December 2, 2013
Volume XLVI, Issue 3
Don't Miss CONNECTING TO THE CLOUD at CES
The DCIA will present CONNECTING TO THE CLOUD (CTTC), a Conference within the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), on January 8th in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV.
The CCA is handling sponsorships.
CTTC at CES will highlight the very latest advancements in cloud-based solutions that are now revolutionizing the consumer electronics (CE) sector or — as ABI Research's Sam Rosen referenced that category at CLOUD COMPUTING WEST — the "cloud electronics (CE) sector."
An opening panel moderated by Tanya Curry-McMichael, VP of Strategy and Marketing, Verizon Digital Media Services, will examine "Millennials, Online TV, and Gaming: Now and Tomorrow."
What are the implications of the digital revolution in the way Millennials discover, access, and consume video, music, and gaming content online?
Hear it first-hand from young voices representing leading companies in the digital, social, and tech arenas.
Bhavik Vyas, Media & Entertainment Partner Eco-System Manager, Amazon Web Services (AWS), will further examine this issue in "Who's Connecting What to the Cloud?"
And Sam Rosen, Practice Director, TV & Video, Consumer Electronics, ABI Research, will address, "Where Are There Problems Connecting to the Cloud?"
Next, in two back-to-back presentations, Robert Stevenson, Chief Business Officer & VP of Strategy, Gaikai, will explore "Consumer Benefits of Cloud-Delivered Content: Ubiquity, Cost, Portability Improvements." And Reza Rassool, Chief Technology Officer, Kwaai Oak, will expose "Consumer Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: Availability, Reliability, Scalability Issues."
The follow-on panel with Jay Migliaccio, Director of Cloud Platforms & Services, Aspera; Andy Gottlieb, VP, Product Management, Aryaka; Larry Freedman, Partner, Edwards Wildman Palmer; David Hassoun, Owner & Partner, RealEyes Media; Jay Gleason, Cloud Solutions Manager, Sprint; and Grant Kirkwood, Co-Founder, Unitas Global, will discuss "The Impact on Telecommunications Industries of Cloud Computing."
Then two sessions will delve into "Telecommunications Industry Benefits of Cloud-Delivered Content: New Opportunities" with Doug Pasko, Principal Member of Technical Staff, Verizon Communications. And then "Telecommunications Industry Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: Infrastructure Challenges" with Allan McLennan, President & Chief Analyst, PADEM Group.
The next panel will address "The Impact on Entertainment Industries of Cloud Computing" with Mike King, Dir. of Mktg. for Cloud, Content & Media, DataDirect Networks; Venkat Uppuluri, VP of Marketing, Gaian Solutions; Mike West, Chief Technology Officer, GenosTV; Arnold Cortez, IT Consulting Specialist, IBM; Kurt Kyle, Media Industry Principal, SAP America; Adam Powers, and VP of Media Technology & Solutions, V2Solutions.
Two solo presentations with Les Ottolenghi, Global CIO, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, and Saul Berman, Partner & Vice President, IBM Global Business Services, will highlight "Entertainment Industry Benefits of Cloud Computing: Cost Savings & Efficiency" and "Entertainment Industry Drawbacks of Cloud Computing: Disruption & Security" respectively.
Additional sessions will introduce the subjects "Consumer Electronics Industry Benefits of Cloud-Based Services: New Revenue Streams" with Mikey Cohen, Architect & Principal Engineer, Netflix, and "Consumer Electronics Industry Drawbacks of Cloud-Based Services: Complexity" with Tom Joyce, SVP & GM, HP Converged Systems, Hewlett Packard.
The closing panel will draw on all the preceding sessions to more deeply analyze "The Impact on the Consumer Electronics Industry of Cloud Computing" with Michael Elliott, Enterprise Cloud Evangelist, Dell; David Frerichs, President, Media Tuners; Thierry Lehartel, VP, Product Management, Rovi; Russ Hertzberg, VP, Technology Solutions, SoftServe; Guido Ciburski, CEO, Telecontrol; and Scott Vouri, VP of Marketing, Western Digital.
Top program topics will include case studies on how cloud-based solutions are now being deployed for fixed and mobile CE products — successes and challenges; the effects on consumers of having access to services in the cloud anytime from anywhere — along with related social networking trends.
Also featured will be what broadband network operators and mobile Internet access providers are doing to help manage — and spur — the migration to interoperable cloud services.
Some in traditional entertainment industries find this technology overwhelmingly threatening and disruptive — others see enormous new opportunities; and the value proposition for CE manufacturers will also continue to evolve substantially to providing cloud-based value-adding services — rather than conventional hardware features.
Please register now for CTTC at CES.
Report from CEO Marty Lafferty
Tune into the BuZZ or read the transcript from this week's show to learn more about GOVERNMENT VIDEO IN THE CLOUD (GVIC).
The DCIA will present GVIC, a Conference within the Government Video Expo 2013 (GVE), this Wednesday December 4th at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, starting at 8:00 AM.
The opening keynote by Tim Bixler, Federal Manager, Solutions Architecture, Amazon Web Services (AWS), will offer an "Update on Cloud Video Services Adoption in the Public Sector."
How are branches of the military and agencies of government progressing in their migration to cloud-based video solutions? What cloud video service offerings are the most beneficial and why?
