process; we are not the decision-making process," Krsysko said. "We are just going to be a well-managed delivery outfit of information the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics can use."
Telefonica Selects MS Office 365
Excerpted from Nasdaq Report
The world's largest software maker Microsoft announced that the telecommunications major, Telefonica, has chosen to deploy Microsoft's Office 365 and Yammer, a social network service, in its offices globally.
The reason for deploying the Office software and Yammer is to equip Telefonica with advanced technologies involving the cloud, which is expected to improve the efficiency of its operations and improve resource allocation. It will also facilitate communication, productivity and collaboration among its 130,000 strong workforce across 24 countries.
Office 365 is sold as a service and therefore generates ongoing revenues for Microsoft instead of a one-time licensing fee. Launched in 2011, the new Office comes with the traditional word processing, spreadsheets and email programs.
Microsoft acquired privately-held Yammer last year for $1.2 billion. Yammer specializes in creating private social networks so employees within the same company can form groups for free interaction.
Microsoft's Office 365 is gaining traction in the market as it recently launched its online version focusing on touch devices. Further, it is being deployed at the stores of retailers such as J. C. Penney and UK-based Tesco as well as government departments such as the Texas Department of Information Resources, which chose the software for inter-departmental activities. The latest to jump on the bandwagon is the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which also signed an MoU with Microsoft.
Further, Microsoft's software is gaining ground in the healthcare sector. The company continues to innovate, launching separate versions for businesses and student communities.
Currently, just like other PC makers, Microsoft is also battling the slump in the PC market caused by the sluggish economy. In addition, the popularity of smart-phones and tablets from Apple and Google are cannibalizing PC market sales, further deteriorating the scenario. Whether it can come out of the slump on the back of its new software and OS is a wait and-see game.
Microsoft reported revenues excluding deferrals of $20.49 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2013, which was down 4.5% sequentially but up 17.7% from last year, more or less in line with our estimates. All segments grew strongly from the year-ago quarter and declined only slightly from the seasonally strong December quarter. Microsoft's Business Division grew both sequentially and year over year.
Saudi Arabia Builds a Healthier Tomorrow With The IBM Cloud
Excerpted from CloudTweaks by Sourya Biswas
Cloud computing can bestow many gifts on businesses — cost efficiencies, performance optimization, mobility — but when it bestows the gift of a healthier future, that is the greatest gift of all. And this is what has led Saudi Arabia to embrace IBM's cloud-based Public Health Solution.
This is not the first time I'm writing about the significant synchronicities between cloud computing and healthcare. From two years back when I wrote about the use of cloud computing to analyze humongous amounts of genetic data to more recently, where I enumerated several free information assets for the healthcare CIO, healthcare on the clouds has featured regularly in my writings.
However, this is the first time that a national government has been so welcoming of this technology. Today, the Saudi Ministry of Health announced the successful implementation of IBM's Public Health Solution for Disease Management in Jeddah, Mekkah, Taif and Qunfudah. This will help public health professionals reduce the spread of communicable disease by improving communications and providing relevant information on demand.
While the implementation was formally announced only today, the IBM SmartCloud-based system has been up and running for the last seven months. During this short time, it has been used by more than 1,200 employees at the Ministry of Health coordinate 180,000-plus immunizations and 1,000-plus investigations. With this system, the entire healthcare system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can function as a seamless whole, yet still be accessible from anywhere.
Here's an example. With the ability to record and forecast immunizations, the technology can also be used to track the exact location of vaccines, down to which refrigerator in each hospital, to ensure enough supply is available. In the event of an outbreak of a serious communicable disease, the system will alert public health officials who will plan and direct actions to protect citizens.
Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister for Public Health, Dr. Ziad Memish said, "IBM's innovative cloud-based healthcare technology serves as the foundation of the Ministry's e-health scheme and infectious disease control program. It will help us improve public health in the Kingdom by keeping people healthier, enhancing vaccination coverage, identifying health issues and taking preventive measures to combat infectious diseases."
It's heartening to see the developing world leveraging the best in technology for the welfare of the general population. While the financial impact of cloud computing on businesses cannot be understated, we cannot forget that adage we have all heard some time in our lives — "Health is Wealth." And even here, cloud computing has a major role to play.
