Stem Cloud Services Blog

22nd January 2013

Cloud Tech looks to be a top priority for CIOs in 2013

In a recent Gartner report which surveyed over 2,000 CIOs on their technology priorities for 2013, cloud computing in the overall tech sphere came out as one of the top 10 priorities alongside software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). The two priorities ahead of cloud computing in report were analytics and BI (business intelligence) and mobile technologies.

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cloud seminar plymouth exeter stem groupLegacy modernisation was ranked at five, customer resource management in at seven, virtualisation was eighth and enterprise resource planning (ERP) apps also made the top 10. Increasing enterprise growth was the highest priority, with delivering operational results and reducing enterprise costs completing the top three.

There were plenty of business priorities cited in the top 10 which cloud can help businesses to achieve. These include increasing growth and reducing enterprise costs (mentioned above), as well as improving IT infrastructure (fifth), improving efficiency (seventh) and implementing analytics and big data (ninth).

What will your number one business priority be during 2013? If cloud is in your top ten, come along to one of our free seminars this February. http://www.stemgroup.co.uk/free-seminar-depth-cloud-seminar-it-professionals

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9th November 2012

'Cloud' services become even more widely used

The masses are still buying into the cloud and it has been estimated that cloud services as a whole could reach upwards of $100 billion this year.

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Gartner have stated that they estimate the public cloud services sector will grow nearly 20 per cent this year to $106bn worldwide

Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) has more than ¾ of the market, mainly due to cloud advertising being a subsection of this.  Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the fastest-growing, and is expected to rise over 45% in 2012.

It is frustrating however that, as with everything at the moment, the IT sector, will have to worry about the endless recession issues. Western Europe is the slowest to improve and Asia has many challenges too. North America will be the largest cloud consumer using up more than half of the worldwide services from 2010 to 2016, while emerging markets like India, Indonesia and China will also be large users.

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11th July 2012

Cloud Revolution - approaching fast

The cloud revolution is coming, and for many businesses whatever the size, the time to adopt is now.

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Cloud promises to completely transform the way we compete, collaborate, and consume business services. It combines computing, networking, storage, management solutions, and business applications. In other words, cloud drives top-line growth by delivering improved business agility, reach, and scalability whilst providing greater competitive differentiation and improves the bottom line by providing lower operating costs and better data center flexibility, utilization, and efficiency.

In some cases, business services that once cost thousands in infrastructure and IT staff can be had for just a couple of hundred per month when outsourced to the public cloud.

The key for businesses is that this powerful infusion of technologies enables IT to be delivered as a service, only when it is needed, and from a central, secure data center.

In this volatile and competitive economy, the cloud’s wonderful mix of simplicity, security, faster innovation, and lower operating costs is proving to be very enticing indeed!

 

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22nd June 2012

Cloud Computing - a brief history

Since the original concept of delivering an 'intergalactic computer network' back in the sixties, cloud has come a long way! Here is a short summery.

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Cloud computing has evolved through a number of phases over the years, which include grid and utility computing, application service provision (ASP), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Originally, the idea of a global network was introduced in the sixties by J.C.R. Licklider, an American computer scientist. He was responsible for enabling the development of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) in 1969 and his vision was that everyone on the globe could be interconnected and able to access programs and data at any site, from anywhere.  This sounds remarkably like what we today call 'cloud computing'.

There are other experts however who attribute the cloud concept to computer scientist John McCarthy. He proposed the idea of computation being delivered as a public utility, similar to the service bureaus which date back to the sixties.

Since the sixties, cloud computing has developed along a number of lines but since the internet only really started to offer significant bandwidth in the nineties, cloud computing for the masses has been something of a late developer. Recently though, some key factors have enabled cloud computing to evolve, these include the maturing of virtualisation technology and the development of universal high-speed bandwidth.

Some notable developments include:

  • The arrival of Salesforce.com in 1999, which pioneered the concept of delivering enterprise applications via a simple website. They are one of the few early success stories due to an initial lack of subscribers because of poor performance over low bandwidth.
  • Next was Amazon Web Services in 2002, which provided a suite of cloud-based services including storage, computation and even human intelligence through the Amazon Mechanical Turk.

  • In 2006, Amazon launched its Elastic Compute cloud (EC2) as a commercial web service that allowed small companies and individuals to rent computers on which to run their own computer applications.

  • In 2009, as Web 2.0 hit its stride, and Google and others such as Microsoft started to offer browser-based enterprise applications, though services such as Google Apps. These companies are popular because they deliver services in a way that is reliable and easy to consume.

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1st May 2012

LG launches beta of its LG Cloud service

LG Cloud is being launched on 1st May 2012 and is said to enable users to share content across smartphones, TVs and PCs.

 

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Users of the service will have to download the LG Cloud app for their Android smartphone from Google Play or the LG SmartWorld app store, an app for their LG TV can also be purchased from the SmartWorld store. For PCs and laptops the necessary app is available on LG's website.

Users can shoot a video with their smartphone and stream to a TV via LG's cloud using their Real-time Streaming Transcoding technology.  Unlike other cloud services, there will be very little waiting or lag time as the content is streamed to the device and not downloaded first.

LG's cloud automatically synchronizes smartphone content with the cloud server and the user's PC and TV and apparently, sharing also works in the opposite direction.

LG has stated that their cloud will be offered both as a free and paid service with free storage space limits and pricing to be announced separately as the service becomes available. However, . How much free space you get, and what any extra capacity will cost, will depend on where you live.  LG has also said that the service will handle 3D content.

Samsung is also expected to launch a cloud-based sync'n'store service for its smartphones soon.  This goes to show how cloud services are playing an increasingly important role in bringing together different devices in the home and office.

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30th April 2012

Introducing your business to the Cloud

With the Cloud computing era well and truly upon us, what factors to companies need to consider and how will the Cloud affect business’s in the future.

 

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A combination of economic pressures and rapid changes in technological advancement is causing companies to consider how to combat these factors without compromising the security of their systems and successfully managing the stress on their IT departments.

The arrival of Cloud computing has fundamentally changed the way we do business, allowing  organisations to share resources, information and software across a growing multitude of connected devices. 

The current economic downturn has meant that business executives are looking for a high level of service and innovation for a low cost from their IT department.

Cloud computing, when properly considered, can be highly cost-effective, scalable and fast.  This allows it to provide a way to increase capacity, quickly, without investing in new infrastructure, staff training and licensing for new software.

There are different types of Cloud services available, each of which have their own advantages and disadvantages enabling companies to decide on the most appropriate for their business needs.  They are as follows:

Public Cloud – A hosted, multi-tenant solution.  This offers the most leverage and best flexibility but the service provider owns all of the physical infrastructure and assets.

Private Cloud – The company hosts the resources in its own virtualised environment.  This enables better provision for security and privacy compliance but is expensive to set up.

Dedicated Hosting – Both virtualised and non-virtualised single-tenant computing, hosted off-site

Hybrid Hosting – This is a mixture of Dedicated & Private built into one solution, using a secure private network to connect to dedicated servers providing both security and flexibility.

Cloud can potentially save businesses time and money however properly considering your needs and options is greatly advised to ensure added value.

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8th March 2012

Microsoft Launches Windows Server "8" Beta and Previews new Operating System

As Microsoft releases its most innovative Windows server to date, it also Unveils a preview for the Windows 8 Operating system.

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Windows Server is the leading server operating system in the world, catering not just for some of the largest datacenters, but also SMEs. The most recent version, Windows Server "8" provides numerous new features and enhancements for transforming virtualization and cloud computing to help reduce cost and deliver more business value.

Within Windows Server "8" there are innovations in the areas of virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, and a transition to Windows PowerShell® to take scripting to a whole new level.

In other Microsoft news, Windows 7 users will, from the end of Feb, be able to try out the new version Windows 8.  Microsoft is calling it the most significant redesign of the Windows interface since its groundbreaking Windows 95 OS.  The new systems design utilises the interface used on the current Windows Phone platform - Metro.

The new OS is an attempt to provide a shared look with tablets and smartphones and will not even feature the start button which is to be replaced by a sliding panel menu.

A release date for the finished version of Windows 8 has not yet been announced.

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