Two case studies will explore "Cloud Solutions for Government Video Production" by John Heaton, Director of Sales Engineering, Americas, Aspera, and "Cloud-Based Management of Government Video Assets" by Frank Cardello, General Manager, Platform, T3Media.
How can cloud computing being applied to workflow processes for government video from collaboration to editing to applying metadata to transcoding?
Which cloud deployment and service models are best for securely transferring and supporting access to highly sensitive visual data?
Cirina Catania, Independent Video Producer, will join the earlier speakers for a panel discussion covering "Considerations for Creating Government Video in the Cloud."
What criteria should be employed in selecting cloud solutions for production tasks ranging from conceptualization of original video to aggregation of unstructured multimedia field data?
After a networking break, the second GVIC keynote by Adam Firestone, Director, Solutions, WSO2 Federal Systems, will address "Security & Reliability Concerns Unique to Government Video in the Cloud."
How can encryption and process control techniques from the private sector be applied to protect the confidentiality of video assets associated with the missions of military and government agencies?
Two additional case studies will cover "Distribution of Government-Owned Video from the Cloud" by Adam Powers, VP of Media Technology & Solutions. V2Solutions and "Analysis of Aggregated Government Video Content" by Michael Rowny, CEO, PixSpan.
What cloud-based solutions are available to safely and dependably share multimedia data among multiple users of otherwise incompatible clouds?
How can big data applications and predictive analytics be combined to facilitate improved and expanded utilization and support interoperability?
The closing GVIC panel discussion will add Larry Freedman, Partner, Edwards, Wildman, Palmer, and examine "Considerations for Cloud Dissemination of Government Video."
What lessons learned from private sector business intelligence (BI) and mobile device management (MDM) in the cloud can be applied to delivery systems for sensitive government video?
GVE, co-located with InfoComm's GovComm, brings the east coast's largest contingent of video production, post, digital media, and broadcast professionals together with government AV/IT specialists. The combined event features over 150 exhibits and nearly 6,000 registrants.
The CCA offers sponsorship opportunities for this event.
DCIA Member Company employees and DCINFO readers are entitled to a $100 discount by using registration code GVE.
Please click here to register. Share wisely, and take care.
CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2014 in Washington, DC
CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2014 (CCE:2014) is coming to Washington, DC on May 13th and 14th.
The DCIA is responsible for the agenda and speakers at this event. The CCA is handling exhibitions and sponsorships.
CCE:2014 will focus on three major sectors whose use of cloud-based technologies is revolutionizing business processes, increasing efficiency, and streamlining costs.
More than 100 thought-leaders will have the opportunity to bring their industry knowledge, technological savvy, and strategic insight to our in-depth exploration of the ways cloud computing is streamlining government, revolutionizing healthcare, and providing for the safe and secure functioning of the financial services sector.
How can local, state and federal governments improve services and protect citizens with cloud-based tools?
The explosion of data, advances in security and reliability, the need for redundant storage, and putting it all to meaningful use present challenges to natural resource management, transportation and utility grid monitoring, public safety, law enforcement, and emergency responsiveness.
The government at all levels has been mandated to move into the cloud, and billions are being allocated to these purposes.
We will provide a forum for public-sector adopters and private-sector providers alike to discuss their views of how the cloud is transforming the way government performs its essential functions.
With deepening ties to the government in an increasing number of ways, there is perhaps no financial sector that is larger — and at the same time, more fragmented and technologically disconnected — than the American healthcare industry.
This sector — more than any other — has both the resources and the imperative to benefit from adopting cloud-based solutions to help it become more efficient, collaborative, and interactively connected.
Managing private patient records, collecting clinical research data, and big-data imaging are just three of the many healthcare functions for which the cloud is not only uniquely suited — it is urgently needed.
Speakers representing hospitals, clinics, multi-physician practices and more will be welcome to present their perspectives, along with providers of cloud-based solutions that serve every part of the healthcare ecosystem.
International financial transactions and currency exchange; domestic banking and insurance services; as well as timely and efficient investment decision-making are also being impacted by cloud computing.
The cloud is becoming the most advanced platform for an industry that makes up over one-fourth of our economy.
How are banks, insurance companies, and private equity and hedge fund investors making use of cloud-computing?
Business and technology leaders from the financial services industry will be joined by executives and innovators from cloud-computing solutions providers to examine the ways in which the cloud is being put to use by the global financial services industry.
The conference will open on Tuesday morning with a continental breakfast followed by keynote addresses on the "The State of Cloud Computing Adoption for Government, Healthcare, and Financial Services (gCLOUD, hCLOUD, and fCLOUD)."
Next we'll explore "Leading Industry Trends and the Emergence of Standards Impacting gGLOUD, hCLOUD, and fCLOUD Use Cases."
After a mid-morning networking break, our focus will advance to "Common Regulatory Frameworks and Pending Legislation Affecting the gGLOUD, hCLOUD, and fCLOUD Sectors," and then "Outstanding Obstacles and Issues Still To Be Overcome for Continued Advancement."
After the conference luncheon, followed by dessert and coffee service in the exhibit hall, we'll examine current developments in "gGLOUD, hCLOUD, and fCLOUD Service Models, Deployment Models, Architectures, and Management."
Then, following a mid-afternoon networking break, we'll address "Data Storage, Software Applications, Workflow Processes, and Implementation Strategies."
At day's end, we'll enjoy an evening networking reception.
