Content tagged with SaaS
posted in March 2009
Cloud Interoperability? Amazon And Microsoft Play Nice
Commentary  |  3/31/2009  | 
Amazon and Microsoft--both of which declined to sign the newly published Open Cloud Manifesto--yesterday said they won't lock customers into their respective cloud services.
Cloud Manifesto Lacks Thunder
Commentary  |  3/30/2009  | 
The Open Cloud Manifesto was formally introduced today, an anticlimactic and even embarrassing attempt to rally the computer industry around cloud computing interoperability.
Video: Inside's Tenth Anniversary Victory Tour
Commentary  |  3/29/2009  | 
Something is happening and you don't know what it is, goes the song. Strangely, it's turning out that the Web operating system we all thought would one day challenge Windows and serve as a portal to a universe of online-hosted apps turns out to be cloud computing. I breathed the buzz of cloud's success the other day as I caught up with the New York City edition of's tenth anniversary, cross-country victory tour, and I shot a video.
Open Cloud Manifesto Revealed
Commentary  |  3/27/2009  | 
The Open Cloud Manifesto, not surprisingly, has leaked out. Though its formal publication isn't due until March 30, the document seems to be one of the tech industry's worst kept secrets.
Is Java On Deck For Google App Engine?
Commentary  |  3/27/2009  | 
While working on the post that I just published about whether data that's stored in the cloud is really safe or not (answer: your mileage will vary), I came across a post from Michael Arrington that speculates on whether Google's forthcoming super secret announcement on April 7th is that Google's App Engine
Podcast: Is Your Data Really Safe In the Cloud?
Commentary  |  3/27/2009  | 
Earlier this week, over on InformationWeek's sister site that's dedicated to Cloud Computing -- Plug into the Cloud -- George Crump asked a question that I thought I knew the answer to: Is data in the cloud risky? Crump points to a "
Microsoft Vs. The Cloud Manifesto
Commentary  |  3/26/2009  | 
Major tech vendors are a few days away from unveiling an agreement to pursue cloud computing interoperability, and already there's a problem. Microsoft torpedoed the effort before it was even announced. It's an inauspicious start to an important industry effort.
InformationWeek Releases Storage-As-A-Service RFI
Commentary  |  3/26/2009  | 
The storage-as-a-service market continues to grow and change, with new players introducing products and services that give businesses an alternative to do-it-yourself, on-premises data storage. In preparation for a full-blown analysis of the market, InformationWeek is releasing a Request for Information aimed at storage-as-a-service vendors.
Disperse The Cloud
Commentary  |  3/25/2009  | 
The problem with online applications is that they put user data under someone else's control.
Windows Server For Private Clouds
Commentary  |  3/25/2009  | 
Though Microsoft says Windows Azure won't be used to power private clouds, there's no question that Microsoft will someday in the next year or two start playing in that market.
IBM's Half-Baked Cloud Strategy
Commentary  |  3/25/2009  | 
Some observers argue that IBM, in looking to acquire Sun Microsystems, wants and needs Sun's cloud computing platform and services. The reason is that IBM's own cloud computing portfolio, while impressive in some respects, also has gaping holes.
Uncle Sam's Cloud Computing Dilemma
Commentary  |  3/24/2009  | 
Federal agencies are under pressure to deploy cost-effective IT systems quickly, and cloud computing is one of the solutions favored by the Obama Administration. Yet, would-be cloud users in government will have to navigate a thicket of security requirements and other guidelines, warns one expert.
Cloud Computing FUD Muddies SaaS Waters
Commentary  |  3/24/2009  | 
Vendors adopting cloud computing strategies are disparaging SaaS in a manner that could jeopardize their entire service-based business model just as it's starting to gain larger acceptance in the market.
Is Data In The Cloud Risky?
Commentary  |  3/24/2009  | 
With the recent report that the FTC is considering a request to shut down Google Apps, the question of Cloud Security has come up and with it the question of if data in the cloud is risky. Of course only the government could hold a two day hearing on whether or not data in the cloud is at risk.
Churn Rising Among SaaS, Hosted Subscribers: Gartner
Commentary  |  3/23/2009  | 
Subscribers to software solutions with a fixed duration are shopping around more vigorously for replacements and cost-cutting is a major motivator, a Gartner blogger says. The frenzy hasn't hit on-premises software companies nearly as hard because their perpetual licenses are, well, perpetual -- so in that universe the churn-and-burn season never happens.
Five Steps To A Well-Tuned Cloud
Commentary  |  3/23/2009  | 
Many early adopters of cloud computing are poorly equipped to monitor and manage the performance of their cloud applications. In a just-published InformationWeek article, author Michael Healey outlines five steps users can take to change that.
