Archive for July, 2011

Data Centers’ Power Use Less Than Was Expected

31 July 2011 —   Data centers’ unquenchable thirst for electricity has been slaked by the global recession and by a combination of new power-saving technologies, according to an independent report on data center power use from 2005 to 2010.

A study shows that, partly because of the 2008 recession, power consumption by data centers hasn’t grown at expected rates.  The study suggests that Google’s centers are more efficient than most.  The report, by Jonathan G. Koomey, a consulting professor in the civil and environmental engineering department at Stanford University, found that the actual number of computer servers declined significantly compared to 2010 forecasts because of this lowered demand for computing and because of the financial crisis of 2008 and the emergence of technologies like more efficient computer chips and computer server virtualization, which allows fewer servers to run more programs.

The slowing of growth in consumption contradicts a 2007 forecast by the Environmental Protection Agency that the explosive expansion of the Internet and the computerization of society would lead to a doubling of power consumed by data centers from 2005 … Read more

Investing: is there sunshine ahead for cloud computing?

31 July 2011 – Technology investors have their heads in the cloud these days.  Cloud computing, which supplies on-demand hosted services over the Internet, requires only that its clients have a computer and Internet access. It handles the functions traditionally performed by a firm’s in-house hardware and software.  Cloud computing’s potential is reflected in the soaring stocks of companies actively involved in providing cloud services, but stumbling blocks include security concerns and confusion about what the cloud really is.

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Will the government get serious on cloud security, data privacy?

31 July 2011 – When the federal government finally does undertake the task of legislating around cloud computing, it seems very likely that security measures and data privacy will drive the ship. On Tuesday, the TechAmerica Foundation’s CLOUD2 commission announced a data- and security-heavy set of recommendations to guide the federal government’s efforts in regulating, adopting and promoting the cloud, following up on a recent Brookings Institution discussion on a proposed Cloud Computing Act that focuses on those two issues. This isn’t surprising, given that these are two areas in which the government can most directly affect the nature of the cloud.

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Cloud computing: got your head or your business in the cloud?

31 July 2011Companies are racing to adopt the cloud and the advantages it offers.  However, cloud computing still isn’t for everyone right now and there are risks and complications that go along with migrating toward the cloud.  For an analysis of the advantages of cloud computing, the risks involved, and finding the right time to make the change click here.… Read more

Cloud computing: data may be subject to U.S. laws

31 July 2011 – In a recent piece, Philip D. Porter explains that data stored in the cloud may be subject to numerous laws aimed at protecting privacy and national security.  Porter, a partner at Hogan Lovells, points out that because few cloud service providers accept responsibility for compliance with particular laws and regulations, customers must understand the legal requirements that they must satisfy and then undertake due diligence to determine whether the cloud computing services they are considering enable them to comply with applicable laws and regulations.

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Cloud Computing Realigns Role of Service Oriented Architecture

31 July 2011 – From its inception Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has been a lightning rod for dissention among enterprise architects, solution architects and application architects. Enterprise architects view SOA as a business initiative that should be guiding what information technology assets receive investment and how they relate to the business’ goals and mission. Solution architects view SOA as a means to deliver solutions faster using the tenets of loose-coupling and finer-grained services, which enable faster construction. Finally, application architects see SOA as an infrastructure on which to deliver applications based on service interfaces. Regardless of viewpoint, SOA was clearly focused on the software architecture domain; that is until the arrival of cloud computing.

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Hyper-V Private Clouds

31 July 2011 – If for some reason, i.e., information security and privacy, you can’t run the law firm practice or financial management system on a public cloud to benefit from fast feature deployments and reduced infrastructure costs (e.g., the economies of scale from running thousands of servers), then you may be considering a private cloud. But note that private clouds are not just collections of virtual machines.

Private clouds are comprised of processors, memory, storage, network resources, and a business application that coalesce into a platform, or business partition, to run a critical program in the law firm or other setting. Obviously, virtualization plays a key role in bringing the computing resources together to bear the weight of a business application. But remember the whole point is the business application and not the virtualized infrastructure. Toward that end, Microsoft’s Hyper-V has some cool tools that can make your private cloud look like a picnic.

For more from Sean Doherty of Law Technology News click here.… Read more

Investors have their heads firmly in cloud computing

30 July 2011 – Technology investors have their heads in the cloud these days. Cloud computing, which supplies on-demand hosted services over the Internet, requires only that its clients have a computer and Internet access. It handles the functions traditionally performed by a firm’s own in-house hardware and software.

The global cloud-computing market is expected to reach $241 billion in 2020, up from $41 billion in 2010, according to Forrester Research. That long-term potential is reflected in the high-flying stocks of companies actively involved in the concept.

A stumbling block, however, is concern over the security of data when a client firm can no longer control it on its own premises. Hackers and crashed systems are, after all, a company’s worst nightmares.

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Separating fact from fiction in cloud computing and SaaS

29 July 2011 – “Software as a Service (SaaS), along with its sibling cloud computing, is one of the most used and misused terms in the IT industry.” So begins an excellent new report from Celent, “Cloud Computing and SasS: Getting the Most Leverage,” authored by Bart Narter, senior vice-president of the Banking Group at the research and advisory firm.

Though overlapping in some respects, the two terms are not synonymous. Narter defines SaaS as “when a vendor licenses an application to a client on demand, taking care of the management and maintenance of the system, in the model of a service bureau.” Cloud computing in brief, is “the use of computing resources, typically a server or part of a server, over the internet.”

The report identifies several advantages of both SaaS and cloud, including: lower initial capital expenditure and ability to scale up or down very quickly. The second relates to ramping up server power on demand. “A good cloud computing partner will help make this happen in hours or possibly even minutes,” writes Narter. He adds that … Read more

How Cloud Computing Will Change IT: 6 New Predictions

29 July 2011 – IT is in a time of disruptive transition, caused by the rise of cloud computing. CIOs are in the midst of a maelstrom, and–like Ulysses, the fabled hero from Homer’s Odyssey–are torn between the Scylla of established IT practices and the Charybdis of the future, both of which loom dangerously and portend trouble. Also like Ulysses, many CIOs must inure themselves to the din of tempting Sirens: the vendors who sing a sweet song of painless cloud transformation, made possible by the purchase of some software, or hardware, or a set of cloud services.

One can predict that, CIOs, like Ulysses, will eventually pass into calm waters–the future in which new processes and products will replace the legacy activities that make up today’s IT world. The shorthand term for these new entities is cloud computing.

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