Understanding Hybrid Cloud

Cloud services are available in various packages to suit the technical and financial budget requirements of different businesses. In a broader sense, these services can be divided into two types; public and private. In this article, we will look at the features of another cloud type called ‘Hybrid Cloud’ and how it benefits organisations. Read here to understand more about the cloud Computing Service Models and their Benefits.

Hybrid Cloud

Cloud Hosting involves multiple, virtually connected servers, working together and controlled by a central algorithm. This algorithm finds the best way to store and retrieve data which helps offer a high-performing platform to websites.

A cloud can be Private – which resides on your intranet or hosted data center or Public – where the data is stored in the data center provided by a host. While a private cloud can offer increased security and dedicated resources, a public cloud improves efficiency. Since it relieves you of the responsibility of managing the hosting solution,you can focus on core activities.

Hybrid Cloud is an optimum mix of the public cloud and a private cloud. So, there are two data centers involved; one is the in-house data center and the other is the data center made available by a service provider. An encrypted connection allows a secured flow of information between these clouds. A Hybrid Cloud is made by taking the features of both public and private clouds to allow users to benefit from the services of both.

It is important to note here that using Hybrid Cloud services are not cheap. However, it is cost-efficient when you compare the costs involved in running the entire operation through a private Cloud alone. For example, a business handling user data on the company website might experience volume peaks at certain times during the year which might affect the speed of the website. In such cases, the company can set up a private cloud and leverage the benefits of public clouds to keep reliability issues at bay when the traffic surges occur. A good Cloud Hosting provider will be in a position to tackle this high traffic period with ease.

The Costs Involved

As mentioned earlier, public Cloud in inexpensive but it also means that you share the resources with other users and the performance of your services/ applications can get adversely affected by the performance of those with whom you share the Cloud. A private Cloud, on the other hand, includes a substantial cost since you have to spend on servers and other hardware equipment.

For companies who work on a smaller IT budget, Hybrid Cloud does not make sense. This is a good option for those companies who have the budgets for a private Cloud but want to make it economical. The inexpensiveness of the public Cloud helps them achieve that with maximum security.

Summing up

Since you don’t have any control over the architecture of a Public Cloud, it is important to ensure that the architecture of your Private Cloud is adapted to be compatible with the former that you desire to connect with. Remember, unlike other Cloud services plans, a Hybrid Cloud is not an off-the-shelf option. It needs to be tailored to your business needs to ensure that you get what your business requires. Apart from being cost-efficient, a Hybrid Cloud can also help you improve the performance of your services. It is a great tool for businesses who have a specific requirement for data security and high-volume usage. They can easily leverage the Public Cloud services without having to migrate sensitive data to a third-party data center.


Increase Security When You Use the Cloud

Cloud computing has many advantages, including cost savings on hardware and services, reliable access, flexibility and scalability, and reduced environmental impact. Every interaction your business has with the cloud represents a loss of control. You are placing your information in the hands of people and organizations whose practices and priorities you can’t fully know. That thinking alone is enough to make any business owner lose sleep. Fortunately, you can take steps to mitigate your risk and improve the security of your data and, by extension, your company.

Practice Routine Device Security

Information is only as secure as the devices used to access it. Be sure you have a full accounting of all the devices your team uses to access data in the cloud. For maximum security, keep personal and work devices separate. If that separation is impractical, use secure, business-specific apps to isolate the business use of employee devices.

Take the additional step of installing a patch management agent on any device with cloud access to make sure that operating systems and security features are always up-to-date.

Get Granular About Access

Access to the cloud should not be as simple as answering yes or no to a prompt. Not everyone needs to be able to access everything. Grant each individual or participant in a project access to only the information he or she needs. People with visibility into more sensitive information should receive more detailed and frequent cloud security training and undergo stricter access controls.

Consider context, as well. You may be comfortable with a single sign-on when employees are in the office during business hours, but you may decide that logging into your network from off-site locations or during off-hours justifies additional steps.

Remember that cloud access is something you should revisit regularly. Schedule quarterly reviews to be sure that all employees can get to the data they need — but no more than they need, as roles and responsibilities change.