Amazon Offers 'Reserved Instances'
Commentary  |  3/20/2009  | 
Amazon has introduced "reserved instances," a new Amazon EC2 pricing option that lets businesses claim a part of the Amazon cloud as their own... Good thing? Sure! Companies that are dedicated to using cloud computing resources such as Amazon Web Services will benefit from this kind of pricing.
Report: Cloud Computing Could Be Bigger Than The Web
Commentary  |  3/20/2009  | 
A new report, funded by Google, portrays cloud computing as representing the next major evolution of computing, one that follows in the footsteps of mainframes, PCs, and smartphones. The authors suggest that cloud vendors could power a "dramatic expansion" of the U.S. economy, and they call on U.S. policymakers to get involved.
ReviewCam Of Sun's Innovative Drag, Drop, & Deploy Virtual Datacenter Designer
Commentary  |  3/20/2009  | 
While at Sun's CommunityOne East Developer Conference where Sun announced a pretty compelling entry into the cloud computing market (called the Sun Cloud, see the details and listen to the podcast), I caught up with Sun Cloud Computing CTO Lew Tucker who sat down with me to demo a GUI-based virtual datacenter deployment tool (all in a Web browser). Perhaps Sun should call it 4D; Drag, Drop, Deploy, and (
Should Facebook Be Your Company's Intranet?
Commentary  |  3/19/2009  | 
On the face of it, that question may seem ridiculous. But for at least one midsize company, the answer already is "Yes!" Take a peek at the benefits -- and the risks -- raised by Serena Software's bold social-networking experiment.
Is The Mobile Thin Client An Impossible Dream?
Commentary  |  3/19/2009  | 
During numerous interviews I did for a story to publish March 30 on software and smartphones, many CIO types said they hoped to one day avoid distributing software to employees' BlackBerrys, Windows Mobiles, and other devices, and instead have smartphones entirely dependent on software in the cloud. But given what my research revealed about how employees use smartphones, that seems an impossible goal.
The Problem With Sun's Cloud Strategy
Commentary  |  3/19/2009  | 
Sun's plans for a cloud computing platform and related Sun Cloud services are getting a thumbs up for the technology, innovation, and openness that Sun promises to bring to this emerging market. Unfortunately, Sun's cloud could be dead on arrival.
Windows Azure Goes Down
Commentary  |  3/17/2009  | 
It seems it's not the matter of if a cloud will go down, but when. Google and Amazon already have had well-publicized outages of their cloud platforms. Now, Microsoft has joined them, as Windows Azure was down for about 22 hours beginning Friday night.
Wikis To Go
Commentary  |  3/17/2009  | 
PBwiki's new mobile edition lets employees access collaboration wikis from the iPhone and the BlackBerry.
Rackspace Heads Into The Cloud And Beyond
Commentary  |  3/17/2009  | 
For 11 years, Rackspace has built its business in the unglamorous world of data center hosting. The company is now jumping into the cloud computing market with both feet, and it has hired blogger Robert Scoble to raise its profile in the process.
SAP: Business ByDesign SaaS Is 'Mature'
Commentary  |  3/13/2009  | 
SAP has been pretty quiet on Business ByDesign, its hosted business software service in development, but expect to hear more about it within the next few months. SAP told me today that Business ByDesign has reached a "mature" stage in its development.
Amazon's New Option: On-Reserve Servers
Commentary  |  3/12/2009  | 
Amazon Web Services today introduced a new payment option for customers looking to rent its virtual servers. Rather than pay for Elastic Compute Cloud instances on demand, customers can pay an up-front fee to reserve server capacity for later use.
At-Risk Government IT Systems Require Immediate Action
Commentary  |  3/11/2009  | 
The federal government's new "pro cloud" attitude is about to get its first test. Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag is warning that a government portal used for competitive grants is at "significant risk of failure" due to system overload. Can cloud computing save the day?
Can Trust Clouds Be Trusted With Government Information?
Commentary  |  3/10/2009  | 
Vivek Kundra, an early adopter of cloud computing, has an interesting, but potentially risky, proposal to consider as he steps into his new job as federal CIO. Cisco and Swan Island Networks are promoting the idea of "trust clouds" as a way of sharing sensitive information among government agencies.
The Cloud And Primary Storage
Commentary  |  3/10/2009  | 
As cloud storage continues to evolve, clearly the two major initial uses are as backup and archive storage, but where does primary storage fit into this equation? Is primary storage going to be made extinct by the cloud?
Microsoft: A Few Companies Buy 20% Of Servers
Commentary  |  3/10/2009  | 
Microsoft senior VP of research Rick Rashid remarked the other day that 20% of all servers are being bought by a handful of large Internet companies, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. It's evidence that, behind all the talk about cloud computing, there are huge investments in server infrastructure.
