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Symbian Foundation Backs Open Cloud Manifesto

The Symbian Foundation is publicly backing the Open Cloud Manifesto and has pledged to move more deeply into the cloud:

The Symbian Foundation has thrown its weight behind the Open Cloud Manifesto, saying the manifesto can help lead to a more open cloud environment.

In a 1 July blog post, Ian McDonald, head of IT for Symbian, said, “With the popularity of cloud computing quickly rising there is a real need to ensure that the cloud is open and not a proprietary lock-in.”

Open Cloud

As such, Symbian has become an official supporter of the Open Cloud Manifesto. The tagline for the Open Cloud Manifesto is that it is “dedicated to the belief that the cloud should be open.” The manifesto outlines the challenges facing organisations that want to take advantage of the cloud.

A description of the manifesto on the Open Manifesto website defines it as follows:

“The Open Cloud Manifesto establishes a core set of principles to ensure that organisations will have freedom of choice, flexibility, and openness as they take advantage of cloud computing. While cloud computing has the potential to have a positive impact on organisations, there is also potential for lock-in and lost flexibility if appropriate open standards are not identified and adopted.”

McDonald said Symbian is a big user of cloud computing and will soon take even greater advantage of the cloud.

Passionately Open

Said McDonald in his post:

“Inside Symbian we use the cloud thanks to a wide range of providers – over twenty in fact – and we don’t even run our own file or email servers! Symbian Ideas, Symbian Horizon and this blog run on cloud infrastructure, and we have plans to shift nearly all our sites onto the cloud in the next few months.”

Moreover, McDonald said Symbian is an organisation that is passionate about being open. “The planning for our releases, the decision making processes (including the councils) and all our code are out in the open,” he said in the blog post. “As such we totally support the Open Cloud Manifesto which is working to ensure that different cloud offerings can work together and that there are open standards.”

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Cloud News Security

Trend Aims To Secure The Cloud

Trend Micro has launched encryption management for the cloud and anti-malware for virtual machines

On  by Brian Prince eWEEK USA 2012. Ziff Davis Enterprise Inc. All Rights Reserved 0

Trend Micro launched two producs for security in the cloud and virtualised environments, at the VMworld 2010 event this week.

Trend Micro Deep Security 7.5 uses the latest VMware vShield Endpoint API (announced at VMworld) and now includes an agent-less anti-malware module.

Agent-less security on VMs

By integrating the vShield APIs, Trend Micro is able to provide completely agent-less security for VMs (virtual machines), Harish Agastya, director of data center security marketing at Trend Micro told eWEEK: “No need to put an agent on any of those VMs, so no need to configure it, reconfigure it, patch it…we’ve taken all of that headache away from the administrator.”

The new module adds to the product’s existing toolkit of protections, which includes among other things deep packet inspection, integrity monitoring and intrusion detection and prevention.

In addition to Deep Security, Trend Micro also announced a beta release of SecureCloud, a hosted key management and data encryption service designed to give enterprises more control over data stored in public, private or hybrid clouds, which may go some way to addressing the frequently expressed confusion amongst businesses about the cloud.

“The challenge that we are addressing is one of control,” said Todd Thieman, senior director of data centre security marketing at Trend Micro. “If you look at what the cloud does in terms of controlling data, it poses some new challenges.”

The technology will facilitate the movement between the data centre and the cloud, he added. With SecureCloud, enterprises can decide when and where keys are released and secure volumes are accessed as well as establish accountability over data access and key deployment with logging and audit functionality.

“The cloud’s been the sexy topic du jour; a lot of people are talking about how they want to use it and that security is a significant inhibitor,” Thieman said. “While there’s a lot of talk…we’re delivering substance so enterprises can go out there and take advantage of the cloud economics and the flexibility that the cloud has to offer.”

Delivered via software as a service, SecureCloud supports Amazon EC2, Eucalyptus or VMware vCloud. The product is expected to be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2010. Organisations interested in the beta can apply here.

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Cloud News

Vendors Converge On Packaged Clouds

HP and Oracle extend their converged infrastructure products but smaller packages are also appearing

On  by Jeffrey Burt eWEEK USA 2012. Ziff Davis Enterprise Inc. All Rights Reserved. 0

Top-tier data centre systems makers continue to roll out prepackaged hardware-and-software offerings as they look to grow their capabilities in the increasingly competitive converged infrastructure space.

Both Hewlett-Packard and Oracle added to their portfolios this week with solutions that leverage both in-house and partner technologies designed to give enterprises integrated and easy-to-deploy converged data centre systems. Such offerings are considered by analysts and vendors as critical technologies as businesses continue their migration to cloud computing environments.