Secure Assets Based on Risk

Some of the information you keep in the cloud is especially sensitive. This data demands security that goes beyond simply limiting who can find it. In addition to regularly reviewing access roles, conduct periodic audits of all of your company’s cloud-based data and note which pieces of data are most sensitive. Make sure that information is placed behind several layers of security and that access protocols are current.

Introduce a Middleman

One way to extend the reach of your smart internal security practices is to employ a cloud access security broker (CASB). This piece of software that acts as a gatekeeper between your business and the cloud. A CASB gives you visibility into activity within the cloud, verifies and enforces compliance with the latest security standards, and protects against internal and external threats. The software keeps pace with the latest developments in cloud security and alerts you to potential problems before they become critical ones.

Every new development introduces new challenges. You need to find the right balance between embracing emerging technologies and safeguarding what you’ve built along the way. The cloud is part of the present and future for any innovative business. Put these security strategies into practice to maximize the many benefits of the cloud without exposing your data to unnecessary risk.


Meet Alibaba YunOS: Third Most Popular Mobile Operating System

YunOS, also called Aliyun OS is a Linux distribution designed for smartphones and other devices based on the Android Open Source Project. In Chinese, the word ‘Yun’ means Cloud. It is developed by AliCloud, a subsidiary of Chinese company Alibaba Group.

According to research by ZenithOptimedia, YunOS is the third most popular mobile system, which comes after Android and iOS. YunOS was introduced in China on July 28, 2011. YunOS 5 ATOM is the latest version from the company!

Why YunOS Matters:

Alibaba-PassportYunOS revolves around the idea of bringing cloud functionality to mobile devices. YunOS features a cloud-based e-mail, Web search, weather updates, and GPS navigation tools.

With unified accounts, the cloud services are available everywhere. One gets a cloud storage space which can be used for backup and sync personal data. YunOS supports backing up system settings that can be accessed online from any other platform. It also allows users to access applications from the Web, rather than download apps to their devices.

Through smart Cloud recognition and resource scheduling technologies, the devices running YunOS can accurately identify unwanted background programs/applications, set them low on priority and increase running speed of current applications by 30%, thereby giving users a smoother experience.

Alibaba YunOS - Aliyun OS

YunOS also has a built in system security app which includes – SMS payment protection, anti-phishing URL library, intelligent recognition in phone calls and text messaging, anti-virus application, ad blocker, etc.

YunOS System Security App

For a simpler UX for elders, YunOS also brings in a neat Senior mode which not only increases the fonts and icon sizes, but does a lot more stuff.

Alibaba YunOS Senior Mode

The AppStore on the YunOS is neat as well. You have apps in various categories, including ranks to choose from. Some of the Android applications crashed on load; not sure, what the real problem was. I will update, when I figure out a solution.

The YunOS is simple and content-centric.

How does Alibaba YunOS Work?

While there is a common myth that YunOS is a custom skin over Android, its different. It is a Linux platform based on the cloud running applications online. It synchronises multiple user devices and provides a good amount of cloud storage as well. The supporting contents and platform is pretty much aimed at attracting customers into the ecosystem of one company, Alibaba. 

A skin is an overlay that runs on top of the Android Operating System. It sometimes brings in more software enhancements, UI customisations and uniqueness to a brand. If you want more to know more, we reviewed Meizu Flyme few days ago.  

Cloud Services YunOSYunOS synchronises and stores call data, text messages, and photos in the cloud which can be accessed across other devices and computers.

Here is a simple illustration that shows the difference between the YunOS and Android.

The underlying most important part of the system is the kernel. This is completely open source. Many use this kernel to build the operating systems. To name a few, Android, Ubuntu, Firefox OS and YunOS.

The Board Support Package (BSP) helps connecting hardware and the system, similar to what BIOS does in the PC. The YunOS has 2 BSPs, one is for Android compatibility and the other is for its own system.

The virtual machine which runs the applications of each OS is entirely different. While Android runs on a Dalvik VM, the YunOS has a Ali Cloud VM implementation. Its reported that, Ali Cloud virtual machine offers around a 11% increase in performance when compared to the Dalvik VM.