Cloud Computing: Changing The Business Operation Model
Excerpted from Forbes Report by Michael Goodenough
Cloud computing technologies are ubiquitous. While not exactly new technologies, the speed with which they're transforming business models and efficiencies seem to have accelerated over the past few years. The reason for the transformation depends on how the business operates and its specific needs, but there are some major trends that have emerged.
Employees are one of the main driving forces behind many changes related to cloud computing within the business environment. Employees have families, want to work from home or even use devices with which they are most comfortable. Cloud computing has made it easier for remote employees to enjoy all of the benefits of working in an office (collaboration, Hosted Exchange email, access to documents, etc.) while they are working from home or even on the road.
While Yahoo's Marissa Mayer may have made the directive for employees to come into the office, most businesses, on the other hand, are seeing the benefits of allowing their employees to work remotely, namely that those employees are more productive. They're more efficient and willing to work longer hours because they have the privilege and flexibility of working remotely.
For employees that do decide to come into the office, many want to bring their own devices because they prefer or are more familiar with them. Cloud computing is also accelerating the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, allowing employees to virtually "dial into" their corporate systems with their own computers or tablets Cloud computing gives employees these freedoms without IT having to worry about these different machines or the remote access overloading and crashing their on-site infrastructure.
Speaking of IT, cloud computing has unburdened businesses from the traditional IT business model, giving them more options when it comes to their IT infrastructure. In the past, the business/IT model was very straightforward: Businesses hired IT professionals to run their computer hardware and software. The IT staff had to forecast business needs as far out as 5 or 10 years, and make purchases accordingly.
The problem with this business/IT model was that oftentimes the forecasts were wrong. We've all heard horror stories of IT forecasting. For example, IT may forecast that a business will only need a certain amount of data storage for the next five years and only purchase the forecasted amount, without considering growth, more personnel or even just more demand on the system. Then after only a year, IT realizes that they're on the verge of running out of storage and need to purchase more.
With cloud computing, you never have to worry about running out of storage or server capacity, resulting in major cost savings. While you still need to forecast the amount of storage or server capacity that you may need, you no longer have to be overly concerned about the capital expense of scaling up your needs if you do require more space or capacity. It's far less expensive and less of a hassle to increase cloud storage and cloud server needs than on-site infrastructure. You still need IT for many functions, but cloud computing may actually result in less of a need for a full-blown IT staff. You'll be outsourcing most of your activity to a cloud vendor. While your IT staff may not be as robust in the past, they're still necessary for business innovation. With standard maintenance and upgrades off of their plate, IT professionals can find time to create new technologies and products for your company. Take the Toyota example.
In a recent article by Julie Bort "To Understand Just How Much the Cloud Will Change the World, Look at Toyota" on Business Insider, she profiled Zack Hicks, Toyota's CIO, North America. Hicks has been leading the efforts at Toyota to embrace cloud computing, including moving his entire team to Microsoft MSFT +2.29% Office 365, which includes Hosted Exchange Email and Microsoft Office, and a number of other cloud applications to improve productivity. The real advantage of using this type of software is that the team no longer has to worry about day-to-day maintenance of software, including verifying that everyone is using the same version of email.
These cloud applications have allowed Toyota to streamline their business, providing their IT teams with more flexibility to actually create new technologies for their cars. Hicks sees cars as the next type of connected platform with a whole range of technologies to help people in their day-to-day lives, including: semi-autonomous vehicles that can help the elderly get around; steering wheels that "can measure your heartbeat, respiration, blood-sugar levels, and send it to a doctor;" and cars that can send an alert if a driver's health condition has become unsafe and needs medical help.
Another way that cloud computing has changed business models is in the way that you interact with customers. It gives you the flexibility to immediately react to customer needs as soon as the customer wants you to. Customers no longer wait for business hours to shop for products or get the services that they need. They expect it 24/7. Plus, they want a more robust experience that often means websites with videos, tools and interactive presentations. Most medium to small businesses don't have the internal bandwidth to host these interactive files.
Outsourcing your interactive data to a cloud vendor ensures that you have enough capacity to not only store these files, but guarantee that customers can download or view the files at higher speeds from a secure cloud computing platform.
