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This Week in Cloud, August 4, 2011: Nebula startup from former NASA CTO, CA Technologies acquires Watchmouse, VMware changes pricing, AWS start-up challenge, NIST publishes cloud computing standards roadmap. And more…

Cloud News

  • NASA’s former CTO has launched a startup called Nebula, which has raised seed money from Google’s first three investors. Its first product is slated to be available in the Fall. It will be a hardware appliance pre-loaded with customized OpenStack software and Arista networking tools designed to manage racks of commodity servers as a private cloud. For more information, read this GigaOm article.
  • CA Technologies acquired Watchmouse, a Netherlands-based firm that provides a SaaS service to monitor the performance of mobile and cloud applications. Watchmouse launches synthetic calls to cloud services to ensure applications are up and running and ready for an influx of traffic. The Watchmouse service is based on 60 monitoring stations in 40 countries. For more information, read this Information Week article.
  • VMware announced revised pricing for vSphere following the public uprising about changes to its pricing structure announced in July. While the price points have changed by allotting more memory per virtual machine, VMware isn’t backing down from charging based on vRAM. Read this GigaOm blog for more.
  • NIST published the Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap. It categorizes standards for interoperability, portability and security, provides a gap analysis and identifies standardization priorities.
  • EMC quietly acquired a piece of Asankya, a developer of application acceleration services that can be applied to cloud storage. Asankya developed the technology behing the RAPIDnet Application Delivery Network. For more information, read this CRN article.
  • Amazon Web Services has announced the fifth annual Start-Up Challenge contest to recognize innovative uses of its cloud computing platform. First prize is $50K in cash and $50K in service credits. For more information, read this InfoWorld article.
  • The US Government has published the Cloud First Buyers Guide that includes guidelines for agency preparation and best practices.
  • Shortly after Dell announced an OpenStack IaaS cloud solution, HP announced it would be backing the OpenStack platform. Read more in this InfoWorld article.

Feature article

A service provider ecosystem gaining steam in the cloud is good news for enterprises

By Jay Fry

If you're in enterprise IT, you (or that guy who sits next to you) are very likely looking to figure out how to start using cloud computing. You've probably done a fair bit of sleuthing around the industry to see what's out there. Stats from a number of different analyst firms point overwhelmingly to the fact that enterprises are first and foremost trying to explore private cloud, an approach that gives them a lot of control and (hopefully) the ability to use their existing security and compliance implementations and policies.

And, all that sleuthing will most likely lead you to one pretty obvious fact: there are lots of approaches to building and delivering a private cloud. Here’s another criterion to include – the ecosystem of partners that are available to help you out. Read the full article.

Cloud Views

  • CIOs lack adequate cloud computing knowledge: Traditional IT outsourcing customers are struggling with cloud computing, according to recent research by KPMG Sourcing Advisory cited in this CIO article. IT service providers and advisors rated their IT executive customers’ knowledge of different cloud skills including managing and governing cloud initiatives, cloud sourcing and structuring cloud engagements.
  • Separating fact from fiction in cloud and SaaS: This ABA Banking Journal article summarizes a report published by Celent that analyzes the risks and benefits of cloud and SaaS specific to the banking industry and makes recommendations on where SaaS makes sense.
  • Big data in the cloud: In this Cloud Commons interview and transcript, Ryan Hughes, CEO of Skygone Inc (a company focused on geospatial operations), discusses his experiences with running big data applications in the cloud.

MSP Corner

  • IT solution provider Windsteam is purchasing VoIP specialist and MSP PAETEC for $2.3 billion, according to this Talkin’ Cloud article. PAETEC recently began offering services to manage cloud servers and had plans to build 13 new data centers around the world.
  • There has been much debate about the role of traditional VARs and systems integrators in the cloud era. The CMO of Brocade believes that VARs have an important role to play in providing the “first mile to the cloud.” Read more in this CRN article.

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CloudCommons is an independent online community of IT professionals, analysts, technology providers, and industry experts. Members can ask questions, learn from experts, and find the latest cloud-related news. Cloud Commons offers a forum to contribute and discuss best practices and successes, as well as research vendor solutions. Sponsored by CA Technologies, Cloud Commons has been growing steadily since its launch in May of 2010.

Hosted on Cloud Commons is the Service Measurement Index (SMI). Led by Carnegie Mellon University, SMI encompasses a growing consortium of members. SMI compiles user-submitted ratings of cloud services and scores them relative to other services of the same type. Ratings include metrics such as: quality, agility, risk, cost, capability, and security.

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