On Wednesday morning, after a continental breakfast in the exhibit hall, we'll take a closer look at "Vendor Criteria, Task Prioritization, Performance Metrics, and Economics."
Our mid-morning networking break will be followed by "Application Development/Programming Challenges/Opportunities for gGLOUD, hCLOUD, and fCLOUDs."
We will close the conference with "Final Considerations for Selecting, Deploying, and Evaluating Cloud Solutions."
Please click here for more information or to apply for a speaking slot on any of our topics.
Verizon Identifies Key Enterprise-Technology Trends for 2014
Excerpted from Computer Business Review Report by Claire Vanner
Enterprise users will gain unprecedented control over their technology environment in 2014, according to Verizon Enterprise Solutions' list of top enterprise technology trends for 2014.
The new year will see a sharp focus on how enterprises and governments use technology to enhance the customers' experience and enable innovation.
"We are experiencing the democratization of enterprise technology," said David Small, Verizon Enterprise Solutions' Chief Platform Officer.
"Mirroring what has happened in the consumer technology space, enterprise technology users look for services to be delivered on demand, to a time and place of their choosing, and in the way that they want. In 2014, enterprise success will be measured by how well organizations are able to use technology to meet user expectations and harness individual innovation."
The key trends Verizon believes will drive change for enterprises and government in 2014 are as follows:
The customer of one comes of age.
The ability to tailor a customer's experience to best meet personalized, individual needs will increasingly be a brand differentiator.
In 2014, enterprises will refocus on customer touch points, recognizing that integrated omni-channel connections - across online, mobile, broadcast and in-store - can make customers feel valued at every step of the purchase and experience lifecycle.
Insight provided by big data analytics will create new, individualized marketing opportunities that will transform and focus the customer engagement model.
"M2M as a service" simplifies path to the connected world.
Ubiquitous 4G LTE wireless service and the availability of "machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions as a service," on demand, over the Internet and ready to use, coupled with strong security will overcome the issues that have previously prevented many organizations from fully embracing M2M.
By leveraging third-party expertise, organizations will be able to quickly transform the conversations of intelligent endpoints into unprecedented insights - and unprecedented business opportunities.
The shortage of security expertise forces changes to cybersecurity management.
As enterprises increasingly adopt mobility, big data, cloud and broadcast solutions, the complexity of effective cybersecurity programs far exceeds both the availability of human capital around the world and the capability of any one enterprise to execute alone.
Enterprises will develop and execute hybrid cybersecurity-management models that combine an agile staff of in-house security-minded business experts with trusted managed security services across a broad range of capabilities such as identity management, security analytics and cyber intelligence, and governance, risk and compliance.
Organizations embracing the new information technology world of cloud, mobility, and M2M will see IT increasingly decentralized. IT will be core to every business function.
As a result, IT will work more closely with individual business units and focus on developing tools for seamless process enablement that empowers employees and customers. IT will be integrated into financial performance planning, and the lines between the IT department and finance will continue to blur as technology becomes the valued enabler, rather than the end game.
Providers add gravity to the cloud.
In a world where mobile is the norm, and rich media content is a given, the cloud will come into its own as the only location where growing data volumes can be stored, accessed and analyzed on demand.
In 2014, adding software and services to the cloud will be a key focus for cloud providers seeking to attract customers - adding gravity and encouraging user stickiness. Integrated cloud offerings will increasingly enable mash-ups of fixed and mobile networks; systems, ideas and solutions; people and things; and intelligence and information.
Providing systems and tools to transform these data into insights in the cloud and on demand will transform the customer experience.
Amazon Is Crushing IBM, Microsoft, Google in Cloud Computing
Excerpted from Business Insider Report by Julie Bort
When it comes to raking in the money on cloud computing, Amazon still "dwarfs all competition," writes John Dinsdale, an analyst at market researcher Synergy in a new report.
The total cloud computing market hit $2.5 billion in revenue in Q3, up 46% the same quarter of 2012, Synergy found.
Not only did Amazon grab most of that, it grew its own cloud revenues by 55% and increased its overall market share.
As for exactly how much money that is, Amazon doesn't directly report the revenue it makes on its cloud. It lumps it into the "other revenue" category. Some analysts estimate Amazon will generate at least $3 billion from its cloud this year, and that could be low.
In 2013 so far, Amazon reported $2.7 billion in "other" revenue. Most of that is from its cloud. The rest comes from things like advertising and co-branded credit cards.
For the last quarter of this year, Synergy estimates that Amazon grew cloud revenues by over $700 million and that makes Amazon bigger than all the other major players combined including Microsoft, IBM, Google and Salesforce.com — by 15%, Synergy finds.
That's a blow to IBM, which has been running an ad campaign saying that IBM is now a bigger cloud player than Amazon, thanks to its purchase of website hosting company SoftLayer last summer.
Ed Barbini, an IBM spokesperson, however, disputes Synergy's conclusions. Barbini notes that "IBM's 3Q report, just last month, showed that IBM's revenue from cloud products and services reached more than $1 billion last quarter" up 70% in its first three quarters over last year, which would put it in a similar range as Amazon.
He also pointed out that IBM has "1,400 cloud patents and 37,000 cloud experts worldwide."
Sneak Peek at Next Wave in Cloud Computing
Excerpted from Wired Report by Jordan Novet
The world of cloud computing is a complicated place. But Lucas Carlson boils it down to a simple analogy: Amazon is the Apple of cloud computing.