Alibaba YunOS vs Android

YunOS has a app framework to run native apps and has an additional compatibility Framework to support running of Android apps. Furthermore, YunOS has its own cloud server framework which functions similar to Google Mobile Services (GMS) in Android. They work on their own with no support from any other Android apps.

On YunOS open platform – Ali accounts, payments, cloud storage system API, data services are all open for partners.

Top Features of the latest version of YunOS 5 Atom:

With Alibaba’s huge investments in Big Data technologies –  one can easily identify pictures and articles to get related digital contents. While surfing, you can easily jump to Taobao to buy among the million products available there.

YunOS 5 introduces a new interface with colour support, allowing users to customise the colours all through the system applications as well.

Colorful Screen YunOS 5 Atom

The Camera software has a Beauty mode which comes with real-time functionality. As crazy it sounds, with the operating intelligent assist in the search image by content and use, you can directly buy Beauty Supplies from Taobao.

The OS also supports facial recognition for device unlocks. It also introduces a Built-in intelligent assistant, that can detect motion data and operating habits of users and provide personalised advice.

The latest version also brings in the Qeexo’s gesture recognition technology – FingerSense, which can identify fingers, fingernails and knuckle’s touch responses. This is the same company which powers Huawei devices as well.

With this integration, developers and device OEMs have multiple options for customisations, including launching a shortcut menu to favourite or featured apps with a simple knuckle tap, Drawing letters to launch third-party apps from any screen. Knock to save a full screenshot or simply circle a section of the screen to crop, save, and share that section.

Qeexo also plans to include FingerAngle, that adds 3D touch capabilities to the mobile screen, and EarSense, which replaces physical proximity sensors for better performance and design. These new features will be available to YunOS developers through simple software updates.

Summing up:

There are a few devices that are available in China which runs this out of box. The company has also made the ROMs available for other devices as well; you can check the list of devices here. International readers, there is an installation package for Google’s Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 as well.

Understandably, most of the content is still in Chinese. Hopefully as the company prepares its expansion for other markets, we should start seeing International versions of the OS.

Alibaba YunOS running on a Xiaomi Mi4
I flashed the ROM for the Xiaomi Mi4. It was quite straight forward to do that. You just had to download the file and then flash it using TWRP.

YunOS integrates Alibaba Group’s Big Data, Cloud services and technological intelligent device operating systems which can be mounted on a smart phone, smart set-top boxes, Internet TV, smart home, smart car, smart wearable and other intelligent terminals.

The OS had around 40M active users around the end of last year and it aims to have 100M users by end of this year. The company is challenging the Android market in China and is also slowly looking to expand into Western markets.

Considering the fact that Google services isn’t available in China, Alibaba YunOS has obvious advantages over Android there. Along with running Android Apps, it also brings Ali’s e-commerce, Internet services, Cloud Storage and Content benefits for Chinese users.

Enterprise Tech

IBM Introduces Cloud Tools and Collaborative Coding for Swift

Last week IBM announced new cloud tools for Swift and Watson designed for mobile development and cognitive apps at IBM DeveloperConnect. The event had over 10,000 developers across India, who attended in person or virtually via Lifestream. IBM has debuted two new capabilities to advance Swift on IBM Cloud.

One of the highlights from the event was the 12 year old, Tanmay Bakshi who was delivering an address for the developers. He is the youngest IBM Watson programmer in the world. Read his interview where he spoke about his journey so far.

IBM introduced the beta version of IBM Cloud Tools for Swift to simplify the management and deployment of server-side assets in an environment complementary to Xcode. IBM Cloud Tools for Swift is a free app that provides a single, visual interface for developers to assemble, manage, deploy and monitor apps.

Developers can also use Swift on LinuxONE™, IBM’s Linux-only enterprise system, to create applications that connect into the hybrid cloud. By running Swift on LinuxONE, developers can combine the programming language they know with the system’s speed, security and scale.

