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The Future of the Cloud

Changing Everything, Again
Think back 20 years ago, when legacy hardware technology ruled the communications industry. With the aim to replace all that hardware, an all-in-one software platform hit the market - changing everything. Now move ahead 20 years. The cloud is in full view, and another platform is poised to change our industry again. Visionary? Or just a case of uncovering the cloud's true capability? The answer is, it's both. And the approach is pure.

Cloud Connectivity

Why the Network is Critical to Cloud Success
It's certainly no secret that cloud solutions have become an important and increasingly necessary part of how companies do business today. For enterprises, implementing cloud-based services can help boost productivity, enhance efficiency and reduce costs.

Cloud Backup

Can the Cloud Take on Disaster Recovery?
As someone who talks a lot about redundancy, I was troubled by the thought of talking about the cloud with regard to disaster recovery. City of Asheville CIO Jonathan Feldman, though, was impressed by the ideas and concepts put forth by CloudVelox. Like every good CIO, however, he started small with the company, migrating important, but non-essential elements of the systems under his control, before moving forward with growing capacity.

Communications on the Cloud

Cloud is Not a Replacement
The IT/Telecom space is really a product pushing realm. We talk about solutions, but the solutions are often just hardware and software to replace the hardware and software you have. Now, with this cool new buzz word, "cloud," we can replace the hardware and the software with stuff in "the cloud." "Google found that 81 percent of U.S. respondents believe that implementing Cloud technology will improve employee productivity and 71 percent felt it would reduce the time required to bring new products and services to market."

Cloud Management

A Winning Hybrid Cloud Strategy
Application outages can inflict serious damage on businesses, from travelers stranded because of a booking application outage to a bank being unable to serve its customers online or problems with electronic trading systems.

View from the Cloud

2014 Future of the Cloud Survey has Surprises - Nice Ones for a Change
Did you know that 90 percent of the world's data has been created in the last two years? Do you realize that 80 percent of it is unstructured? Why is this important? After Gigaom Research and North Bridge Venture Partners released their fourth 2014 Future of Cloud Computing survey, I had a chance to pick the brain of Michael Skok at Gigaom's Structure event. Skok is founder of the Future of Cloud program and General Partner at North Bridge Venture Partners. He believes that, within three years, more data will live in the cloud than anywhere else.

Publishers Outlook

EasyNDA Aims to Lubricate Business
We live in a sharing society, which seems to be divided by generational lines that dictate your level of privacy. At 30 and under, you likely share virtually everything about yourself online. Older than that, you probably guard your privacy more. Interestingly, there are companies that look at their internal confidentiality the same way. Some startups will not share anything about their plans for years -preferring to stay in stealth mode, while others start tweeting their plans from the moment they get the idea, through funding and potential IPO.

Silver Lining

Microsoft vs Google: Winner Take Cloud
From Cloud Arena, the bell has just rung signifying the next round of the Microsoft vs. Google battle. This time, it is Microsoft which comes out swinging, announcing it is doing away with OneDrive cloud storage limits for its Office 365 customers-further evidence that storage has become nearly a commodity (sorry, Dropbox).

Silver Linings

Cloud Innovation - A Whole New World
Over the past few years, we've witnessed an evolution in technology that has transformed the way we live and work. Cloud computing has driven incredible efficiency in the business world and has allowed businesses to merge into a highly mobile and flexible era. Indeed, there are few applications and services in either the business or consumer world that aren't touched by cloud in some capacity.

Programmable Cloud

Cloudy SDN
Even though Cloud is older, technologically, than SDN, there still remains many misconceptions regarding what, exactly, a cloud comprises. Cloud is, at its core, about the abstraction of resources that can be provisioned and managed programmatically. Whether we're talking IaaS or PaaS or even SaaS, Cloud requires the use of software-defined techniques to achieve the agility and cost-savings attributed to it.

The Future of Cloud

The Cloud Ecosystem Journey
"It's all about the ecosystem. There is a lot of innovation to come."

Cloud Compliance

Personal Information in the Cloud, is it Secure?
In today's economy, we all shop online and use credit cards to some extent. Do you ever wonder what happens with your personal data after you hand it over? How do the vendors entrusted with this information protect it? What is done to keep financial data secure? How about medical information? Given several recent newsworthy security breaches, consumers ponder where all their personal information is processed and stored - and how safe it is.

Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage as We Know It Has an Expiration Date
Ten years after the birth of the cloud, Box, Dropbox and other early cloud-based platforms are starting to reap the rewards of their efforts. Box just filed for its IPO and looks poised to take on the enterprise giants of the Fortune 500, while Dropbox is basking in a $10 billion valuation.

Cloud Infrastructure

Three Tips for Evaluating and Deploying IaaS for High-Performance Apps
As organizations become increasingly comfortable with putting business-critical apps in the cloud, many - particularly Internet-centric startups - have completely bypassed making in-house infrastructure investments.