With its enormously popular collection of web services — services where anyone can build and run their own online software without setting up their own hardware — Amazon is well out in front of the cloud computing competition, just as Apple was in the mobile game with those seminal creations, the iPhone and the iPad and the iOS mobile operating system.
What we need now, Carlson says, is an Android of cloud computing, something that can challenge Amazon in much the same way Google's open source mobile operating system challenged Apple.
Amazon Web Services are great, he explains, but much like the iPhone and the iPad, they're controlled by a single company. What we need is a cloud computing substrate that can spread across the industry, a platform that frees the world from the whims of Amazon — and gives us the power to readily move our applications from cloud service to cloud service.
"They continue to innovate. They create great products," Carlson says of Amazon. "But the tradeoff is: It's a black box. You have to go with one vendor, and you have to do it their way."
It's a common complaint, and — more than a half decade after the debut of Amazon's seminal web services, known as EC2 and S3 — so many companies are striving to build what they see as an open source version of these services, a version that any other cloud outfit can not only use but modify. This includes everyone from Rackspace and other companies behind the open source OpenStack project to VMware and EMC, the tech giants that have fashioned something called Cloud Foundry.
But Carlson believes that, in the cloud world, no one has yet found the right way of duplicating the success that Android found in the mobile game. And he aims to fill the gap.
That's a tall order, to say the least. But Carlson is a veteran of the cloud wars, having built a well-known service called AppFog, and now that AppFog is owned by telecommunications outfit CenturyLink, he has the resources needed to expand his vision of the perfect cloud platform.
At CenturyLink, Carlson is building a platform he calls CTL-C. That's a geeky name that refers to a keyboard command often used by software developers, and this new platform uses some rather geeky open source technologies, including a hot new developer tool called Docker. But the aim is to create something that hides all this geeky stuff from the world's developers and tech-minded businesses and just gives them a way to quickly and easily run and manage their applications and, if need be, move those applications wherever they want to move them.
Lucas Carlson was lying in bed one night with his wife, at their home in Portland, OR, when he had a new idea: Heroku for PHP. That's the kind of idea you get if you're a coder. Heroku is a rather important cloud service that can run rather large online applications, and PHP is a programming language that lets you build applications.
This was in 2010. At the time, Heroku was mounting a challenge to the way Amazon did things. Basically, Amazon offered the world raw virtual machines where people could run any software they wanted to, but Heroku hid some of the complexity that comes with using virtual machines, offering simpler ways for developers to build applications.
The idea was so catchy, tech giant Salesforce.com bought the service in 2010. But Heroku wasn't without its limitations. Among other things, it only let you run applications built in the Ruby programming language. As he lay in bed with his wife, Carlson decided the world needed a version of Heroku that could handle PHP, another popular language among web coders.
So he wrote up the idea and chucked it onto Hacker News, a popular online hangout for hardcore developers. "Usually, when I get an idea, I feel like writing code and building it," he says. "But that night, I was too lazy."
He called the idea PHPFog, and before he knew it, 4,000 people had signed up for the thing — even though he hadn't actually built it. Three years later, after it was up and running, nearly 100,000 developers had signed up.
Clearly, coders dug the magic of PHPFog and similar services, which belong to a category of cloud computing called "platform-as-a-service." And they appreciated it when Carlson transformed PHPFog into a more general service, called AppFog, that executed code written in multiple languages, not just PHP.
The trouble, Carlson says, is that businesses didn't reach the point where they were consistently spending big money on platform-as-a-service. Traditional enterprise companies were reluctant to move their code onto yet another web service controlled by someone else, and sometimes, the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) idea just wasn't suited to running existing software applications.
You can often just hoist old applications onto Amazon's simpler "infrastructure-as-a-service," but things like AppFog are attuned to a newer way of building software.
Carlson envisioned a more complete set of services that he was convinced developers and big companies would adopt, something that could usher in widespread adoption of cloud computing. But he lacked the infrastructure, brainpower, and money to turn his vision into a real product.
That has now changed. CenturyLink acquired AppFog in June, and earlier this month, the telecommunications outfit gobbled up cloud computing provider Tier 3 and took on additional tools for coders at companies both small and large. The next big step is CTL-C.
CTL-C is different, Carlson says, from other Amazon challengers. It's not an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). And it's not a PaaS. It's a third thing that combines the two.
He knows that developers and technology vendors are converging around OpenStack, a software project that lets companies create cloud-like services inside their own data centers. But he believes it's a "big misconception" to think of OpenStack as the Android of cloud computing.
What OpenStack really does, Carlson says, is offer an open source version of vSphere, the proprietary server-virtualization technology sold by software company VMware. Virtualization is the basis for Amazon's Web Services, he explains, but people want something more than that. They often pay to use Amazon's cloud for services that run atop its virtual servers, including databases, other ways of storing information, and all sorts of developer tools.
CTL-C aims to go beyond raw virtualization, and it aims to do this in a way that will make life even easier for the developers and businesses who will tap this service.
First off, the new platform will make use of the technology that underpins AppFog. The number of developers signed up for AppFog has only increased since CenturyLink bought the service, says Jonathan King, a CenturyLink executive who has worked with Carlson on realizing his vision for a new model of cloud computing.
Obviously, AppFog technology has value to developers who want to easily build applications, and it will be part of the new vision.