To provide an easy entry point into cognitive and help developers infuse Watson capabilities into their apps more seamlessly, IBM has launched the Watson Developer Cloud Application Starter Kits, which provides code examples based on common use cases. Developers can leverage Business Intelligence (combining AlchemyLanguage, AlchemyData News and Tone Analyzer) to analyze news and social media, the Conversational Agent (combining Dialog and Natural Language Classifier) to guide users through a series of tasks in natural language rather than long form, and Audio Analysis (combining Speech to Text and Concept Insights) to extract concepts from a stream of audio and make recommendations based on those concepts.


Enterprise Tech Microsoft News

Microsoft Azure services now available via India Datacenters

Microsoft today announced the availability of Microsoft Azure services via local datacenter regions in India. As the first public cloud provider from India, Microsoft has opened three new regions – Central India in Pune, South India in Chennai, and West India in Mumbai.

Few months ago, in July 2015, Customers were able to participate in a private preview of Microsoft Azure from India datacenter. This has seen significant interest from BFSI, government departments and organisations, ISVs, ecommerce organizations and startups with participation from over 125 customers. Organizations such as Mahindra, Aditya Birla group, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, BPCL, AIIMS, Fortis Healthcare, Narayana Healthcare, Apollo Hospitals, Haryana State Electronics Development Corporation, MIDC, TN ePDS, UP Power Corporation, Wipro, Infosys, Rediff, BookMyShow, Sony Corporation, NanoBi Data and Analytics, etc. have been using Microsoft local cloud services under this private preview program.

In addition to the Microsoft Azure services launching today, Office 365 services are slated for availability in October 2015, with Dynamics CRM Online services to follow in the first half of 2016.

With the local cloud services, regulated industries such as BFSI, government departments and state-owned enterprises will now be able to leverage public cloud services and be able to take advantage of local data residency. In addition, businesses that deal with large amounts of data e.g. media companies, will benefit from data replication in multiple regions within India for backup and recovery, reduced network distance, lower latency, and the option of a private connection to the cloud.


Microsoft local cloud services are well-suited for governments and businesses that already have significant investments in owned IT infrastructure.  They will now be able to extend their existing IT infrastructure and private clouds to Microsoft local (public) cloud, thereby creating compelling hybrid cloud scenarios and reducing their cost of IT operations significantly.  The impact on citizens is expected to be all the more significant as it will accelerate e-governance and roll-out of citizen services at unprecedented scale and speed by governments, thereby accelerating the governments’ Digital India and Smart Cities programs.

“The Microsoft cloud in India will transform the way computing is done in the country.  The hyper-scale cloud will empower governments, businesses and users and offer enough computing power that will support all their existing workloads. We are happy to partner with Government and businesses to make the Microsoft cloud work for India and for Indians.” – Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India. 

Microsoft local cloud services are well-suited for governments and businesses that already have significant investments in owned IT infrastructure.  They will now be able to extend their existing IT infrastructure and private clouds to Microsoft local (public) cloud, thereby creating compelling hybrid cloud scenarios and reducing their cost of IT operations significantly.

Here are some best practices and recommendations on when can you move your applications to cloud

The impact on citizens is expected to be all the more significant as it will accelerate e-governance and roll-out of citizen services at unprecedented scale and speed by governments, thereby accelerating the governments’ Digital India and Smart Cities programs.

In order to help organizations evaluate their path to the cloud, Microsoft published a Cloud Decision Framework  for BFSI and Government earlier this year. It is an open framework to help BFSI, government and other regulated industries to choose the right cloud model in a structured and auditable manner. The framework builds on international ISO standards and incorporates India-specific guidelines from IRDA, IDRBT and the IT Act to help organizations arrive at a cloud roadmap specific for their business needs.

Microsoft has also launched Cloud Accelerator Program along with its partners to help businesses create cloud adoption blueprints to identify applications which can move to the cloud.  More than 15 Microsoft partners including HCL, Wipro and Tech Mahindra are a part of the Cloud Accelerator Program in India.