How a Best Practices Registry Could Make Cloud Safer
Excerpted from USA Today Report by Jim Reavis
For several years, it has seemed as though computers have played a role in virtually every part of our lives. However, we stand upon the precipice of a truly profound explosion in the growth of computing. From iPhones to tablets to self-driving cars (!) to the electrical grid, conservative projections peg the number of Internet-connected devices to rise from 8 billion today to over 100 billion by 2020
Controlling these devices and managing our information are the massive server farms at Amazon, Google, Microsoft and elsewhere, creating a global compute utility called cloud computing, or more simply, the Cloud, which is expanding at a similar pace. It is impossible to predict all of the good and bad that will result from this massive growth, but it is possible to orient ourselves around a technology-friendly, global point of view to manage the problems as they emerge.
Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), an international not-for-profit organization with over 44,000 members, is building an ecosystem to create trust and confidence in the cloud based upon vendor-neutral best practices research conducted by a global constituency.
Like a utility, the Cloud is always on and available. Also like a utility, nations around the world are scrambling to understand how to regulate the Cloud. While much of this is well meaning and some of it is quite good, it is simply impossible to adequately govern an entity that is changing itself by the nanosecond by regulations alone.
Cloud certainly needs to be governed by the rule law, even though the problem of writing technology-friendly laws that do not become obsolete will become increasingly difficult. The desire to make these massive data centers that potentially store everything about us accountable to the citizens is certainly laudable. CSA believes that a major part of the solution lies in the words that US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote exactly 100 years ago in pursuit of greater transparency in the United States, "sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants".
One of the fascinating changes in our consumption of news is how fast events get reported in social media or Twitter. While they are often forums for incorrect information initially, the weight of the community seems to always get it right in the end. We think this dynamic and transparent force is the ideal means to help police the cloud.
CSA created a voluntary program for cloud providers called STAR, which stands for the Security, Trust and Assurance Registry (www.cloudsecurityalliance.org/star). All we ask is that cloud providers publish their compliance to our security best practices and publish this information in our registry for all to see. While still in its infancy, we have many of the major cloud providers already listed.
Many relayed to us that they sweated this process out more than a typical audit, because they knew the information would be made public. Indeed, the legal counsel at some cloud providers has prevented their appearance in this voluntary registry entirely over concerns about the liability of public disclosure. Public pressure will make that a losing proposition.
We think that curating social media's response to how cloud providers use STAR to post changes in security practices, privacy policies, user terms and conditions is an ideal way to police the cloud in real time instead of waiting for the next government action. We can learn from the community and use it directly to issue new guidance that is appropriate and timely.
Massive cloud providers have potential for great power. To see government regulation as the only check to that power is misguided. Let's tap into the potential of the community. Not only do we see this as effective, but it is the right thing to do. Consumers have a right to some of Justice Brandeis' "sunlight" shining on the cloud providers that hold so much of our personal information.
Cloud Computing Could Transform Foreign Aid
Excerpted from NextGov Report by Joseph Marks
The next agency to invest heavily in the cloud may be the US Agency for International Development.
The agency is in the market for a flexible, cloud-based platform that will allow officials at USAID's mission offices overseas and Washington headquarters to rapidly build new technology, according to solicitation documents posted Tuesday.
Computer-based solutions make up an increasing share of USAID's development assistance and the lack of a single cloud-based network on which to build those tools has led some program offices to build those solutions outside the USAID network, according to the request for information.
A centralized platform will allow agency officials to spend more time focusing on international development goals and less time managing computer platforms, the RFI said. It will also make it easier for mission offices to share new technologies, the RFI said.
"The vision of USAID is to implement a standardized platform for development whereby common applications for Agency usage can be leveraged and adopted enterprise-wide reducing time to market," the RFI said.
A request for information means the agency is merely surveying prospective vendors and hasn't committed to buying any new technology.
Development technology includes things like mobile systems to share information between polling stations to mitigate voter fraud and mapping technology that measures how well aid programs are achieving certain goals such as raising farm yields or improving women's levels of education.
Cloud-based systems store information in distant, massive data centers and allow people to access it via the Internet. Government technology officials have urged agencies to move as much computing as possible to the cloud in recent years both because it makes it easier to access that data remotely and because cloud storage is typically significantly cheaper than storage in on-site data centers.
Officials estimate the government can ultimately shave as much as $5 billion off its $80 billion annual information technology bill by transitioning to cloud computing.
How the Cloud Will Save Hollywood
Excerpted from ReadWrite Report by Robert Jenkins
When The Hunger Games hit theaters in March, 2012, it took the box office by storm, grossing $155 million in revenue - in its opening weekend alone! Needless to say, Lionsgate, the film studio that backed the movie, is eager to get the next installment in the trilogy out the door while the excitement of the first film is still fresh in fans' minds.
Unfortunately, the release of the second movie will take an interminable 20 months after the release of the first film. With such a long lag time, movie executives run the risk of fans losing interest or a new movie franchise clouding the market. In a highly competitive industry, a faster time-to-market could help film studios land rights to the hottest projects.
This begs the question: why hasn't technology helped speed up movie production, appeasing fan excitement and helping Hollywood powerhouses maximize revenue streams?
The answer may lie in the cloud.
The technology processes critical to film production can be a contributing factor to their sluggish schedules. Typically, a film's production environments and the participating service partners are distributed around the globe. For these groups to collaborate, data, film reels, etc., are physically flown around the world as needed. As you can imagine, this is cumbersome, inefficient and costly, and may be one reason movie fans have to wait so long for the next installment of their favorite flicks.
Dispersed environments aren't the only impediment to film production; data complexity and unique production workflows also play a role. Continuous industry innovation, like higher frame rates, 3D, streaming video and computer-generated imaging (CGI) have unleashed an unprecedented influx of data that is difficult for legacy technologies to handle. Just as important, since every movie has unique data and workflow requirements, predicting data capacity needs is a challenge. To avoid over- or under- provisioning while not blowing the budget, media companies need a technology solution that allows for fluctuating demands.
As digital media files grow in size and complexity, media service providers must spend more time and resources developing, transferring, storing and optimizing them. Public cloud-computing services offer a solution to this, providing collaborative ecosystems in which providers can essentially work together under one roof to improve the efficiency of their services, including file conversion, encoding/transcoding, and moving and storing large media files.
Cloud computing offers greater elasticity, instantaneous access and increased collaboration to the media industry. For example, media companies can spin up servers to meet immediate demand and then shut them down when they are no longer needed. This level of elasticity is ideal for the media industry's unique workflows and exploding data volumes, allowing companies to control cost by using only the resources they require for the period they require them.
What's more, with the cloud, it doesn't matter if you're collaborating with partners in even the most remote corners of the world - as long as they have a good Internet connection.
Lastly, as more media companies leverage the cloud, the opportunities for collaboration will only increase, adding value and mutual benefits for all participating organizations. Moviegoers, meanwhile, can look forward to seeing better-made films faster than ever before! After all, who wants to wait until November 2013 to see part two of The Hunger Games trilogy?
Coming Events of Interest
CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2013 - May 19th-21st in Boston, MA. CCE:2013 will focus on three major sectors, GOVERNMENT, HEALTHCARE, and FINANCIAL SERVICES, whose use of cloud-based technologies is revolutionizing business processes, increasing efficiency and streamlining costs.
Cloud World Forum - June 26th-27th in London, England. The Cloud World Forum offers a comprehensive agenda and speaker line-up from the cloud sector, making it an ideal platform for global authorities to present their "how-to" strategy and vision. Many recognized headline participants along with detailed coverage of the enterprise IT market.
Cloud Computing Summit - July 16th-17th in Bradenton, South Africa. Advance your awareness of the latest trends and innovations from the world of cloud computing. This year's ITWeb-sponsored event will focus on key advances relating to the infrastructure, operations, and available services through the global network.
NordiCloud 2013 - September 1st-3rd in Oslo, Norway. The Nordic Symposium on Cloud Computing & Internet Technologies (NordiCloud) aims at providing an industrial and scientific forum for enhancing collaboration between industry and academic communities from Nordic and Baltic countries in the area of Cloud Computing and Internet Technologies.
P2P 2013: IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing - September 9th-11th in Trento, Italy. The IEEE P2P Conference is a forum to present and discuss all aspects of mostly decentralized, large-scale distributed systems and applications. This forum furthers the state-of-the-art in the design and analysis of large-scale distributed applications and systems.
CLOUD COMPUTING WEST 2013 — October 27th-29th in Las Vegas, NV. Three conference tracks will zero in on the latest advances in applying cloud-based solutions to all aspects of high-value entertainment content production, storage, and delivery; the impact of cloud services on broadband network management and economics; and evaluating and investing in cloud computing services providers.