Open Source Cloud

Consuming OpenStack: Two Choices for Enterprise Success
Organizations that have been successful with OpenStack in production are those that possess significant technical sophistication. Service providers, like Comcast and Rackspace, and carriers, like AT&T, are great examples.

Cloud Management

Managing Hybrid Cloud
As we enter more deeply into 2014, we should look more closely at the compelling argument for extending applications into the cloud/hybrid cloud to address the need for fast, flexible capacity. According to comScore, $42.8 billion was spent online from desktop devices; an increase of 10 percent compared to a year ago - a clear example of Web-based systems temporarily needing extra capacity, while having the same needs for security and control.

View from the Cloud

CSPs Need to Offer Bundles of Traditional and Cloud Services
Conventional wisdom has been that small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are the "low hanging fruit" for cloud services. In fact, the market has validated this. However, an interesting question has been whether or not SMBs would be willing to use their existing communications service provider (CSP) for some combination of traditional and cloud services.

PUBLISHER'S OUTLOOK

How the NSA is Prompting International Cloud Expansion
2014 will be a good year for local data center builders and equipment providers as cloud companies scramble to build clouds all over the world. From a profitability standpoint, Snowden's NSA revelations have accelerated a trend which is not really a positive for US cloud companies. The only possible plus is this move will help new local entrants who may force the large players to become better in order to compete.

VIEW FROM THE CLOUD

Two Sides of Cloud Security
The only area where I see the cloud as less secure is government surveillance. These providers are sitting ducks for the NSA. Fortunately the NSA isn't trying to steal data to use against corporations, or infect your computers. They just want a little looksee, which though not great isn't nearly as bad as what the criminals can do. And I still think cyber criminals have an easier time breaking into your shop than they do Amazon AWS.

Cloud Services

Exploring Cloud-based Automation for Ordering Over-the-Top IP Services
Using a cloud-based supply chain integration solution, ITSPs and wholesale aggregators can bypass large, traditional, and holistic OSS deployments and overcome home-grown system constraints. The inherently available simultaneous workflows and common APIs of a cloud-based solution can handle all necessary orchestration, activation and service fulfillment, bonding selected services and features to a number, hosted seat, or OTT application in a centralized location. As a result, these new OTT players can improve the integrity of their products and present best-of-breed apps and services out across their channels far more seamlessly.

Private Cloud

Simplifying Private Cloud Delivery: IP VPNs and Private Cloud Connect
In the last issue of Cloud Computing magazine, we talked about Private Cloud Connect, which provides a standardized Layer 2 connection using Carrier Ethernet EVPL to connect an Enterprise to a Cloud Provider. With this basic connection in place there is another aspect that needs standardization: the IP layer. A successful model must account for the fact that while the Private Cloud service is being delivered over Carrier Ethernet at Layer 2, the cloud service transport is IP at Layer 3. As a result, IP routes or subnets need to be coordinated between the Enterprise and the Cloud Provider. The candidate approaches for coordination of routing information include:

THE FUTURE OF THE CLOUD

A Vision of the Cloud, from a Visionary CEO
The cloud will provide access to an increasing amount of intelligent and predictive information. Companies can use this information and other "intuitive new tools from the cloud to create a customer service experience that today they can only dream of."

COMM ON THE CLOUD

Are You Ready for the Question?
We see carriers like Netwolves and EarthLink packaging up compliance like PCI and HIPAA. Soon vendors will need to package up privacy. For those selling globally, Europe has more stringent data privacy concerns and laws than the US. Be aware of them. Ask your vendors for documentation about these (very real) concerns.

CLOUD SECURITY

CLOUD SDN
SDN can fit quite well into such environments. Most enterprise-class network elements already provide a programmatic interface (API) through which they can be managed and controlled. This API enables integration with cloud management frameworks like OpenStack either directly or via a more localized controller (the SDN controller, if so enabled). It is the cloud management platform that pulls together the various data center components - from storage to compute, from application services to network services - and provides the means to manage them all holistically via software.

CLOUD SECURITY

Encryption as a Service - Removing Barriers to Cloud Adoption
Whether your cloud strategy involves simply backing-up enterprise data to an offsite service provider or is as elaborate as building a multi-tenant hybrid cloud that includes a mix of private data center and multiple public clouds to support a heterogeneous group of internal departments, data encryption designed specifically for virtualized environments offers a simple and effective approach to securing sensitive data.

SILVER LINING

Making the Connected Home Smart
One of the growing trends evident at this year's CES - indeed, one that has been building momentum generally - is the home automation or connected home market. Indeed, the market may be reaching a critical juncture, judging by the acquisition of Nest by Google.

Publisher's Outlook

2013: Year of the Cloud Consumer
It would seem 2013 marked a cloud milestone in terms of competition, acceptance and consumer value. More importantly, this year, even the skeptics seemed to give in. There are lots of reasons why this is an exemplary year in regards to cloud adoption and competition. Here are many of them.

Cloud Security

What You Should Know About IaaS security
According to Gartner and other researchers, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the fastest growing segment of the public cloud market. There are many reasons: reduced cost, faster scalability, and easier elasticity, to name a few. But before you entrust your data to a cloud service provider (CSP), there are some key security factors you must consider to ensure your data stays safe in the cloud.

Private Clouds

Simplifying Private Cloud Delivery
One aspect of successful technologies is they are easy for customers to understand. There may be supporting complexity, but it is hidden from the end user. Today, public cloud services are popular not only because they are inexpensive and efficient, but because they are easy to buy and use. Private cloud services (those reached directly by carrier Ethernet E-Line services) need to adopt the dynamic and easy nature of public cloud services. However, this means that delivery of private cloud services needs to be standardized, simplified and automated.

Cloud Adoption

The Current State of Cloud Adoption
While cloud computing continues to gain steam -- with relatively all major IT vendors on board -- now is a good time to examine the current state of cloud adoption. This may help us all validate assumptions or change course and plan ahead.

COMM ON THE CLOUD

Cash is King, but it's Not Everything
I think we will see more cloud services providers go broke. There are too many of them; not enough good marketing; not enough cash flow; and too many big players like Amazon eating at their lunch.

THE FUTURE OF CLOUD

The Future of the Cloud
Solution providers ensure their people follow best practices and processes for managing all aspects of the solution lifecycle - deployment, support, application upgrades/updates, change management, keeping dependent platforms and networks up-to-date and operational, keeping the environment secure, etc. For example, best practices are prescribed for defining, designing and implementing call flows, routing routines, IVR menus, business and service processes (mapping), etc. You get the point. These proven, time-tested processes are critical to enhancing the customer experience.

SILVER LINING

Between Amazon and Private Cloud
What is the cloud? Well, that's been the million-dollar question for years, with vendor after vendor creating a unique definition for cloud, naturally motivated by their own products. Generally speaking, the cloud" is touted for its flexibility, scalability, mobility, and cost-effectiveness - all features business require as they seek to build and expand. Today, we've at least come to some agreement regarding three service models of cloud - SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. It's progress.

VIEW FROM THE CLOUD

Why MSPs Matter
Nemertes Research recognizes this and says so in its 'Shift to "Enterprise Technology" Relies Upon Vendor Partners for Managed, Cloud Services' report inked by founder Robin Gareiss. MSPs fundamentally change how IT is done. They enables companies to move from IT to being Enterprise Technology (ET) focused.

Publisher's Outlook

How the Prism Leak Will Hurt U.S. Tech Companies
Now that the world is aware of NSA's Prism program, which seems to provide unfettered access to the servers of America's Web firms, we can expect a brave new world of communications and technology competition.

View from the Cloud

The Cloud Issue No One Talks About
Cloud vendors no longer have to answer whether their services are secure and full-featured. In almost every case they are. That is enough to satisfy many customers who forget to ask what may be the most critical question - how will my new cloud app perform?

Silver Lining

NSA's PRISM not Distorting the Future of Cloud Computing
In his Publisher's Outlook (see page 4), Rich discusses the potential impact of the recent revelations surrounding the NSA's PRISM program or tech companies. While he may be right, and there may be some impact, it will not likely be far reaching on long-lasting.

Cloud Communications

The Evolving Role of the Telephone Number in the Growth of Mobile
The telecommunications industry has been evolving and is most certainly moving ahead from circuit-switched technology to an all-IP packet-switched world. With this technological evolution, we have experienced tremendous benefits - from advanced communication devices, especially in mobile (such as smartphones and tablets), advanced networks (such as HSPA+ and LTE), and just as important, open mobile ecosystems and marketplaces. The result is a massive, exponential growth on all things mobile.

Cloud Conversation

The Intersection of Data and the Cloud: Journey from A to E
In today's data driven world high quality data is a prerequisite of success and survival. The exponential amount of data generated by big data and cloud computing, coupled with the advent of the 24/7 online, any time global business, means it is no longer feasible to tackle data quality problems as point applications within tactical business and IT silos such as CRM, and billing.

Public vs. Private Cloud

Leading Enterprises Think Beyond the Cloud
Decisions today made by leading organizations no longer focus on "should we use the cloud?" but rather "how can we use it?"

The Open Cloud

The State of OpenStack
Everyone knows about Linux. It's arguably the most successful open source project ever.

The Future of Cloud

Moving at the Speed of Business: IT says, 'Yes' with Cloud
It's not your father's IT shop anymore. IT organizations have become a critical extension of the business, tasked by the board room to deliver new tech-driven products and services to further differentiate the business - and do it faster than everyone else.

Comm on the Cloud

Disasters and Cloud
Story-telling is a vital ingredient in selling. In a hyper-competitive market, good stories win. Disasters are riveting stories on the news.

Cloud Storage

Data Storage Boom Comes Down to DR, Dollars
The rapid growth of data storage resides at the merger of two concepts: disaster recovery and cost effectiveness. The clear superiority of cloud solutions over in-house storage in the increasingly essential element of disaster recovery fuels the accelerating migration into the cloud.

Cloud Security

Cybersecurity Emerges as a Big Data Problem
In a connected world there are no boundaries. Desk-bound activities such as email are now performed on mobile devices. What once required a personal visit is now be done online (e.g. banking, shopping) - from anywhere, anytime.

Cloud Compliance

Six Best Practices for Safe Cloud Adoption
Cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications are being adopted at an unprecedented rate. While enterprises leverage traditional cloud services such as Salesforce.com and Microsoft Office 365, employees subscribe to less popular services, including Evernote and Prezi - with or without their IT department's permission or knowledge.

SILVER LINING

Changing Channels
For some time, there has been debate over exactly how to define "The Cloud." There's This-as-a-Service, That-as-a-Service, Something-Else-as-a-Service, Can-We-Deliver-This-as-a-Service? Each has a different purpose and is actually more different than similar - the similarity is they are all delivered from somewhere else (a.k.a., the cloud).

VIEW FROM THE CLOUD

Cloud is Here to Stay
I came across a Forbes article recently, which was essentially a compilation of some of the most memorable quotes about cloud, like this one: "Ultimately, the cloud is the latest example of Schumpeterian creative destruction: creating wealth for those who exploit it; and leading to the demise of those that don't," - a decidedly insightful quote attributed to Joe Weinman, senior VP at Telx and author of "Cloudonomics: The Business Value of Cloud Computing."

PUBLISHER'S OUTLOOK

Metaswitch Asks: Are You Ready to be a Software Telco?
In a recent conversation with Steve Gleave and Carol Daniels of Metaswitch at Mobile World Congress 2013, I learned the company is taking the move to virtualization seriously and their recent product launch of 19 months ago - the SBC, which was developed to run in a such an environment.

THE FUTURE OF THE CLOUD

The Cloud: The Great Equalizer for the Small Contact Center
Good news. This is changing. Market leaders are now offering powerful, simple and cost-effective cloud solutions designed specifically for small contact centers. And not surprisingly, these offerings are inherently more mature and scalable. Small centers no longer have to settle. They now have access to the same cloud platforms as the big boys. The cloud is the great equalizer.

THE OPEN CLOUD

Open Projects Drive the Open Cloud
Open source software is licensed via an open source license, examples of which include Apache, GPL, GNU and MIT licenses. The copyright holder is usually a foundation established for the purpose, and licenses generally cover rights to study, change and distribute the software at no charge and for most any purpose. The code is developed in an open, collaborative manner by volunteer developers and by commercial entities interested in leveraging the software for use in their own products.

CLOUD STORAGE

The New World of Hyper-Scale Unstructured Data
Such rich media represents a unique and rapidly proliferating type of Big Data best characterized as "Big Unstructured Data." Usually the term Big Data refers to analytics performed on relative small structured data files. In contrast Big Unstructured Data refers to massive size files as typified by HD video and other video files that are each hundreds of gigabytes. In media and entertainment (M&E) specifically, the advent of High-Frame Rate (HFR) movies, at 48 frames per second, and soon in 60 frames per second and even higher, easily will be generating10's of Terabytes of digital file content per hour. Imagine the countless hours of video that will eventually be captured and maintained across the world.

CLOUD SECURITY

Shared Infrastructure, Shared Options
Deciding whether to invest in a cloud offering or not on the surface seems to be a simple financial exercise. The ability of the provider to share the cost of what would otherwise likely be expensive infrastructure across many customer benefits everyone with lower costs. And it's not just the capital investment that's shared, it's the ongoing operating expenses associated with maintenance that gets shared, too. But sharing network infrastructure means sharing network infrastructure everything - including configuration options that may or may not be appropriate for your application, and the risk that goes along with it.

CLOUD CONVERSATION

The Year of the Hybrid Cloud for the Enterprise
The challenge for enterprise-scale companies is in making hybrid cloud as reliable and as manageable as their time-tested data center systems. To achieve the increased flexibility and cost savings that cloud deployments offer, application management and cloud service vendors are stepping up to provide increased visibility into cloud-based application performance. As IT operations teams realize this shift in management capabilities, they will quickly move to deploy applications in hybrid cloud environments.