Cloud – fueling the “always connected” consumer trend

Its 9:06 pm on a Wednesday night. I am sitting in the Bengaluru airport by myself and eating a nasty airport Podi idli. As I wait for my flight I find myself wondering about the two things keeping me entertained at that moment – my smart phone and social media. I was compelled to think about the beautiful intersection of these two powerful trends, and how their combination has catalysed the birth of a compelling “trend” – “Always connected”

I can’t help but ponder that back at home where I am longing to get to, me and my roommate own a series of disparate devices – 2 laptops each, 1 tablet each, 1 smart phone each and a big TV; that’s a total of 9 devices! I am not trying to paint a picture of extreme addiction to digital world, but the scenario is a reality with all of us today. This goes a long way in saying that the trend in young consumers today is heading towards owning tiny, many pieces of technologies each having unique apps and services which makes them meaningful to us in a specific way. Additionally the ‘Internet of Things (IOT)’, is perceived to make debut this decade, will only make more connected devices available. An interesting phenomenon that will propel the need for IT and developers to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new ways and techniques for quickly weaving solutions that the consumers like using.

I would like to believe that consumers know what they want, they are enlightened and imaginative in how they think technology can solve their problems. In order to win today’s consumer, one has to build solutions that bring people close to each other while they are on the go, solutions that enable working people to work from anywhere, solutions that lets peoples share their thoughts, locations and reviews on just about anything from just about anywhere. Solutions that reimagine mobility for people. And most importantly solutions that can reach consumer as soon as possible!

It would make sense therefore to spend maximum time and energy into brainstorming meaningful solutions rather than provisioning infrastructure for such solutions, and given a choice – have someone else can do it for! And that’s where cloud vendors plays a very crucial role. If there is one thing that I can say with full conviction today is that, to meet the increasingly unpredictable demand of consumers who are evidently making things go viral on social media without any fair warning, the auto scaling feature of cloud computing makes the most sense.

The immense server capabilities, storage options, website hosting plans, mobile app notification, video streaming services etcetera that the cloud vendors offer out-of-the box, makes it walk-in-park easy for the solutions developer to get their ideas across to the consumers at a pace much-much faster than what they are previously used to. Whether it’s the payment model, or the services offered, the reliable cloud vendors such as Microsoft, Amazon, all in all make a compelling strategy which is ready to take on full responsibility of future.

Cloud is here to stay to fuel mobility and encourage connected-ness in consumers. Have you tried it yet?

Enterprise Tech

Cloud Computing Service Models and their Benefits

Cloud is the architecture and a set of services that enable access resources on demand. It is a dynamically scalable, on-demand, multi-tenant and often virtualized resources which are provided as a self-service over the Internet/Intranet; Public, Private and Hybrid Models. Cloud gives you the flexibility to handle fast paced customer requirements and also provide a reliable solution for your applications, which can have an option to scale incrementally without having a downtime. However, one needs to have a clear understanding on what specific outcomes are desired before considering the cloud platform.

There are many vendors who provide Cloud Services in the market today; the big ones in the league being Amazon, Google, Rackspace and Microsoft. Services are offered in any of these models, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. There are some companies who also provide other services like DaaS (Desktop as a Service), Backup as a Service etc. we will talk about these models sometime later.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – Typically, this is case of platform virtualization environment which is offered as a service to you, along with raw storage and networking. Rather than purchasing servers, software, data-center space or network equipment, in your environment, you can instead buy those resources as a fully outsourced service. Suppliers typically bill such services on a utility computing basis; the amount of resources consumed (and therefore the cost) will typically reflect the level of your activity.

Platform as a service (PaaS) – This delivers a computing platform and/or solution stack as a service. This often consumes the cloud infrastructure and sustaining cloud applications. This model facilitates you to deploy applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. As the OS is managed by the Supplier, the underlying patches and updates are taken care by the vendor itself. You don’t need to worry about it.

Software as a Service (SaaS) – This is the most simplest looking cloud offering. Most of us have been using services without realising it to be a cloud platform. This model delivers software as a service over the Internet, eliminating the need to install and run the application on the customer’s own computers and simplifying maintenance and support.  The best example could be Gmail, Office 365 or even Hotmail.

Cloud Responsibility Matrix

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) – This is a cloud service, where the back-end of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is hosted by a cloud service provider. In the DaaS model, the service provider manages the back-end responsibilities of storage, backup, security, upgrades and monitoring. Similar to other cloud platforms, The VDI service is also available on subscription model. If hosting VDIs in your data-center is a challenge, then DaaS as a model works the best for you.

