Features

Publisher's Outlook

Why Google and Apple Should Fear the new Microsoft
In decades of covering Microsoft, I don't recall the company enjoying so much positive press at one time. They are literally transforming before our eyes. Here's how:

Feature Story

Challenges of Assuring User Service Quality in the Cloud
With seemingly "E"verything moving to the cloud, a significant amount of attention has been paid to what can and should be moved, when, where, why, how and by whom. However, not much has been written about the challenges associated with the actual user experience posed by moving information and apps from a dedicated resource to a shared one. After all, many of the benefits of cloud from scalability to availability to cost savings are rooted in increased sharing. However, with sharing comes the potential for service degradation caused by latency, packet loss, jitter and a host of other issues.

Feature Story

The New World of PaaS
As with any emerging technology, cloud computing has taken on multiple identities, in terms of usage, implementation, and uses as time passes. From the generic concept of cloud computing, we've now reached what can best be described as an Anything-as-a-Service world, where nearly any traditionally locally deployed technology can be delivered through public and/or private clouds. Security, DR, Storage, Communications, Testing, and nearly any software package businesses require is readily accessible through cloud services. But, at the heart of all of these lie IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), when enable the agility and flexibility cloud "business" boasts.

PanTerra Networks - SmartBox - Simple, Secure Cloud File Sharing with Built-in Unified Communications Features
PanTerra Networks is probably the most innovative unified communications and file sharing cloud-based service provider you've never heard of, until now. TMC Labs was somewhat familiar with PanTerra Networks, but even we were surprised by the sheer number of UC and file sharing features built into their WorldSmart product suite when we took it for a test drive. WorldSmart's unified cloud services delivers just about every form of file sharing, communications & collaboration - voice, video call, IM, email, desktop sharing and fax. The WorldSmart suite includes two major components, CloudUC and the just launched (Jan 2014) SmartBox, which PanTerra calls, "the world's first file sharing service that communicates."

Scale-Out Virtual Environments and the Future of Storage Infrastructure
International research firm IDC recently found that more than 50 percent of all server workloads today are implemented in a virtual machine (VM). Due to the capabilities of virtualization technologies, there has been a clear paradigm shift in data center infrastructure and management. Virtualization has become a mainstream technology used by data centers and service providers alike.

Managing Migration to the Cloud
A recent study featured in ComputerWeekly, found that more than 40 percent of IT professionals surveyed confirmed that their company's operational efficiency improved after moving to a cloud environment.

Feature Story

Healthcare, HIPAA and the Cloud
Business continuity is particularly important for acute care facilities where patients' lives are at risk daily. These facilities don't just need their medical equipment up and running, but the supporting clinical and business systems must be kept going as well, which where SunGard kicks in.

Feature Story

Cloud Storage Pricing: It's Open Warfare
One thing that has long been true of storage - it gets ever cheaper. Storage has its own version of Moore's Law. The other thing that's true is storage demands are ever increasing, often outstripping what IT can buy and install.

FEATURE STORY

MSPs Take Charge of Cloud
Managed Service Providers (MSP) may not have the buzz of a FaceBook, Twitter or Google. But when you want serious applications, MSPs are increasingly the place to go.

Feature Story

TransCertain Sure About Secure Data
There are thousands of security vendors, but none quite like TransCertain. The company's flagship product is CertainSafe, now on version 2. CertainSafe is really a vault for your data in the cloud, offering secure Web access. Details on this tool can be found in Tom Keating's review which follows.

Feature Story

REVIEW: CertainSafe Brings Enterprise Features to File Share
TMC Labs liked how CertainSafe brings ultra-high-level security while simultaneously not forcing users to jump through hoops to gain access. The Web-based interface was very intuitive and user-friendly and we liked that this newer version is more touch friendly. TMC Labs was very impressed with CertainSafe, and would not hesitate to recommend this solution to organizations looking for a highly secure cloud-based method of sharing information with high usability.

Product Review

GFI MAX Backup: Speed is the Essence
Hosted backup has not only relieved IT personnel from dealing with backup tapes, cleaning tapes, managing offsite tapes, checking backup logs, but it has also opened up a huge revenue opportunity for MSPs looking to resell online backup solutions. Many small and some medium-size companies with limited or no internal IT resources don't want to deal with the hassle of popping tapes in and out, running cleaning jobs, assigning Mary to take over tape duties when John is on vacation, remembering to return offsite tape backup tapes, etc. Thus, companies are more than glad to use the power of the Internet to have a simple, easy-to-use backup solution that eliminates many of these problems and gives peace of mind should disaster strike.