CLOUD COMPLIANCE

Critical Data and the Secure Cloud
Primarily, breaches of cloud data could prove devastating and costly, with any breaches sparking downtime. Still, for increased security, you may want to consider the cloud. While this goes against conventional wisdom, there are reasons it makes sense. One, partnering with a vendor with a dedicated data center and one that follows a holistic approach to serving customers can alleviate security concerns. Why? Because of the single-minded obsessiveness that these vendors must bring to bear.

CLOUD COMMUNICATIONS

UCaaS: Recognizing Favorable Shifts and Their Implications for Service Providers
It's undeniable that the unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) space is kicking into high gear. Recently, its growth has been the subject of deep analysis and reports that have confirmed expedient growth for the market over the next several years. In fact, UCaaS subscriber numbers are forecasted to grow sixteen-fold over the next five years, and UCaaS revenues expected to grow almost as quickly, according to Synergy Research Group.

The Future of Cloud

If You Don't Trust the Cloud, Don't Go
Security. Reliability. Functionality. Flexibility. Most of the questions about the cloud have been answered to the point that contact centers are turning to cloud solutions en masse. And yet, among certain decision makers in the business, IT, and the contact center, there are still those that are reluctant to move operations to the cloud.

Cloud Security

Five Trend-Drivers for Cloud Security in 2013
What's ahead for the cloud in 2013? You can expect a growing recognition of the ROI-driven value of investments in cloud security. Once considered relatively small, the global cloud security market is projected to reach more than $6 billion in revenue by 2016, according to Transparency Market Research.

View From the Cloud

Securing the Cloud: Reaping the Rewards of BYOD
The Mayans predicted that the world as we knew it would come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012. However, since this first quarter of 2013 issue of Cloud Computing has found its way to you, we are obviously still here.

Silver Lining

Is Cloud Adoption Dissipating?
When you look at what's happened in the cloud computing space in the last 12 months, it's nothing short of remarkable. A year ago, I noted that the increase in mobile app usage in the consumer segment, as well as enterprise adoption in a range of use cases, would help sustain its growth.

Publisher's Outlook

Who Should Buy Linksys? And How Does the Cloud Fit In?
Cisco recently appointed Barclays to help it auction off Linksys - consistent with the company's move to exit low-margin consumer businesses as it looks to invest in high-margin areas like software and services. But as the saying goes, one man's garbage is another man's gold. Linksys is indeed a treasure to the right partner like Google or even Samsung.

Cloud Compliance

Taxing the Cloud: Tax Implications of Adding Cloud Communications on Providers of Cloud Computing
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should not act upon the information in this article without seeking professional counsel.

Cloud Communications

Did Sandy Shake-Up the Cloud?
This past fall, the Northeast was blasted by a storm named Sandy that left millions without power and thousands without homes. Numerous data centers were flooded and down. All of this happened during the hype of the cloud.

The Open Cloud

OpenStack: The Good, the Bad and the Future
The OpenStack open source cloud software project is only two and a half years old, but it has already attracted the active participation of more than 200 companies and 6,000 software developers. New deployments are launching continuously across all segments: service providers, enterprises, and even web-scale businesses.

Public vs. Private Cloud

Considerations When Moving to a Hosted Cloud
I have worked with many companies over the past 17 years to transform their business by implementing SAP. During transformation, companies typically review Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the enterprise architecture and recognize opportunities presented by the transformation.

Cloud Storage

Can BYOD Make Your Data More Secure?
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies have earned the ire of IT professionals and security experts, but for organizations that have embraced software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, BYOD can actually make data more secure. The reason is simple: BYOD decreases the chances of user error.

Cloud Management

The Next Level of Application Performance Management (APM) in the Cloud
Businesses expect many benefits when they move to the cloud, including greater business agility, significant cost-savings and of course, increased profitability. Careful application performance management (APM) can be the key to achieving these benefits, in more ways than one.

The Open Cloud

Enterprise Virtualization Clouds vs. Elastic Infrastructure Clouds
Enterprises pursuing cloud computing migration strategies have endured a seemingly endless stream of promises, predictions and obfuscation over the past five years. Finally, a measure of clarity has emerged, one that presents two distinct and differing paths for enterprises making cloud infrastructure choices.

Private vs. Public Cloud

If You've Got It, Use It: Implement a Private Cloud with Minimal Changes
Imagine that you want to remodel your home, adding onto your family room to accommodate larger gatherings. Would it be more cost-effective to tear down your entire house, or just make changes to the one room? Obviously it's best to just change what you need to, but some organizations today think that to take advantage of new technology trends, they essentially have to tear down the house. One area in which this is evident is implementing a private cloud.

Future of Cloud

The Cloud, Isn't It Ironic?
When the cloud first showed up in the contact center, adoption lagged behind other enterprise applications due to concerns… about security, reliability, control, provider viability, you name it. The initial reluctance of business leaders, IT directors, and contact center management was understandable given the lack of exposure they had to cloud applications and the mission critical nature of customer care operations.

Cloud Storage

Hybrid Storage in the Cloud: Why Not?
The amount of data and information enterprises are generating continues to grow at a truly staggering rate. Yet it seems very few companies are truly prepared to manage, store and protect it properly. Data is created through a wide array of devices and is distributed across numerous systems, locations, and geographies, so getting a handle on it can prove challenging.

Cloud Security

The Seven Deadly Sins of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing provides an increasingly popular way of procuring IT services that offers many benefits including increased flexibility as well as reduced cost. It extends the spectrum of information technology (IT) service delivery models beyond managed and hosted services to a form that is packaged and commoditized.

Cloud Management

Is Your Enterprise Cloud Driving Business Agility?
In this article, I will provide seven easy steps to help IT and business leaders make strategic decisions for their enterprise cloud investments and drive business agility.

Cloud Integration

Fear, Uncertainty and Dumb: The 'Horrors' of Cloud
We've never met. Unfortunately, we probably never will. I, and many of my peers, grew up tinkering, hacking and learning on the hardware that you designed. It saddens me a bit that hardware has advanced to a point where a motivated curious child armed with a soldering iron and a grand vision is simply no match for modern industrial electronics manufacturing techniques.

Silver Lining

User Expectations Driving Cloud Adoption
Following the launch of the iPhone 5, the technology world's attention was focused squarely on the new features and enhanced capabilities - as well as those that were still missing from Apple's latest iconic device. In fact, the majority of technology conversations tend to focus on what users can do with the latest hardware, services and applications.

Cloud Compliance

Prevailing Against the Challenges of PCI Compliance in the Cloud
Implementing the technical and administrative controls that will pass a PCI audit is challenging enough in a traditional data center where everything is under your complete control. Cloud-based application and server hosting, however, adds additional complexity to these challenges.

Publisher's Outlook

Tomorrow's Cloud, Optimized by Plantronics
Most people think of the cloud as being removed from the local environment because, after all, it requires the addition of a browser to access. But thanks to innovation from the people at Plantronics, the cloud can now reach through the browser and closer to the user than ever before. In fact, the company has an SDK, which for the first time bridges the worlds of mobile and enterprise communications as well as computing. While CTI or computer-telephony integration is not a new concept, Plantronics uses its Spokes software as communications middleware to seamlessly connect mobile telephony with cloud-based or on-premise enterprise software.

View From the Cloud

Storm of Cloud Confusion Persists
Recently, I covered a somewhat vexing cloud topic that I haven't been able to shake since writing the article for TMCnet.com last month. While the industry is caught up in this "storm" known as "cloud," most Americans believe cloud computing is actually affected by inclement weather, according to recent research. If you were among those who saw this report, you may have been in as much as, if not more, disbelief than I.

Cloud Conversation

The Four Pitfalls of SaaS Monetization
A transformation is taking place in the software industry. Experts agree that the number of traditional on-premise-only software vendors will continue to decrease at a rapid rate and most new software vendors coming to market will focus on building their solutions as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offerings. Despite this fundamental shift in the delivery of software, developers still need to pay close attention to maximizing the value of their software from both a revenue and cost perspective.

Cloud Communications

Winds of Change
The hosted versus premise debate has been raging for a while. The tide is turning. One major reason that hosted PBX is winning is due to the nature of the office. The idea of the office is changing. Freelancers, virtual workers and mobile workers are making the physical office - if there still is one - a hub, but not the place that many workers work.

Silver Lining

Beyond the Hype Cycle, Cloud Means Real Business
For the past two years, the hype around cloud has done nothing but grow, with vendor after vendor touting its latest and greatest cloud-based solutions that will help businesses become more agile and efficient. But, as anyone who has followed the tech space knows, hype is always followed by questions.

View From the Cloud

Five Cloud Trends to Watch Now
It's no surprise to anyone reading this that what the future holds for cloud computing is uncertain - which is why analysis of the market needs frequent review and it's what we strive to provide within each issue of Cloud Computing.

Publisher's Outlook

Connection Cloud Brings the Power of 4GL to the Cloud
As enterprises move more and more of their data into the cloud, the reality is they lose more control over the data they store on services from companies like Netsuite, Oracle and Salesforce. In order to get programmatic access to your data you need to become familiar with the APIs of each vendor and then deal with the intricacies of what information they make available.

The Cloud Conversation

Is 'The Cloud' a Misnomer?
Dear Service Providers, What do you mean when you say "cloud-based?" Do you mean your solution lives in the ether, accessible to all who pay for it with no vestiges of the old legacy systems?

Cloud Security

Securing Servers in the Cloud
By now, everyone knows that security is the number one concern among enterprises considering moving to the cloud, inhibiting cloud adoption. But lesser known is what to do to mitigate some of the security risks and concerns.

The Open Cloud

Open Cloud Comes to the Enterprise
Enterprise CIOs we talk to are beginning to realize that the private cloud they built to consolidate servers and run legacy applications is not the only cloud they need. The new cloud they're looking to build is specifically architected to run new applications designed to leverage the unique capabilities and economics of elastic infrastructure clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Cloud Integration

DR. Cloud: Rx for Recovery
Getting critical data replicated in near real-time to a cloud-based Disaster Recovery (DR) site is all fun and games. Conversely, creating an environment whereby this data can be rapidly deployed in a functional live state is all games and no fun. Here, we highlight a few of the problems that you're guaranteed to encounter.

Cloud Storage

NAND Flash: Cloud Computing's Silver Lining
The cloud industry's rapid growth is good for business, but puts cloud providers under great pressure to scale to meet growing and volatile performance demands, while maintaining a viable business model. Flash memory solves these problems for several cloud environments, including Web-scale and software-as-a-service providers.

Public vs. Private Cloud

Is UC in the Cloud Right for You?
Unified communications (UC) has opened up a new world of productivity for today's businesses. With all the different ways we have to share information now - voice, video and Web collaboration - managing all these tools within a single interface is critical for efficiency and speed.

The Future of Cloud

Harnessing the Power of Customer Moments
The future of customer care lies in the cloud and mobility, and the killer app for such mobility might be as simple as harnessing the power of customer moments. Think about how we use our smartphones and tablets.

Cloud Compliance

Compliance-Ready Cloud Security for the Enterprise
The regulatory pressure being placed on enterprises today is unprecedented. Factors including globalization, the advancement of technology and large scale failure of controls have driven data security and the manner in which data is shared, transported and retained, to become an integral component of governance.

Cloud Communications

The Special Sauce
There is no special sauce in telecom. Everyone has the same technology. Last year, there were fewer companies pushing hosted PBX. Today, in my market, hosted PBX is like the new Integrated T1 - everyone is offering it.

THE FUTURE OF CLOUD

The Cloud's Next Step:Increasing Intelligence
For as much as the cloud is still emerging in business communications, its foundation is sound.Now that things like virtual server technology and flexible deployment options are commonly in use,organizations in growing numbers are successfully meeting key requirements for security and predictability as well as control.

VIEW FROM THE CLOUD

Calling All Cloud Skeptics
For conceivably the past three years, we have heard, said and read a lot about thecatchphrase "cloud computing," whichundeniablyhas brought with it some mystique. At first, most people liked the idea of moving resources off premise, but many didn't want to get close enough to actually touch the concept. Times have certainly changed and we are seeing a maturing cloud movement: Even though cloud is still in the hype phase, as we enter the second quarter of 2012, more companies are choosing to move their IT infrastructure or communications into the cloud.

PUBLISHER'S OUTLOOK

Neustar Aims to Make Mobile App Development Easier
Recently Jean Foster and Steve Edwards at Neustar showed me their Intelligent Cloud service, which integrates rich, anonymized databases from TARGUSInfo with access to carrier network and other information to accelerate developer productivity and, frankly, to enable applications to become better drivers of value for consumers and revenue for advertisers and merchants.

COVER STORY

SMB Cloud Forecast: The Future is Bright
The bigger story, of course, is that the cloud enables SMBs to get on-demand access to the same enterprise-class communications applications that have previously beenexclusive to large organizations.Cloud Computing recently sat down with Walter Scott, CEO of GFI Software, to discuss adoption trends in the SMB market, how cloud is helping them level the playing field, and what concerns about cloud are justified or, more important, not justified.Our full exchange follows:

CLOUD COMMUNICATIONS

The M5 Case
Recently, M5 Communications was acquired for about $160 million by ShoreTel. The premise PBX vendor caves into the pressure of the cloud communications space both because of the opportunity and the threat. Avaya, Interactive Intelligence and MITEL have CaaS offerings. At some point, ShoreTel had to jump on that bandwagon.

CLOUD INTEGRATION

'Undisastering' Disaster Recovery
No matter how you play it, Disaster Recovery (DR) is an expensive hedge. Maintaining a live replica of your production environment in a remote location cannot be reduced to a negligible expense. Cloud-derived efficiencies can, however, make a functional DR solution far more accessible and less expensive. Rather than expounding upon the obvious benefits of cloud DR, this article focuses on the inherent obstacles using a borrowed theme that symbolically parallels the road from disaster to recovery.

PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE CLOUD

Private Personal Clouds: Fact or Fiction?
The recent forced closure of the popular Megaupload cloud file sharing service has left many people wondering about the security and overall wisdom of storing data and content in the cloud.

CLOUD COMPLIANCE

Assuring Cloud Compliance
Federal and state laws and industry regulations such as HIPAA and PCI DSS require strict controls on what kind of data can be stored, who can access it and where it can be stored. It is possible to have much tighter control on access in fully premise-based solutions, but they tend to be costly, especially for SMBs when they need to maintain multiple data center locations for failover and disaster recovery.

CLOUD SECURITY

Headache to Nightmare: Email Now a Corporate Threat?
Unsolicited email has always been a nuisance for both users and IT administrators. Recently, the intent of this type of email has taken a turn for the worse. What was once unwanted bulk mail, soliciting products,has turned into dangerous and sophisticated emails with the intent of stealing sensitive corporate data, costing businesses a substantial amount of time and money. Gartner recently reported that advanced technologies must catch the last .5 percent of this advanced spam.It is imperative thatbusinesses stop malicious email before it reaches corporate networks.

THE OPEN CLOUD

Simplicity Scales: A Winning Strategy for Cloud Builders
All cloud systems are inherently complex, and complexity is inherently evil. You can't avoid complexity, since the size and scale that drives efficiency also adds complexity. However, you can choose how complex to make your basic system. A winning strategy for any team of cloud builders is to start simple and then get more complex organically over time. Starting with a complex system means multiplying that complexity as you scale, multiplying the risk of a major failure.

CLOUD STORAGE

Can the Cloud Cover your Business when Disaster Strikes?
Disaster recovery is like life insurance - it's something everyone knows they need, but no one really wants to talk about, plan for, or spend money on. But, like life insurance, when disaster strikes, you're incredibly glad you made the decision to put that safety net in place.

Publisher's Outlook

Why a Cloud Computing Magazine? Why Now?
Most of us know the benefits of cloud from an OPEX versus CAPEX perspective but what is sometimes lost in the move to cloud is companies are also benefitting by being able to focus more on their core competency. Are we in the business of building data centers is a question more and more CXO titles are asking themselves and, except for a handful of markets, the answer is "no." And by focusing on business instead of managing server farms and software licenses, companies are able to be more nimble - scaling their compute and bandwidth needs up and down as their business needs dictate.

The Future of Cloud

Where Will the Cloud Take Us?
Considering business communications once revolved around the PBX, the cloud is mind-boggling. In companies of all kinds, applications for productivity and customer care are now being optimized to address the web, social media, speech analytics, mobility and huge amounts of data. Many of these optimizations, in fact, are delivering similar functionality in creative new ways.

View From the Cloud

Head in the Clouds
If you ask the cloud-reticent, they will say cloud is still in its infancy and the industry needs clear standards before they will make the leap from on premise computing.

Silver Lining

A Business Case That's Hard to Ignore
The past year has seen the use of cloud-based services and applications increase faster than many would have expected. While there's no shortage us consumer usage (see iCloud, GoogleApps, etc.), the same combination of ubiquitous access and ease of management/use offers a business case that is hard to ignore. In fact, the suggestion from IDC that by next year, three-quarters of the U.S. workforce will be mobile will only fuel the fire, as the current growth in mobile data usage will only continue. If businesses can mobilize more of their workforces - either putting them on the road or allowing more flexibility in terms of work environment - because they are no longer restricted by physical network limitations, why wouldn't they?

Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage: When Does It Make Sense for Your Business?
Businesses are finding that they need to store more and more data, for a variety of reasons. They may be converting boxes of paper files to a digital format, saving all their electronic communications to comply with eDiscovery requests, or simply dealing with the glut of files that naturally accumulate over years of doing business. But all that data is expensive to keep around. The more data a business keeps onsite, the more manpower, electricity and physical space is required to maintain it.

The Open Cloud

The Evolution of IT Towards Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a new paradigm for IT that displaces the current dominant paradigm, enterprise computing. This is in the same way that enterprise computing (or "client/server") displaced mainframe computing as the dominant paradigm.

Public vs. Private Cloud

Starting with a Hybrid Cloud Model
Businesses large and small, in every sector, are moving their operations to the cloud - including your competitors. Let's start by defining what "cloud" means and the difference between public and private clouds.

Cloud Compliance

Meeting Regulatory Compliance Challenges in the Cloud
With more companies moving their networks into the cloud, a number of questions remain unanswered concerning corporate governance and regulatory compliance issues in cloud computing applications.

Cloud Integration

So, You Want to Sell Cloud?
Automobiles make it easy for an ordinary human to propel themselves forward at a relatively high velocity. Although they're easy to operate, the technology upon which they're built is incredibly complex. Cloud is no different in this respect.

Cover Story

Interactive Intelligence Helps Contact Centers Navigate Their Way Into the Cloud
Several years ago, Don Brown, the founder and CEO of Interactive Intelligence, saw a major market shift when he realized that companies were moving many parts of their technology to the cloud, with the potential for communications to be a core part of that shift.

Clouding Communications

A Force in the Telecom Industry
Not too long ago, there was simply hosting. A service provider would host not just your website, but the product catalog database like mySQL that was needed to provide complete information to your website visitors. Today, we call that "cloud."