iTWire - iTWire - Cloud Computing iTWire - Technology news, trends, reviews, jobs Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:50:42 +1000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb SaaS and the cloud are now mainstream SaaS and the cloud are now mainstream

The cloud delivery model is now the norm as more Australian enterprises shift towards the on-demand model.

Continued adoption of cloud-based software is making its mark on Australian organisations with the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model reaching mainstream levels in software categories such as CRM, email and collaboration.

Research from local analyst firm Telsyte indicates SaaS penetration ranges from 19% to 63% across 25 different categories of enterprise software measured. This penetration rate includes businesses using the SaaS-only model as well as a hybrid SaaS and on-premise approach.

“The past decade has seen many cloud-based enterprise applications become available to Australian CIOs and business leaders,” says Telsyte senior analyst Rodney Gedda. “The top SaaS categories are enterprise social media, e-commerce, B2B integration platforms, and big data storage.” Telsyte expects this trend  to continue with high intentions for many organisations to move CRM, ERP, email and groupware to the cloud within the next 12 months.

Telsyte research has found software investments will increase by more than 5% in 2014 after a few years of being on hold. Gedda says the growth in SaaS is in line with perceived costs savings achievable by taking the on-demand approach to software procurement.

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He says most CIOs cite ‘cost’ as the most important factor when choosing an enterprise software solution, but ‘integration and interoperability’ remains a high priority which will grow in importance as enterprises rely on a mix of on-premise and third-party IT systems.

“The SaaS delivery model can work well for many organisations looking to reduce their IT infrastructure requirements, but CIOs must keep a close eye on data integration and sovereignty, long-term subscription costs and configurability of SaaS applications in addition to the popular privacy and security factors,” Gedda says.

The Telsyte Australian Enterprise Software Market Study 2014 is based on interviews with 324 IT Decision makers in organisations with more than 20 employees on their use of enterprise software – from application categories to ERP projects, custom development and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). The study also includes an analysis of the top eight enterprise software vendors, including their respective strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It analyses 25 enterprise software categories.

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Cloud Computing Thu, 12 Dec 2013 09:45:44 +1100
CloudCentral expands beyond Canberra CloudCentral expands beyond Canberra

Australian cloud supplier CloudCentral has made two major announcements around uts expansion beyond Canberra to become a national supplier.

CloudCentral will use pints of presence (PoPs) in NEXTDC’s data centres to expand its reach into each of Australia's major capital cities.

NEXTDC currently operates data centres in Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, with Perth PoPs being rolled out in the next year. CloudCentral currently runs its infrastructure out of NEXTDC and TransACT data centres in Canberra, but the new the agreement will allow it to operate out of five major cities around Australia.

"The benefits of this agreement will be huge for our partners and their customers," said CloudCentral CEO Kris Sheather. "We will be able to offer them lower latency, as they can choose to access their data from the point of presence closest to their location.

“It will also be beneficial for large national companies who want staff working from multiple locations to have rapid access to all of their information. We are excited to further our relationship with NEXTDC. As an innovative, future-focused company NEXTDC is the right choice to enable us to expand our business and offer business critical-class services to our customers.”

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CloudCentral also signed a new agreement with international data centre provider Equinix for a Sydney (PoP). Sheather said a third Sydney PoP site is key to the company's strategic rollout of Australian network locations, partnerships and vertical market reach. The additional capacity is expected to support the increasing trend for the delivery of fully secure and redundant, onshore cloud-based services to government and businesses.

Sheather said CloudCentral offers Australian-hosted cloud services tailored to software developers, service providers, government and enterprise partners. Its cloud infrastructure services are provided on-demand, with a pay-as-you-grow model with no upfront costs.

“We are an Australian-owned and located company, so we can give our partners and customers the confidence that their data stays in Australia.”

Sheather told iTWire that the expansion gives it an opportunity to increase its user base and to better serve it partners. Currently around 75% of CloudCentral’s business is through service providers, such as ISS (which provides services to NSW Health) and Intelligent Pathways (a major cloud provider to the Victorian Government). It also has an agreement with Infosys, which services Jetstar.

Sheather said the company's goal is for its partners to be able to access CloudCentral’s services on-demand and scale these services for optimum performance. “By extending our footprint around the country, it becomes just that little bit easier to access the CloudCentral CloudPlatform and benefit from the scalability and performance for cloud services offerings and projects.

“This lets our partners and customers focus on innovating and launching their own services to market in the most productive timeframe possible. This is a great way to provide access to a secure, redundant environment that meets business critical needs," he said.

The deployment with Equinix will enable an increased focus on the Australian Government. “With CloudCentral appointed to the Government’s data centre suppliers list in2012, and Equinix recently appointed to the data centre facilities panel, the new PoP enables CloudCentral to further support data centre services to all levels of Australian government.”

The deal with Equinix also gives us the ability to expand internationally,” said Sheather. “They have nearly a hundred data centres around the world.” CloudCentral uses networking infrastructure from AAPT and Megaport to service its clients.

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Cloud Computing Wed, 20 Nov 2013 07:26:50 +1100
Cloud computing the ‘new normal’‘new-normal’‘new-normal’ Cloud computing the ‘new normal’

Nearly all Australian businesses are now using cloud computing in some way. It is often driven from outside the IT department.

Fully 86% of Australian enterprises are currently using cloud computing, up from 71% in 2012.And it is line-of-business (LOB) managers in leading-edge enterprises that are driving the trend, adding to the CIO’s cloud spending by direct acquisition of cloud services as a delivery mechanism for new competitive offerings within their own industries.

So says IDC in its 2013 Australia End-User Cloud Survey. The report finds that business units  are more likely than IT department (69.6% to 59.8%) to be the ones selecting service providers for cloud computing projects.

"Until 2012, cloud was primarily an IT label for IT infrastructure services delivered as a service,” says IDC’s Raj Mudaliar. “Now, cloud is no longer just an IT infrastructure play. Cloud-based business services being acquired by LOB managers will now drive growth in the use of externally sourced services.

“Cloud in 2013 is business as usual for CIOs and LOB managers. Cloud is becoming just another delivery model for a range of ‘as-a-service’ offerings  based on infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS)

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IDC says that in the last year there has been a swing away from on-premises private cloud towards virtual private cloud (VPC), as the number of these offerings increased and their price points came closer to those of public cloud. “VPC has been a safe choice for medium-risk applications, but truly mission-critical applications like ERP will most often be deployed on dedicated private cloud (DPC), where a single tenant is hosted from service provider's data centre.

Responses to the survey indicate that SaaS selection now focuses on industry-specific applications and process functionality to improve business performance. “In 2013, hosted private cloud intentions are on the rise, with standardised services as part of the package-reducing demand for pure private cloud deployments.”

IDC expects the services component will increase as larger and more complex projects get underway.

IDC estimates the total Australia public cloud services (which includes SaaS, PaaS and IaaS) to grow from $884.4 million in 2012 to $2,671.9 million in 2017, at a CAGR of 24.7%. The report presents a detailed market analysis of key trends, drivers, inhibitors, adoption rates, preferred workloads, market sizing, forecast and future outlook for the Australia's cloud services market.

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Cloud Computing Wed, 17 Jul 2013 09:05:07 +1000
IaaS market on fast track to increased adoption

Australian businesses have moved past the initial cost savings they get from the adoption of cloud solutions to recognising the increased agility and scalability that adoption offers, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan.

The report says that increasing awareness of cloud computing is driving an influx of market participant such as telecommunications providers, traditional IT companies and pure-play cloud vendors. The “robust momentum” that currently characterises the Australian IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and cloud computing market sees many organisations, from large companies to SMEs, adopting cloud solutions.

According to Frost & Sullivan’s Mayank Kapoor, most large organisations in Australia have now deployed a private cloud environment and “many are considering or have begun implementing an increasing number of mission critical workloads in the cloud.”

But Kapoor says that despite the benefits of cloud, many IT departments are still reluctant to move to the cloud, with common barriers to adoption including perceived loss of control, data sovereignty and security concerns when they move their workload and infrastructure to cloud. This concern is more common for public clouds, and is one of the reasons why many of the public cloud deployments in Australia are predominantly non-mission critical in nature.”

Frost & Sullivan reports that the “pure play” IaaS vendors are primarily global players and first movers such as Amazon and Rackspace, with recent entrants in the local IaaS market such as OrionVM, Cloud Central, Zetta Grid and UltraServe, also being successful.

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“Telecommunications providers are actively moving into the cloud space and have a strategic advantage, because they can leverage their strong network capabilities through their underlying network. They can also offer private and public cloud offerings bundled with carrier services, says Frost’s Phil Harpur. “Telstra, Optus, Macquarie Telecom and AAPT have already embarked on cloud offerings as part of their strategic direction.

“A fast growing category is the Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in the IaaS space. Companies like Dimension Data, IBM, Fujitsu, HP, and local providers such as Brennan IT, Harbour IT and Melbourne IT are all expanding offerings in the cloud computing,” says Harpur. “Vendors in the IaaS market with a local data centre presence will have an edge over other players. We are witnessing many of the local IaaS players starting to establish or expand their local data presence in Australia.”

Frost & Sullivan cites one of the key benefits of using cloud-based IaaS solutions as the significant upfront savings that can be achieved, in terms of hardware and also associated maintenance costs, with the cloud model eliminating much upfront capital outlay.

“IaaS is rapidly becoming the delivery model of choice for companies looking at greenfield, test and development type of deployments or hosting applications in the cloud,” says Harpur. “With such low barriers to entry, the commercial case for any business of any size to adopt IaaS solutions is strong.”