We will add more to this list, as the types of offerings grow in the market. 

Enterprise Tech Featured

Best Practices to Move your Applications to Cloud

In this previous article, we had a quick overview on the different cloud service models and how it eases your challenges w.r.t administration. Now, let me ask you a simple question, can every software or workloads be moved to Cloud? The answer will definitely be a NO.

“No single delivery model meets all needs, but the combination of public, private, and hybrid clouds offer a range of options suitable for many business requirements”

Every application is different; and having a better understanding on what workload can be moved to a Cloud platform is a key to have the right cloud enterprise architecture. These below scenarios will give you an idea on what is a general market trend and patterns which are optimal for Cloud platforms adoption; and when should you move your applications to Cloud.

On/Off Work Pattern: In this scenario, the application only runs at certain times. Jobs which are batch processed fall under this pattern. Over Provisioned capacity is always wasted and the time to market can be cumbersome. For eg: The pdf printer job used by the HR team during the monthly payslip sheet generation is not a usual task but a batch process, e-book publication software which converts books to .PUB formats when a new book is ready for market.

Cloud: on off patterns

Growing Pattern: In this scenario, we can see how some business tend to grow too fast to be able to use regular hosting approach. As the business growth rate is high, one cannot procure and provision hardware fast enough. The successful services needs to grow or scale; keeping up with the growth is a big IT challenge. Example: A simple web application, which has seen great adoption and is being used by everyone in the community. You cannot have a downtime for this application and then scale it up; but need to manage it while the application is live. This is one best scenario when a cloud platform can be adopted.

Cloud Growing Patterns

Predictable Increase: In this scenario, the peak demands periods of a requirement are well known. Peaks due to the periodic increased demands. For eg: A product testing phase, when the utilization can go multiple and be predicted. Or even a Simple Quarterly results announcement website, where the page visits are high at specific periods. For eg: University Websites when results are announced every semester; News portal showcasing the quarterly results etc.

Cloud Predictable Bursting Patterns

Un-Predictable Increase: Scenarios where the bursting cannot be predicted or “situations driving business” fit in this category. Unexpected/unplanned peak in demand; sudden spike impacts performance. For eg: During Disaster Recovery, the number of utilizations of the machines and computer to run the backup job might spike high. Another general example could be, a sudden demand of product and vendors placing orders on the request portal. A Video posted on your website which goes Viral on Social Media etc.

Cloud Unpredictable Bursting Patterns

Summing up, you can look at using cloud Services in these following cases (not just limited to these listed below) –

  • Whenever you have an application with variable load which also has a need to scale massive with high reliability. One best example could online shopping portals during festival seasons or Thanks Giving day.
  • Web-apps with a short lifetime can also be a good candidate for cloud; take an example of a social media campaign your company is planning to do.  It could also be a Contest which you do for Christmas.
  • Sometimes large applications which does not fit well in your own data center, becomes a good option for cloud.
  • If you are planning to run many similar jobs at one single time, running the same on two or more different cloud instances will give you a same result at a much faster pace. Of-course, you also have an option to replicate the same machine configurations across any number of computers (VMs) you want.
  • If your application is going to leverage a variety of data available on the Internet (like Pictures, Tweets etc) then having a public data store option becomes more efficient. In such a scenario, running your software(as a service) from the Cloud makes it even more flexible.

Google adds Managed VM to its Cloud Platform – Best of IaaS and PaaS

Google announces Managed Virtual Machines at the Google Platform Live Event in San Francisco. Managed VMs lets you run any binary inside a VM and turn it into a part of your App Engine app with just a few lines of code. App Engine will automatically manage these VMs.

Urs Hölzle, the senior vice president at Google overseeing the company’s datacenter and cloud services, talked up the appeal of PaaS services like Google App Engine, which provides a complete managed stack but lacks the flexibility of services like IaaS. The downside of IaaS, of course, is it requires extensive management.  Google’s Managed VMs give enterprises the complete managed platform of PaaS, while allowing a customer to add VMs. Those using Google App Engine who need more control can add a VM to the company’s PaaS service. This is not typically offered with PaaS offerings and often forces companies to use IaaS.