One-time Skeptic Oracle Now 100 Percent Serious About Cloud
Oracle has come a long way in five years. It was at a shareholder meeting in 2008 when Oracle CEO Larry Ellison let loose as he often does, this time not attacking a rival, but lambasting the whole notion of the cloud.

Learning - and Profiting - From 'Superstorm Sandy'
It was just a year ago that a huge portion of the Eastern U.S. got slammed by what has since been dubbed "Superstorm Sandy," a hurricane of such epic proportions that weathercasters and businesses alike will be talking about it for generations to come.

COVER STORY

The Power of Iceland: RMS and Verne Global Take to the Cloud
While RMS Cloud offers many process efficiencies that benefit both RMS and its customers, the real value of its migration is a complete business transformation thanks to RMS(one), not only for RMS, but its entire industry, which has now been reinvented by a forward-looking team that wasn't content resting on the laurels of its success to date. With its partners at Verne Global and Datapipe, RMS and its customers, which are not IT companies, are able to embrace IT while focusing on their core businesses.

Product Review

CertainSafe, the Virtual Safety Deposit Box, Drives Secure Collaboration
TMC Labs learned about a new product launching by TransCertain called Certain- Safe that could be a game changer when it comes to cloud-based collaboration. Fortune 1000 companies and indeed even smaller companies are reluctant to put their most sensitive and confidential data in the cloud to be shared with their partners and customers.

Cover Story

The Right Vision at the Right Time
Over the past few years, much has been written and said about cloud computing. One thing is for certain: the segment of cloud known as Communications as a Service (CaaS) will have staying power in the market thanks to a company called Interactive Intelligence.

Feature Story

Leveraging Cloud to Meet Compliance Challenges
There are many common misperceptions surrounding cloud computing - one of which is that regulatory compliance requirements preclude many organizations from being able to leverage outsourced, managed cloud services.

Feature Story

Cloud Adoption Exceeding Expectations, New Global Study Finds
Adoption of the cloud by both U.S. and European businesses is smashing all preconceived notions that indicated companies were moving warily into the technology, or holding off entirely, according to new research recently released and obtained by Cloud Computing.

Industry Profile

Taming Video Archives With the Cloud
The explosion in video use today - on the web, in corporate marketing and training and of course in professional content creation - presents a conundrum for CIOs charged with managing it all.

Comm on the Cloud

Are Service Providers Hedging Their Bets?
Transitioning to cloud is not as easy as slapping gear in a data center calling it cloud and you are off and running. Well, you are running - chasing revenue as fast as you can. As I learned from speaking with Sonian, building for cloud delivery is very different that moving it to a data center or virtualizing it. However, it will be a few years before the market grasps that yet.

PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE CLOUD

Multitenant or Single? That is the Question
Deep in the recesses of corporate server rooms everywhere, administrators debate the merits of public cloud computing solutions versus private or even hybrid cloud computing solutions. Security, control, and access - these are all issues being tossed into the dispute. But public versus private is ultimately the wrong query. Rather, IT should be asking 'multitenant or single tenant?' That is the question.

FEATURE STORY

Healthcare IT Leaders and the Cloud: Cautious Yet Optimistic
As healthcare IT leaders move forward with digitizing their electronic records, cloud computing is increasingly being considered a viable option for many provider organizations. There are clear business benefits of moving to the cloud, including the opportunity to reduce upfront capital expenditures, scale up or down based on business needs, improve service with SLA guarantees, and support workforce collaboration and mobility.

COVER STORY

Network Control in the Cloud Demands Visibility, Control and Speed
More and more businesses - both small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises alike - are migrating business-critical applications to the cloud in the hopes of achieving lower cost and greater efficiency.

FEATURE STORY

MSPs and Cloud Services Converge Through Intermedia's Acquisition of Telanetix
When the deal is made final, Intermedia, which is already the world's largest third-party hosted Exchange provider, will become one of the largest U.S. providers of cloud voice and hosted PBX services for SMBs. The acquisition is one of the latest examples of an MSP and cloud player merging their offerings, narrowing the gap between the two growing segments to create a carefully and fully managed cloud services experience.

FEATURE STORY

BC/DR Strategies and the Cloud
The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy - which pummeled its way through the Northeast last fall, leaving millions without power, cable and phones for days on end - left IT decision makers and other executives seriously considering their business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) strategies. Since disaster recovery is more about preparation than recovery, a BC/DR strategy, even for small businesses that do not have a dedicated IT staff, is critical.

FEATURE STORY

Performance Management in the Cloud: Challenges & Solutions
As technology changes continue to accelerate, service providers are seeking new ways to manage more complex, high-bandwidth, IP-based data services. A consistent challenge for IT managers and administrators is to proactively monitor performance across the cloud, identify threats and decrease any impact on the end customers.

FEATURE STORY

Cloud Computing is More Reality than Hype
Despite the hype, media attention and adoption patterns to date, the cloud is still a relatively new technology with many questions still to be answered. Nevertheless, the concept of moving sensitive business information and applications into an off-premises environment managed by a third party is profoundly changing how businesses think about, purchase, and manage technology. That change has led technology leaders to invest in new strategies, both in their internal operational environments, as well how they approach their customers, with many of the leading technology vendors leading the charge.

Special Feature

Brokering the Cloud for IP Telephony Services
Most recently, the concept of "cloud services brokering," a term defined by Gartner, has described the implementation of this premise to reflect a focus on the integration, aggregation and customization of third-party cloud services and applications.

Features

2013 Cloud Computing Storage Excellence Award Winners
Storage - it's the one thing you are certain to outgrow with time. The massive volumes of multimedia content being produced and consumed are overwhelming traditional storage facilities, leading to an increase in the use of cloud-based storage.

On the Cover

Telefonica Takes Businesses to the Cloud
Perhaps best known as a leader in the telecommunications sector, Telefonica has remained steadfast in its mission to fully support its more than 300 million customers by developing and providing cloud services that are designed for large enterprise and small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) as well as SoHo and consumer markets.

Feature

Is the Cloud There Yet?
Cloud computing has come a long way in the past few years in terms of acceptance and implementation, however as 2013 kicks off, the barriers toward adoption - namely security and integration - still plague CIOs considering shifting to cloud-based technologies and services.

Editorial Series

Interconnection: A Key Element for Successful Cloud Computing
As cloud computing continues to evolve, there have been a number of predictions about the impact "the cloud" will have on the colocation business. With more customers increasingly interested in either providing cloud services or consuming cloud services on some level, Cologix, a network-neutral colocation and interconnection provider, is indeed enabling the growth of cloud.

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Helping Government Migrate their Applications into the Cloud
Government organizations are constantly faced with the daunting task of doing more with less. Many have turned to cloud computing for the answer and made major investments in cloud solutions like salesforce.com. Now, they must migrate their legacy applications into the cloud in order to truly realize the cost savings, simplification and consolidation that cloud technologies can provide.

Defining Your Cloud Strategy

The Road Toward a 'Cloud-Enabled' Organization is Paved with Good Intentions, But What Are They?
hype around cloud (yes, it still exists) has made it difficult for senior IT executives to know where to start, let alone begin to understand the benefits of what it means to be a "cloud-enabled" organization. The choices, the jargon and the frenzy around cloud is, well, jarring for IT leaders who are in earnest looking to make the right decision for their respective organizations.

Cover Story

2013: The Next Frontier of Cloud
By many accounts, 2012 was the year cloud moved past the hype phase into the adoption stage. In fact, cloud computing is expected to grow 19 percent in 2012, becoming a $109-billion industry compared to a $91-billion market last year, according to Gartner.

Feature Story

Optimizing Cloud Infrastructures, Driving Business Innovation
With the ever-increasing number of cloud infrastructure providers, businesses are now able to choose from a variety of options to align their cloud strategy with their specific business needs. The cloud drives business innovation by being infinitely scalable, completely secure and able to turn on a dime to innovate without any interruption of service or extra cost to customers.

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. Cloud teams often hit a wall when it's time to select and deploy PCI security controls for cloud server environments.

Feature Story

The Future of Mobile Cloud
As more enterprises adopt cloud services and embrace enterprise mobility initiatives, mobile and cloud are converging. With more mobile workers and consumers supporting tablets, mobile content, mobile video and personal cloud services, the IT world is in another state of transition as "mobile" serves as both the protagonist and subject of this unpredictability.

Strategic Solutions Series

Building the Better Cloud: ServerCentral Puts its High Performance Cloud Infrastructure to the Test
While cloud computing continues to grow in both demand and the number of players in the market, there are only a few real contenders when it comes to public cloud services. Many cloud service providers, including Amazon, may be an affordable option, but they typically do not offer the performance and reliability organizations need to truly leverage the benefits of cloud.

Special Feature

2nd Annual Cloud Computing Excellence Awards
Over the past several years, Cloud Computing has become one of the defining trends in technology, acting both as a catalyst to function of evolution in both enterprise and consumer markets, as well as fixed and mobile network environments. Judging from most analyst and research firm reports, the impact of cloud computing is only beginning to be felt. As questions surrounding reliability, security, compliance, and ROI are being answered, more and more businesses are moving their cloud applications from test scenarios to live production - as many cloud vendors have expressed, "people are doing 'real' things in the cloud now, not just testing and toying around with the ideas."

Feature Story

Cloud Redefines IT Outsourcing Requirements
Amid all the hype surrounding cloud computing, it's still unknown to the extent enterprises are planning for and adopting cloud computing as a replacement for traditional data center infrastructure technologies and management processes. But there has been enough traction among enterprises that IT outsourcing (ITO) is being transformed by the shift to cloud.

Feature Articles

Cloud Balancing: Don't Put All Your Apps in One Basket
As more organizations shift toward moving their technologies into the cloud, perfecting the balance of where applications reside is paramount to performance and, most certainly, avoiding potential outages.

Cover Story

Monetizing SaaS: A Survival of the Fittest
With worldwide software-as-a-service (SaaS) revenue forecast to reach $14.5 billion this year, there is no doubt that the cloud phenomenon is reaching a critical mass. Just take a look at the latest industry news and it's impossible to miss headlines about the latest SaaS companies that are taking their product public. Investment firms are pouring millions of dollars into this growing segment because of the promise it holds, yet only the strong will survive.

Editorial Series

Why Businesses Need to Put APM in the Cloud Ahead of Anything Else
As more companies look towards implementing a variety of cloud deployments to gain infrastructure efficiencies and operational cost savings, many times planning for application performance management (APM) gets lost in the process of defining the infrastructure requirements and implementation of the cloud components.

SPECIAL FEATURE

Cloud Telephony: It's Not Just Another Buzzword
Turning to the cloud for unified communications, PBX solutions or hosted VoIP can give businesses access to sophisticated communications infrastructure. In fact, small and medium-sized businesses are adopting cloud-based services at rates twice as fast as larger corporations, primarily because they aren't as risk-averse or don't have be concerned about integration with legacy systems. While the best-known service is cloud computing, cloud telephony is built on the same foundation - a vendor provides a product or service in a virtual environment.

FEATURE ARTICLE

Big Data Drives Maturing Cloud Storage Market
Cloud backup and disaster recovery service providers are the companies both consumers and businesses trust with valuable, often irreplaceable data. Although more businesses are looking to the cloud for their storage needs, the industry is challenged with addressing the hurdles that delay widespread adoption.

FEATURE ARTICLE

Public vs. Private Cloud? It's Not An 'Either / Or' Decision
While cloud computing is still in the early stages of growth and widespread adoption is still several years out, few would argue cloud is a game changer. At this phase in the cloud movement, as cloud-based services are on the rise and service providers continue to emerge, it's an exploratory time for businesses which areundergoing the validation of cloud.

Special Feature

TMC Announces Cloud Computing Awards Winners
The First Annual Cloud Computing Excellence Award recognizes companies that most effectively leveraged cloud computing in efforts to bring new, differentiated offerings to market.

Feature Article

SMBs Leverage Enterprise-Class Cloud Solutions
Microsoft Corp.'s global "SMB Cloud Adoption Study 2011" investigated how cloud computing will impact small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the next three years. According to the research, 39 percent of SMBs expect to be paying for one or more cloud services within three years, an increase of 34 percent from the current 29 percent. It also finds that the number of cloud services SMBs pay for will nearly double in most countries over the next three years.

Feature Article

Data Security: Barrier or Bridge to the Cloud?
Cloud has opened up several IT strategy considerations for businesses, with security top of mind for chief information officers as they evaluate the potential benefits of shifting to the cloud for their computing needs. Cloud Computing has taken an in-depth look at the conceivable risks involved by speaking with some of the industry's leading cloud and security experts on how to overcome these challenges, separating fact from fiction.