But the world wants more than this. They still want infrastructure-as-a-service too. Carlson pictures both of these pieces running side by side. "What if you could have different components interacting as first-class citizens with each other?" he says.
"That's how you build complex, distributed applications." Others have done something similar, including Microsoft, with its Windows Azure services. But Carlson wants to go even further.
He wants to add in technology from Tier 3, like more granular controls and management tools for the cloud infrastructure. And, crucially, he wants to include Docker, an increasingly popular way to take application code, package it up neatly in a digital version of a shipping container, and move it from one computer to any other.
"I think that Docker is the kind of technology that can be used to enable better enterprise solutions for cloud adoption," he says. "I think it doesn't have everything, but I think that its a very interesting building block, a stepping stone toward enterprise adoption of cloud."
Docker was open-sourced earlier this year by a developer named Solomon Hykes and his company, originally called dotCloud but now known as Docker too.
Carlson says it reminded him of a major technology shift he saw while he was still in high school: virtual servers becoming more affordable and popular than dedicated servers. Instead of paying $200 a month for a good dedicated server, you could use a virtual machine for $20 per month.
With Docker, the economics get even better. Virtual machines let you run many applications on the same physical server, and Docker does too. But it's more efficient, letting you sub-divide servers even further. "Before, you had a virtual server that cost you $20 a month," Carlson says. "What if you could now be charging $2 dollars a month, or 50 cents a month per Linux container?"
The container concept first took hold years ago, in a different open-source project commonly referred to as LXC. But the Docker team has done quite a bit to make containers easier to use, says Eli Collins, who once worked on processor virtualization at VMware.
But, Collins says, there's a trade-off when you start using Docker containers rather than virtual machines. Nowadays, it's often easier to move applications from virtual machine to virtual machine, just because that's what everyone uses.
That said, the Docker project aims to change that. It aims to spread the container technology across the industry, so that it too is as widely used as virtualization. The important thing to remember here is that Docker is open source, just like Google's Android operating system.
According to Hykes, many other companies are already looking to use Docker. He's reluctant to say that the technology could be the Android of the cloud, but he believes it could be a piece of such a platform.
That's pretty much what Lucas Carlson is saying too. Carlson says his new service will offer not only Docker containers but virtual machines and what has traditionally been called platform as a service. But he doesn't see these a three separate things.
"The days of boundaries between infrastructure as a service and platform as a service and Docker and Linux containers and cloud managed services and traditional hosted services — those boundaries are beginning to break down," Carlson says. "That's the big story."
Big Media Meets the Cloud
Excerpted from Forbes Report by Tom Coughlin
Video producers are looking for new tools that enable them to produce professional video in less time and for less money. Technology is key to meeting this need and digital storage technology, as the repository of this content, is a major driver of next generation collaborative workflows.
In this piece we will look at some company offerings related to storing professional media where the content is stored in a datacenter, accessible through the Internet. I organize the Storage Visions Conference, where some of these companies will talk about cutting edge developments in collaborative workflows.
Sony has announced its Media Cloud Services, including cloud based content storage and will give a keynote talk on this subject at the Storage Visions Conference. Sony says that this cloud platform allows "…media professionals to collect, share, create, produce and archive high-value, high resolution content more efficiently."
Sony says that their cloud-based solutions can handle very large files, including those associated with high frame rate 3D and 4K TV content. The company offers various on-line storage capacity choices from a free 5 GB and including 100 GB at $25/user/month and scaling up to large multi-member team offerings.
Cloud Sigma has developed an all SSD front end and is now supporting HDD-based content libraries to provide cloud based storage supporting content delivery and media production. Robert Jenkins, the CEO of Cloud Sigma, thinks that cloud-based services could speed time to market in the time-sensitive media and entertainment market.
By allowing production facilities and artists all around the work to contribute through the cloud, projects can be coordinated better between continents and finished sooner. In addition the pay-as-you go cloud model is attractive to the temporary crews that are common in modern media production.
Quantum QTM +1.63%'s new StorNext asset management software has been a staple tool of many media and entertainment companies. The latest version of the software allows up to 5 billion files, a 10X performance boost and SAN and NAS support for Quantum's Lattus object storage as well as LTFS tape archives and cloud storage.
The company's recent announcement of a partnership with Mellanox Technologies, a producer of high speed InfiniBand and Ethernet interconnect solutions, should allow even better StorNext performance gains. The Lattus object storage system from Quantum is part of the company's push for cloud object storage to support media and entertainment as well as other big data applications.
Avere announced its Avere Cloud NAS, geared to use private and public clouds for high performance storage applications. By providing a block-based NAS front end the company said it is making object-based cloud storage more accessible to customers that already have a significant investment in existing NAS storage. The Avere FlashCloud software allows integration of existing NAS storage with Amazon S3 and Glacier cloud storage services.
Avere has experience providing NAS storage to media production and their new cloud offerings are of interest to media companies such as Sony Pictures Imageworks. Avere FXT edge filers are used by some major special effects companies to produce content for films such as Gravity and Sherlock Holmes.
Rendering is one of the earliest and most successful media cloud applications since a small amount of uploaded content could result in massive calculations in a render farm to produce animation. Hiring out rendering to specialists with render farms has reduced the overall costs of movie production while improving the resulting product.
Media and entertainment companies are seeking out innovative ways to increase their production speed while lowering their costs. Creative services and support for media production using the cloud are becoming an important element in the future of media and entertainment.
In its latest report on Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Coughlin Associates estimates that about 20% of the total storage used in media post-production may be in the cloud. Clearly media and entertainment are moving to the clouds.
Cloud Computing Can Save US Govt $20 Billion / Year
Excerpted from Midsize Insider Report by Shawn Drew
Businesses and organizations have long recognized the financial benefits of the cloud. A new report on government IT spending adds some fuel to that fire by suggesting that embracing the cloud could save over $20 billion in government application development costs each year. Reduced IT expenses are just one positive aspect of cloud computing. Budget-minded IT managers at midsize businesses might want to take note of the growing power of cloud computing when it comes to application development.
Federal IT Executive Survey
A recent survey of 153 federal IT executives that was released by MeriTalk and underwritten by Red Hat, Inc. took a look at government IT spending and ways in which it could be improved. As detailed in a recent Forbes article, the end result shows transitioning to cloud computing, specifically platform-as-a-service (PaaS), could reduce government IT spending by one-third.
Overall, the survey respondents were largely in favor of PaaS initiatives, with 95 percent claiming that migrating to PaaS and other cloud-based solutions would benefit their agencies through lower costs and better security. Additionally, 90 percent claimed PaaS would benefit data center consolidation efforts, and 79 percent claimed PaaS would help them take advantage of shared knowledge.
The move to the cloud also looks as though it could seriously benefit other modern IT initiatives since 73 percent of respondents claimed cloud initiatives such as PaaS could help their agencies take advantage of big data; 69 percent claimed it would help support their growing fleet of mobile devices.
Despite these numbers, the survey reports that only 12 percent of federal executives are currently using the PaaS solutions that they believe will help their agencies and organizations, with another 20 percent currently moving toward cloud-based development. That said, given the slow IT adoption practices of the government, as evidenced by the fact that 70 percent of the federal IT budget is spent on legacy systems, the lag between observation and execution might not be all that surprising.
Transitioning to the Cloud
If nothing else, these survey numbers show that even organizations that are traditionally resistant to change are seeing the benefits provided by cloud computing solutions. Moreover, cost savings are just one factor in the decision to move into the cloud. Increased flexibility and responsiveness have the potential to be even more important, and of the survey respondents that have transitioned to a cloud-based development platform, 67 percent report an increase in mission agility.
It is true that PaaS cloud computing solutions do not always get the same amount of press that software-as-a-service (SaaS) or even infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions do at present; nonetheless, when it comes to collaborative application development for businesses that have more than just a few employees, the virtualization of the platform is where the real strides are taking place. Businesses are taking notice: There is an expected 30 percent year-over-year growth rate for PaaS through 2017.
Even so, many companies remain unconvinced of the transformative power of this aspect of the cloud. The fact that even slow-to-change government agencies, many of which resemble midsize businesses in size and scope, are coming around to the power of the cloud should give IT managers extra ammunition when having to convince their superiors about the need to transition old systems to modern solutions.
The transition is not without its difficulties, especially for businesses entrenched in legacy solutions; but most of the major barriers, such as security, have proven to be little more than speed bumps along the road. At this point, the decision not to migrate to the cloud could have significant repercussions for businesses trying to stay relevant in a market in which their competitors are enjoying advantages that they do not possess.
A cloud migration program should not be taken lightly and will invariably cause a few headaches along the way; however, given the realities of modern business, it is a decision that simply cannot be put off any longer. The cost savings, flexibility, reliability and even security that the cloud offers are quickly driving legacy in-house IT infrastructure and platforms into the annals of history. Making the switch now, or at least making plans to switch, will enable midsize businesses to continue to move forward in order to stay competitive as the cloud marches on.
Project Management Lessons from HealthCare.Gov
Excerpted from CIO Insight Report by Eric Thomas
President Obama recently admitted that Americans are facing difficulties attempting to sign up for insurance coverage via the healthcare.gov website. His disappointment has been echoed by both proponents and opponents of the underlying legislation. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) explained that users "have had trouble creating accounts and logging in to the site, while others have received confusing error messages, or had to wait for slow page loads or forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion."
Ever since these problems first surfaced after the go-live date of Oct. 1, industry insiders and technologists have proposed a litany of reasons that could have led to the current situation. Reasons included everything from too much focus on external design and not enough focus on integration; poor testing practices; inefficient government contracting laws; not using the best resources; and over reliance on antiquated system development methodologies. And while all of these may be true, there are other, lesser reported project management lessons that CIOs can learn from the unsuccessful rollout of HealthCare.Gov.
Here are four key takeaways:
1. Communicate the bad news early on. The project to develop HealthCare.Gov exceeded initial cost projections. And it was not just by a little bit, but perhaps by as much as 300 percent. Basic project management would flag this as a significant problem. However, the ultimate customers, the American people, were not informed.
Proactively communicating overruns or other problems with the project may have damaged credibility and hurt politically in the short run, but it would have been better than what did transpire.
2. Acknowledge your risks and manage them. Some of the biggest risks with this implementation would involve schedule delays, cost overruns, privacy and security issues, and functionality. Mitigating those risks would have to be the key priority for such a highly visible rollout. But with as many as 15 contractors working on the development, risks could get lostin the vast network of contractor support.