Obama Appointee Taps Cloud Computing
Commentary  |  3/10/2009  | 
It's clear that new White House appointee Vivek Kundra is part of a "new generation of CIOs" that consider cloud computing as a viable architectural option. "I'm a big believer in disruptive technology," he told the Wall Street Journal. To him, following the traditional approach of only investing in tried-and-true systems is a sure way to become outdated...
RightScale Offers Schools Freebie Cloud Management Tools
Commentary  |  3/6/2009  | 
RightScale, a company that supplies tools, expertise, and automated technology to help companies run scalable applications across numerous public and private clouds -- including Amazon, Go Grid, and the open-source Eucalyptus cloud -- this week launched a new program that provides qualified educational institutions copies of the company's Cloud Management Platform free of charge.
Microsoft Vs. Amazon: A Battle Is Brewing
Commentary  |  3/6/2009  | 
Amazon Web Services has established itself as a leader in the cloud computing market, and Microsoft has been playing catch-up. However, as Microsoft's Azure cloud strategy falls into place, it's sounding more like these would-be partners are on a collision path.
Microsoft's Azure, Where You Go To Build Cloud Apps
Commentary  |  3/5/2009  | 
In talking to Microsoft's Steven Martin about cloud computing, he said something that suggested how much the world has changed. Amazon runs Windows in its EC2 cloud, and Martin says, "We're rooting for them. We want them to be successful [at running Windows]." And that tells me something about the nature of Azure, Microsoft's future cloud.
Cloud Computing Reality Check
Commentary  |  3/5/2009  | 
Lots of fresh research is coming out on the state of cloud computing. The following data points provide a snapshot of user attitudes in this fast-moving market.
The Top 10 Reasons To Outsource Your Enterprise Email To Gmail Now
Commentary  |  3/5/2009  | 
Last week, I wrote about how the recent Gmail outage actually draws attention to why Gmail is more worthy of enterprises than it has ever been. That opinion stands in contrast to a story my colleague Antone Gonsalves recently published (see "Google Takes Credibility Hit With Gmail Outage"). My response
Windows Clouds Are Drifting This Way
Commentary  |  3/5/2009  | 
Not long ago, the phrase "Windows cloud" was an oxymoron; no two words could be further apart in meaning. But cloud computing is evolving quickly, and Windows clouds are finally taking shape.
Do CIOs Want SaaS Contracts To Extend To 3-5 Years?
Commentary  |  3/5/2009  | 
Blogger Vinnie Mirchandani says that while today's duration for SaaS deals averages 1.5 years, "the secular trend is towards higher renewals…and multiyear deals. SaaS will likely become like outsourcing contracts -- 3, 5, 7-year deals." Sounds good in theory, but will CIOs go for it?
One CIO's Strategy For Software As A Service
Commentary  |  3/4/2009  | 
Here is some crisp strategic thinking I picked up this morning on software as a service from an innovative CIO in manufacturing. He considers CRM, HR, and probably e-mail as ready to be delivered via SaaS. Consider how vital those three pieces -- sales, people, and collaboration -- are to a company.
NetSuite Tries To Lure Sage Customers To SaaS
Commentary  |  3/4/2009  | 
NetSuite has gotten some fire in its belly lately. Today it offered Sage Group customers 50% off the first year of a SaaS subscription, and 100 hours of free professional services, if they sign up by June 30, calling it the "Sage Switch" program. This follows a program for SAP R/3 customers that it calls "Business ByNetSuite," a jab at SAP's idled Business ByDesign ERP SaaS.
Cloud Computing Shifts the Risk
Commentary  |  3/4/2009  | 
A core value of cloud computing is the ability to shift the risk from your enterprise to the cloud computing provider. Since it's up to the cloud provider to handle the computing processing load and you'll pay by use, it's possible to reduce the risk that you'll run out of capacity. The burden of scaling shifts to the cloud provider.
Enterprise Computing In The Cloud
Commentary  |  3/4/2009  | 
The past few days have brought new evidence that cloud computing can be used for more than lightweight and newly built Web applications. IBM, SAP, and Microsoft have just revealed efforts to use the cloud to move and manage the kinds of big workloads that are common in corporate data centers.
Cisco Tiptoes Into The Cloud
Commentary  |  3/3/2009  | 
New hosted e-mail security offerings underscore the struggle of hardware vendors to stay relevant in the age of cloud services.
With VMware, A Private Cloud In Every Data Center
Commentary  |  3/2/2009  | 
VMware last week continued its push into the cloud computing market with updates to its vCloud initiative and API, Virtual Data Center Operating System (VDC-OS), and more. So, how many of its customers does VMware expect to deploy internal "private" clouds? Answer: all of them.

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