You can start with App Engine and if you ever run into a case where you need more control, or need to use a language or library that App Engine doesn’t support, you can replace part of your application with a VM. For example, your application may need access to a native resource, such as a file system or network stack; or you might require a library or framework that is only available in C or C++. Current Platform as a service offerings lack this type of support and developers are forced off the cliff into an Infrastructure as a service world. With Managed VMs, this is not the case.  You can also take an application built on unmanaged VMs and let Google handle management and scaling. You get a good combination of total control and freedom of Compute Engine VMs with the auto-management capabilities of App Engine.

Going a step further, Google is also re-architecting how cloud instances are sold. In the typical cloud model, on-demand based pricing for virtual resources is always more expensive than if a developer buys some form of a reserved instance. In order to bridge the gap between reserved and on-demand virtual instances, Google is now introducing the idea of sustained-use discounts. In the sustained-use model, an on-demand Google Cloud user will get a discount after a virtual instance is used for a specific amount of time.  For more details on the sustained-use discounts, click here

Google is also allowing operating systems such as Suse, Red Hat Linux and Microsoft Windows Server to be used within its cloud. This is considered a minimum necessity for many established businesses. BigQuery is being modified to take in 100,000 data records per second, allowing for the fast analysis of large streams of data.

Managed VMs are currently available to early access users and will soon be more broadly available as a preview technology. If you are keen to try it out, please sign up.

General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

IBM MobileFirst: End-to-End Enterprise Mobile Solutions and Platform

Today’s workplace is now undeniably a mobile enterprise. Anytime, anywhere transactions and a blurring of lines between corporate and individual can make organizations feel vulnerable. For all the good that comes with mobilizing the workforce, there are challenges: maintaining security and compliance, managing multiple device platforms and addressing complex mobile requirements.

To be successful in embracing mobile for driving growth, enterprises must have an integrated strategy for mobile, cloud, big data, social business and security. Through IBM MobileFirst, IBM is providing companies with the essential tools to take advantage of new business opportunities being enabled by mobile. In addition to meeting mobile-specific requirements, the portfolio leverages deep technology services for rapid integration between social and cloud services as well as back-end technologies that help secure and manage strategic processes. With the addition of Cloudant to its portfolio, IBM has extended its data management capabilities with database-as-a-service for web-scale and mobile applications.


IBM MobileFirst begins with a mindset – allowing innovative enterprises to see opportunities that can be gained by bringing resources together to strengthen customer engagement, whenever and wherever the customer wants, and on the customer’s favourite device, which is often mobile. Whether it is transforming customer acquisition strategies, streamlining business processes, or boosting product and service innovations, a lot can be accomplished by focusing on mobile computing environments first.

As enterprises are always looking for new ways to fully engage their customers, IBM MobileFirst offers true end-to-end mobile solutions, guiding businesses from strategy to insights. By extending network applications and web experiences to connect to enterprise data, businesses can unleash the full interactive power of their solutions. IBM helps enterprises build an agile and scalable approach to app development, including a superior user experience across multiple devices and platforms, using the strongest native, hybrid, or web code. By building a single, cross-platform app, enterprises lower the risk and reduce total cost – while still delivering a rich experience.

IBM’s solution also helps businesses manage their mobile enterprise more efficiently, allowing them real-time visibility and control at the app, device and network layers across device types and operating systems. This gives them the confidence to oversee ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) and ‘choose your own device’ (CYOD) initiatives, which is critical as employees become more dependent on smartphone and tablet access to perform their jobs. This is key to mobile enterprise productivity.

From a customer perspective, this solution gives them the confidence in the business via secure transactions across devices around the world. This increased agility helps encourage more mobile engagements. IBM helps businesses optimize digital and mobile experiences and drive the online conversation when mobile connections, location services, and insights and combined to make contextual offers. This creates new value and drives loyalty and satisfaction.

In this below Video, Learn how leading enterprises rise to the top, including ROI, analytics, integration, and security: