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Showing posts from 2010

Microsoft server application virtualisation

I see Microsoft has released a test version of Server App-V which enables individual server roles to be run on top of a virtual machine - particularly Microsoft Azure.

This confirms in my mind that Microsoft has one of the strongest cloud visions of all the Tier 1 vendors. They provide all layers of the stack - IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. This particular move makes a lot of sense to me as you're taking away the need to manage the operating system so much and instead manage the application. The more abstraction you get, means less cost to maintain.

(As a primer for those who don't know much about App-V it started as a technology to publish virtual desktop applications. To me this makes more sense than a fully think desktop as you already have the grunt  on the desktop and you can push out individual apps and that way you can run new technology e.g. Windows 7 but still run your XP dependent apps if needed).

Thanks to Mary-Jo Foley for the heads-up. I also have some overview of Microsof…

Privacy and social network aggregation

In the last couple of days I tried out a new service from a subsidiary of a multi-billion dollar company that made me want to stomp on it and crush it. Harsh words I know but the way this service abused privacy was just astounding.

This device enabled you to touch another persons device and then it would share your contact details, including relevant social networks. All sounds fine and just a modern version of a business card surely?

The problem was two fold - the first problem was that you could not decide on a person by person basis what contact details you want to share. I can't think of many people that I would want to share all my phone numbers, email (work and personal), LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook details with - I would always want to give a subset of my data with to each person. What's also scary is that this company is in the location based scenario.... So is there future roadmap that you share all your details and where you are?

And it gets worse. The way it link…

Amazon does SSL termination

Amazon has had a viable cloud strategy with AWS for quite a while now as I have discussed on my website.
They have now introduced SSL termination which is a big help when it comes to e-commerce/secure websites.
What is SSL termination and why is it important? Well with Amazon you've been able to distribute traffic to a number of your servers automatically using their ELB (Elastic Load Balancer). You can even use auto scaling to add extra servers automatically if you want!
The problem is that until now this has not worked for decrypting HTTPS traffic (SSL termination). This generally has made things quite hard and you've had to work around by directing to a single node, have multiple certificates or complex configuration.
Now the ELB does the HTTPS encryption/decryption and can then direct the traffic to any node as it does with unencrypted traffic. If you want to know all the gory details have a look at the AWS blog here.
As a side note - if you want to learn more about starting th…

Is 3Par worth $2 billion?

After seeing all the news around 3Par I started to wonder whether they are really worth $2 billion considering I had never heard of them before.

The primary benefits I can see of 3Par are: simplification of storage managementthin provisioning

From a pure financial point of view the deal doesn't make sense - their sales were just under $200 million in the last year and I am quite confident that you could build a similar set of products for less than $2 billion.

Conspicuous by it's absence in the bidding are IBM, HDS, Oracle, and EMC. They have either decided it is too expensive or already have something similar under development.

The other thing to consider is that we have two heavyweights in HP and Dell doing the bidding. It is interesting in itself that they aren't being considered for acquisition by a smaller player. I believe that the reason for this is that a smaller company would realise you can build a competitor for much less. Many large companies have forgotten the a…

Nice update on Azure

Mary-Jo Foley from ZDNet has posted a nice update on where Microsoft Azure is at. Wander over here to have a look and see page 2 in particular for a nice system architecture drawing.

Microsoft begins adding single-sign on support to its Azure cloud

Interesting article here about Microsoft adding SSO support to Azure cloud including things such as Google and OpenID.

They are showing pretty serious intent with all of this. Great to see!

Featured in Outsource magazine

I just got interviewed by Outsource magazine today and the interview is up here.

At the moment I'm even up on the front page of their website!

OpenStack

Great to see the launch of OpenStack being announced. This is a great idea for everything in the cloud stack to be open sourced, including management tools, provisioning etc. This does really fulfil the things Open Cloud Manifesto is asking for.

This is being backed up by many leading companies which is great to see. To find out more go have a look at their website or see Glyn Moody's article which has many good links.

Microsoft increases the pace of their cloud offerings

Microsoft have realised for a while that they cannot be left behind by the cloud and have put a lot of efforts into areas such as Azure. Today they went further with the announcing of Aurora and further updates on other projects.

Steve Ballmer came out and said that partners shouldn't find this and enable their customers to move to the cloud. He is absolutely right here as Google Apps becomes increasingly viable to many firms.

Aurora is a version of Microsoft Small Business Server which allows services such as Exchange and Sharepoint to be run in the cloud. This makes a lot of sense as running a mail server or Sharepoint server is a lot of work and causes the most problems. Essentially Aurora will just be an Active Directory logon server with local storage which appears to be backed up in the cloud, and this provides authentication onto Microsoft hosted servers. I believe that in 5 years about 30-40% of organisations run their mail in the cloud and in 10 years it will be about 90%…

State of the cloud

I've just finished putting together an article on the state of the cloud. You can go over and read it here.

Supporting the Open Cloud Manifesto

Over on the Symbian Blog you can see a new post by me about Symbian supporting the Open Cloud Manifesto.

Openness is going to be an increasing issue as more people move to the cloud. Just as closed virtualisation formats hurts enterprises with a mixture of formats, so does closed clouds.

One thing that is interesting is who has, and who hasn't supported the manifesto. It is a real shame not to see Amazon, Google or Microsoft in the list. It is encouraging to see Rackspace there though as they are proving to be a strong player in the cloud also. IBM, HP, VMWare are on the list - but they don't have much cloud market share yet (VMWare does have mind share though). My take on this is that the big players who have not yet locked in market share are wanting to be open so they can stay in the game, and the ones that do have market share (with exception of Rackspace) are just not interested.

Welcome to Next Generation IT blog

Welcome to our new blog for Next Generation IT.

The aim of this blog is to post relevant news and thoughts about what is happening with the next generation of IT, including cloud computing, open source and developing technologies from industry leaders such as Microsoft also.

You can also go over to our site at www.next-genit.co.uk