Hopefully, the contractors themselves are not responsible for reporting and managing risks since that would present a blatant conflict of interest. (While an outside management consultant did warn of problems with the site, these warnings were largely unheeded.) One of the site's core problems was inadequate management of these risks, which subsequently spiraled out of control.
3. Beta can be your best friend. A beta site might not have been feasible for HealthCare.gov, but a minimally viable solution would have provided the environment needed for developers to test and improve the integration and the Website's underlying technologies. Wherever possible, CIOs should take advantage of user willingness to freely test beta developments.
4. Know who is in charge. The Website was managed out of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is an agency under DHHS. There is an administrator for CMS and a secretary for DHHS. There is an Office of Information Services within CMS and a secretary for information technology at DHHS.
But don't forget the White House has a CTO of its own. The Office of Management and Budget, which is part of the Executive Office, has a CIO. And the Government Accountability Office, which is part of the legislative branch, has a director of information technology management. In this authority-dense environment, it is no wonder there could be a lack of clearly defined leadership.
Ultimately, there should be a project management office or, at the least, a single point of contact through which all issues about scope, risk, cost and requirements can be collated, communicated and managed. These persons should be independent from the development team and, if necessary, have the authority and access to escalate issues to the key stakeholders.
Hopefully, these project management lessons can be employed for the benefit of your next big rollout.
Cloud Advantage for Banking & Financial Markets
Excerpted from Bank Systems & Technology Report by David Zimmerman
Agility isn't a word that is often associated with some IT departments, especially in the banking industry. But cloud computing is changing that.
Banks have many reasons to like cloud computing: lower cost, standardization, consistency. But increasingly they are embracing the cloud because it makes them more agile and responsive to changing market conditions and customer needs. Cloud is becoming a way for banks to deliver new products to market faster, accelerate their growth agendas, and enter new foreign markets.
They understand that cloud is not a one-time commoditized/vendor lock-in transaction. As they invest in cloud, they will require clouds that scale for managing complex workloads and interoperability/open capabilities to integrate legacy investments. This means new environments and applications and all of this will need to be accomplished within a secure cloud framework.
Going from 45 Days to 20 Minutes
At one major multinational bank, responding to business and competitive demands required they accelerate the development and testing of new products. Provisioning their 20,000 developers to code and test a new application meant adding computer capacity, storage, database licenses and other processes. Once they had the green light from the business, IT could take 45 days to respond.
Today the bank uses a private cloud architecture for such new projects. Now within 20 minutes, developers around the world have the resources they need from one shared cloud environment. The time it takes to create and test new products has been slashed because every developer is working on a single platform from the beginning.
Recently, IBM helped a large Scandinavian bank use the cloud to rapidly integrate a newly acquired bank, which resulted in new growth. Using a cloud environment, the bank was able to test and simulate their new systems before going live, and its pay-as-you-go pricing model — which only charges for resources deployed and consumed — allowed the bank to release processing power it no longer needed. Since the merger, the newly acquired bank has captured more than 10 percent of the country's market share.
Banks have long been among the largest and most sophisticated consumers of technology. They have built some of the biggest and most secure networks in the world and assembled armies of programmers to write code and maintain software programs.
But this very scale sometimes bogs them down when they need to create and launch new products and services. And in the fast changing world of finance, they can't afford that. Nimble competitors are introducing cloud-based solutions that offer integrated risk management, predictive real-time analytics, core banking transformation, mobile money systems, and more.
For example, in order to adapt to changing regulatory and compliance requirements, an international bank needed to create a consolidated risk strategy. By implementing a cloud-based solution with easy access to more than 11,000 operational risk loss events, the bank was able to accelerate their regulatory compliance, while driving process and control improvements.
Cloud is a big opportunity. But to make it a game-changer for their business, banks need to first think big about what they can do with cloud and understand "how" cloud fits into their strategic roadmap. Whether they start small with a specific pilot application or business process, or dive into the cloud feet first, speed is critical in today's competitive marketplace.
Here are five tips to help banks get started on their cloud journey:
1. Think big, start small, and build incrementally.
2. Develop the business case. Cloud is driving new business models, not just IT savings.
3. Start with a proof-of-concept pilot project. Transform applications delivery to drive line of business (LOB) improvements.
4. Remember, not all workloads are suited for cloud.
5. Build the right team. Sure, IT plays a leading role but also include key lines of business stakeholders and even end users to help accelerate results.
Banks are being challenged to respond quickly to more demanding, digitally-connected consumers and a changing economic and regulatory landscape. Cloud computing provides a way for banks to transform the business versus run the business with greater speed and can improve the economic performance of every part of an organization, not just IT.
Change is driving the future of banking. Cloud is the vehicle to take it there.
Time to Retire Term "Cloud Computing?"
Excerpted from USA Today Report by Chip Bayers
When we want to convey uncertainty or confusion, we often lean on words and phrases that make us sound like TV weathercasters — our outlook is hazy, it is obscured by mist, it is lost in the fog. Which makes it curious that vast swaths of the technology world these days are obsessed with marketing themselves as savvy about "cloud computing" — because nothing is cloudier than what the phrase itself means, or which companies are best poised to exploit it.
For example, last week's enormous Dreamforce conference might have lead you to believe that cloud computing is all about what conference sponsor Salesforce.com provides: "software as a service." Beneath all of CEO Marc Benioff's antic hype about a "third wave of computing" what the awkwardly-acronymed SaaS is about, in the end, is merely converting the inherently boring business software market from sales to rentals.
Bessemer Venture Partners' index of the 30 most valuable publicly traded cloud computing companies reinforces that view, since many of them mimic the Salesforce approach by specializing in narrow industry categories like property management, car dealerships, or vehicle fleet management. These aren't Bay Area dynamos run by t-shirted 20-somethings — their CEOs are frequently doughy and graying, with headquarters just as likely to be in tech backwaters like Broward County, Fla., or the north Dallas suburb of Carrollton, Texas, as in the bleeding edge realms of San Mateo or Santa Clara or San Francisco, CA.
And yet nowhere on Bessemer's list, which it defines as the biggest SaaS providers, can you find Amazon, whose Amazon Web Services division is seen by some forecasters as potentially the biggest cloud company of them all. With some analysts estimating its annual sales having already passed $2 billion, AWS would already be the second biggest company on Bessemer's index, measured by revenue, if it were independent. Even here, however, fog obscures the definitions, since the Bessemer list is confined to SaaS companies — and AWS arguably isn't an SaaS company at all, but merely a provider of infrastructure where its customers can use the applications they're renting from many of the firms already on the Bessemer roster.
As Bessemer's Bryan Deeter and Kristina Shen wrote in a blog post a few months ago, "Most savvy software companies are aggressively trying to dress themselves up as cloud companies," because all it takes, essentially, is an ability to claim your business is now renting online what it used to sell as shrink-wrapped packages.
That shift from buy to rent has also been taking place in consumer Internet businesses offering "cloud-based" services, most prominently in music. Companies like Pandora and Spotify have been training customers to pay a monthly fee for music instead of owning it outright; they've now been joined by Apple with its addition of iTunes Radio.
Whether consumers actually recognize the cloud as anything more than that fluffy cumulus icon on their iPhone is unclear however. For most of them, it stands for an easy way to back up family snapshots from the phone's camera — or, in rarer cases, it's the annoying symbol telling them they can no longer access a favorite track while riding the subway because it's "in the cloud."
For others, even that's a stretch: last year Citrix, a Silicon Valley IT company, commissioned a survey of 1,000 US adults by the independent firm Wakeman Research, which determined that, among other things, 51% of Americans thought stormy weather could interfere with cloud computing.
(The nearly 25-year-old Citrix — which came to prominence in the '90s selling software that let office workers connect remotely and securely to their employers' computer network at any hour from any location, thus destroying many an employee's nights and weekends — recently displayed the savviness Bessemer's Deeter and Shen describe, when it began marketing itself as a provider of "cloud solutions.")
Of course, consumers have been living their digital lives in the cloud for years and haven't realized it, with their email and social media profiles long since stored away on a server somewhere that they can't identify. In that sense, every consumer Internet company is already a cloud provider. But you won't find Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Yahoo in anyone's cloud company index. Yet.
We have been here before — Web 2.0 had a muddled meaning as well, but it served its purpose as a marketing phrase in the early 2000s for companies trying escape the taint of the first generation of dot-com companies, the ones which died en masse when the early Internet bubble burst in 2001.
With old-line corporate computing juggernauts like Oracle, IBM, and SAP joining the likes of '80s generation companies like Citrix touting their own cloud abilities, the emptiness of "cloud computing" may have already achieved the Web 2.0 level of meaning nothing but a break from the past.
Time to start looking for a new phrase.
Coming Events of Interest
Government Video Expo 2013 - December 3rd-5th in Washington, DC. Government Video Expo, co-located with InfoComm's GovComm, brings the east coast's largest contingent of video production, post, digital media, and broadcast professionals together with the government AV/IT specialists. The combined event features over 150 exhibits and nearly 6,000 registrants.
GOVERNMENT VIDEO IN THE CLOUD - December 4th in Washington, DC. This DCIA Conference within Government Video Expo focuses specifically on cloud solutions for and case studies related to producing, storing, distributing, and analyzing government-owned video content.
International CES - January 7th-10th in Las Vegas, NV. The International CES is the global stage for innovation reaching across global markets, connecting the industry and enabling CE innovations to grow and thrive. The International CES is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $209 billion US consumer electronics industry.
CONNECTING TO THE CLOUD - January 8th in Las Vegas, NV. This DCIA Conference within CES will highlight the very latest advancements in cloud-based solutions that are now revolutionizing the consumer electronics (CE) sector. Special attention will be given to the impact on consumers, telecom industries, the media, and CE manufacturers of accessing and interacting with cloud-based services using connected devices.
CCISA 2013 – February 12th–14th in Turin, Italy. The second international special session on Cloud Computing and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and its Applications within the 22nd Euromicro International Conference on Parallel, Distributed, and Network-Based Processing.
NAB Show - April 5th-10th in Las Vegas, NV. From broadcasting to broader-casting, NAB Show has evolved over the last eight decades to continually lead this ever-changing industry. From creation to consumption, NAB Show has proudly served as the incubator for excellence — helping to breathe life into content everywhere.
Media Management in the Cloud — April 8th-9th in Las Vegas, NV. This two-day conference provides a senior management overview of how cloud-based solutions positively impact each stage of the content distribution chain, including production, delivery, and storage.
CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2014 - May 13th-14th in Washington, DC. Three major conference tracks will zero in on the latest advances in the application of cloud-based solutions in three key economic sectors: government, healthcare, and financial services.