Broad Pre-Packaged Cloud Market

Smaller systems makers also are making strides in that direction. At the Cloud Summit East show in New York on June 7, Supermicro and cloud software vendor Nimbula partnered to offer Supermicro servers optimised for Nimbula’s Director software platforms and aimed at businesses looking to grow their cloud computing capabilities.

“Awareness of IT cost and infrastructure benefits in private and public cloud computing is reaching the masses,” Wally Liaw, vice president of international sales at Supermicro. “Supermicro’s cloud-ready server solutions are an ideal computing platform for Nimbula Director. Supermicro’s application-optimised systems combined with Nimbula’s expertise in cloud deployment automation, operation, and scalability will provide any size enterprise or service provider with an accelerated, cost-effective path to evolving cloud services.”

Such converged data centre solutions got a shot in the arm a couple of years ago when Cisco Systems rolled out its UCS (Unified Computing System), a tightly integrated, all-in-one data centre offering that includes Cisco-branded server and networking devices, storage from EMC and virtualisation capabilities from VMware. It also includes management software.

The UCS has been a solid business for Cisco. IDC analysts said last month that Cisco is now the No. 3 blade server vendor in the world, and company executives said Cisco now has 5,400 UCS customers and an annual run rate of $900 million for UCS product orders.

Converged Cloud Offerings Proliferating

Such integrated offerings are not necessarily new, but vendor and customer interest has grown with the rise of virtualisation and cloud computing. Now most hardware vendors are rolling out such converged packages. For example, Dell in April announced vStart, a pre-assembled hardware and software bundle of Dell PowerEdge servers, EqualLogics storage and PowerConnect switches that will be delivered as a single unit and easily deployed. A vStart package will let businesses initially run 100 or 200 virtual machines with that number growing later.

As part of its Converged Infrastructure initiative, HP executives at their Discover 2011 show June 6 rolled out new and enhanced data centre packages complete with HP servers, storage, networking and services, and with support for a wide range of virtualisation technologies from VMware, Citrix Systems and Microsoft. HP’s AppSystem, VirtualSystem and CloudSystem offerings are designed to help businesses more easily migrate to cloud computing environments, according to company officials.

Analyst generally applauded HP’s announcements. Charles King, principle analyst with Pund-IT Research, said in a note that HP’s vision of an Instant-On Enterprise, with systems that provide seamless and flexible support for myriad processes, makes sense.

“If this all sounds familiar, it should,” King wrote. “Though HP’s branding is fairly unique, the company’s go-to-market approach and goals fall generally in line with those pursued by virtually every other major systems vendor… HP’s Converged Enterprise strategy and growing solution portfolio have made the company more formidable than it has been for some time.”

Forrester Research analyst Richard Fichera said the HP offerings gives enterprises options.

“With these new announcements, the virtual infrastructure platform segment of the [converged infrastructure] space begins to look positively crowded, and now HP users will have an alternative to the VCE offerings [from Cisco and partners] as well as Dell’s new vStart options when looking at these platforms,” Fichera wrote in a June 7 blog post. “On the integrated application stack side, the new HP options look like strong choices for users of these complex vertical stacks.”

Sun Breaking Through The Cloud

Oracle officials have been looking to leverage combined hardware-software offerings since buying Sun Microsystems last year and inheriting its SPARC systems, rolling out such solutions as the Exadata database system and Exalogic, a cloud-in-a-box offering.

On June 7, Oracle unveiled the Oracle Optimised Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, an integrated and pre-tested solution that combines Oracle’s Sun Blade servers, ZFS storage appliance and Oracle VM virtualisation technology. It will run Oracle Solaris or Oracle Linux operating systems, and comes with Oracle consulting services.

“Oracle is radically simplifying cloud deployment with a pre-tested, single vendor solution for enterprise cloud infrastructure,” Ali Alasti, vice president of hardware development for Oracle, said in a statement. “By engineering our hardware and software together, the Oracle Optimised Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure cuts deployment time from weeks to hours and helps customers get virtualised infrastructure up and running faster.”

Two days later, Oracle officials announced they were preloading new virtualisation software onto some SPARC system. Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.1 enables users to host as many as 128 virtual machines on a single server.

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Cloud News Security

Security Main Concern Around Cloud Planning

Unisys found that just over half of users cited security and data privacy as the key concerns around cloud computing

A recent survey by Unisys is reinforcing what others have found: that security remains the top issue of enterprises when considering cloud computing.

Survey results released by Unisys on 15 Sept found that of 312 respondents, 51 percent cited security and data privacy as their top concern regarding the cloud.

The other major issues were integrating cloud-based applications with existing systems, the ability to bring systems back in-house and regulatory and compliance concerns, according to the survey.

“These poll results confirm what we continue to hear from our clients as well as industry analysts,” Sam Gross, vice president of global IT outsourcing solutions, said in a statement. “Until they are convinced that there is ‘industrial-strength’ security in the cloud, CIOs will remain reluctant to move more than development and test systems into that environment.”

The responses to Unisys’ survey echoes those that were received in similar studies. For example, a survey of 500 IT professionals from around the world conducted by IT consultancy Avanade found that, by a 5-to-1 ratio, respondents trusted in-house systems to those in the cloud because of security and loss-of-control issues.

Application delivery networking vendor F5 Networks in August released survey results that found that 99 percent of the 250 IT professionals surveyed were either discussing or implementing a public or private compute cloud, but respondents also said access control and security were key technologies necessary for cloud adoption.

Vendors—including Unisys—are trying to bulk up the security for the burgeoning computing model. In June, Unisys unvieled a cloud computing strategy that includes a patent-pending security technology codenamed “Stealth.” Unisys initially created Stealth several years ago for government agencies looking to secure their data, and now is aiming that technology at private, public and hybrid clouds.

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Cloud News

Zoho And Netsuite Collaborate On Cloud Autism App

Autism experiences led the wives of NetSuite and Zoho CEOs to create MedicalMine and its ChARM cloud application

Zoho and NetSuite have joined to form MedicalMine, a company focused on helping caregivers tend to children with autism and other chronic diseases.

While the joint venture between the two companies is bringing them into the health care IT field, it’s also a personal situation for the leaders of MedicalMine, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif.

Autism affects the son of MedicalMine CEO Pramila Srinivasan and her husband, Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu. In addition, the daughter of Elizabeth Horn, MedicalMine’s executive vice president of marketing and business development, and her husband, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson, has also been diagnosed with the condition.

Children Suffering From Autism

The executives came together to create ChARM (Children’s Autism Recovery Map), a Web application to track the care of children suffering from autism and other chronic diseases.

“We wanted to help make parents aware of ChARM and the help it can provide to caregivers of children with autism,” NetSuite’s Nelson said in a statement. “The goal is to understand the real problems faced by parents and physicians in everyday life,” Srinivasan told eWEEK. By creating ChARM, MedicalMine aims to document the daily challenges of autism patients all in one place, Srinivasan said.

ChARM runs on Zoho’s SAAS (software-as-a-service) application platform. The software will also use some of the same services as Zoho products, such as Web e-mail and messaging. Meanwhile, NetSuite provides the marketing support for MedicalMine.

In October 2010, MedicalMine will release an electronic medical record, or EMR, version called ChARM Physician, which will allow doctors to input their medical records into the system and share them with patients. Physicians will also be able to store a child’s handwriting as well as photographs of rashes and bruises. In addition, they can upload video of seizures and log the occurrences. The product will also support third-party prescription handling.

For 2011, MedicalMine plans a third product called ChARM Research. In advance of the release, doctors are defining what types of data mining they’re interested in, said Srinivasan. Medical researchers will be able to understand the workflow of a doctor’s office, including the physical exam, details of encounter and objective evaluation, said Srinivasan.

“Researchers will have the ability to connect with the patients or their caregivers and get a comprehensive picture of what the child is going through on a daily basis,” said Srinivasan. “We have all this information coming through the ChARMTracker portal, where the children are eating, where they’re going to school. All of this will give the full picture to the researcher and clinicians.”

Diabetes And Chronic Fatigue

Although ChARM began as a way to monitor autism, it’s evolved into a way to track other types of conditions as well, such as diabetes and chronic fatigue.

“The goal is to capture more than just autism,” she said. The product will also meet the needs of radiologists, immunologists, endocrinologists. “It will probably lose its origin a little bit,” said Srinivasan. “Technology is a crucial piece to help us solve the puzzle of autism,” Vembu wrote in a statement. “Without a systematic collection of data about these children, from genomics to nutrition to environmental triggers, we will not find the answers to the unanswered questions about causation and prevention.”

ChARMTracker was introduced at the Autism One Conference in Chicago on 24 May, 2009. “Research for autism is going to be explosive in magnitude in the future,” Srinivasan said. “It’s good for high tech to be deployed in this process to accelerate the growth of research and make it possible for children to have good standard of care and treatment outcomes.”