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Cloud Computing Wed, 12 Sep 2012 08:30:18 +1000
Amazon Glacier puts data on ice Amazon Glacier puts data on ice

Amazon Glacier, the latest offering from Amazon Web Services, is said to provide low-cost, secure and durable archival data storage.

The idea behind Amazon Glacier is to provide a separate tier of cloud storage at low cost for backup and archiving purposes.

Pricing starts at $US0.01 per gigabyte per month ($US0.0012 at Amazon's Asia Pacific data centre in Tokyo), but data transfer charges are levied on data leaving the centre (starting at $US0.201 per gigabyte after the first 10GB).

There is a small fee for upload and retrieval requests ($US0.06 per thousand requests),and if more than 5% of the average monthly storage is retrieved, a further retrieval fee is applied, starting at $US0.012 per gigabyte.

Reflecting the intention that Glacier is used for backup and archiving, a surcharge of $US0.036 per gigabyte is applied for items deleted within 90 days.

So like other Amazon Cloud Services, Glacier is true 'pay only for what you use' cloud archival storage.

Security is provided via Amazon's Identity and Access Management service, and the service has been designed to provide average annual durability of 99.999999999% for each item stored through the use of automatic replication and integrity checks.

{loadposition stephen08}The company plans to introduce a feature to support the automatic movement of data between Amazon S3 and Glacier according to data lifecycle policies (there is already no charge for moving data between S3 and Glacier within the same AWS region).

Amazon officials suggest Glacier is suitable for a variety of applications, including the archiving of enterprise information, media assets (eg, TV news footage), and scientific data.


It is also said to be relevant to digital preservation efforts, as it allows projects to start small at low cost and then scale up to massive collections, while automatically providing data integrity checks and performing automatic repairs if errors are detected.

"An organisation like ours thinks in centuries when it comes to content retention, and long term preservation of our Master Archives is a critical part our mission here at NYPR," said Steve Shultis, CTO of New York Public Radio.

"Storing these core assets on traditional media such as local disk and off-site tape exposes us to corruption and even outright-loss of data.

"We are excited to move our archives to Amazon Glacier, which will be a better long-term solution."

Alyssa Henry, vice president of AWS Storage Services, said "Today, most businesses rely on expensive, brittle, and inflexible tape for their archiving solution.

{loadposition stephen08}"This approach requires expensive upfront payments, is difficult to operate and maintain, and leads to wasted capacity and money.

"Amazon Glacier changes the game for companies requiring archiving and backup solutions because you pay nothing upfront, pay a very low price for storage, are able to scale up and down whenever needed, and AWS handles all of the operational heavy lifting required to do data retention well."

]]> (Stephen Withers) Cloud Computing Wed, 22 Aug 2012 08:34:16 +1000
Fujitsu spends $millions to float WA cloud$millions-to-float-wa-cloud$millions-to-float-wa-cloud

Fujitsu is spending “tens of $millions” upgrading its Malaga data centre in order to offer Western Australian prospects a locally based instance of its cloud services, and also provide clients around Australia with access to a second geographically remote instance of the local cloud in order to reduce risk.

Mike Foster, Fujitsu’s ceo who is currently visiting Western Australia, said that there was a strong business case for a WA based cloud – partly to meet the needs of clients in that state, but also to step up business continuity capability. Mr Foster said that if the business case stacked up, there was no reason why more instances of Fujitsu’s local cloud might not be launched in the future.

He said that having a second cloud instance in Australia was increasingly important to existing users. Mr Foster said that a manufacturing and transportation business using cloud services delivered out of Fujitsu’s two Sydney data centres had specified that it wanted disaster recovery capabilities located at least 500 km away from the primary cloud site in order to reduce risk.

According to Fujitsu the new instance of the cloud should also address Western Australia customer concerns regarding latency for applications which would otherwise be run out of an Eastern Seaboard data centre.

For most organisations however latency issues across the Nullarbor aren’t really that much of a problem.

{loadposition bev}In 2010 Perth based Curtin University announced that it had deliberately selected an Optus cloud service based in a data centre in NSW in order to explore the issues associated with latency and bandwidth. It turned out to be not much of an issue at all.

Earlier this week Ninefold, a cloud storage provider owned by Sydney based Macquarie Telecom, also announced that it was extending its programme of making storage available for free to start-ups based in the Eastern States to WA.

Mr Foster said that although Fujitsu itself did not think latency had been a major problem, there had been a customer perception that it was. “Early on we missed out on a couple of deals because of the issue of latency,” he told iTWire.

Improved communications networks increasingly meant latency was less of an issue he said. “Cloud is absolutely dependent on having a good robust network.

“Gas and mining – their core requirements are in more diverse locations. Having good high speed communications is essential to the cloud,” said Mr Foster, adding that the national broadband network would further benefit cloud users.

What is possibly more enticing – particularly for WA Government agencies - than a latency trim is the prospect of being able to store data in a locally based cloud. Under the recordkeeping legislation of most states it is technically illegal for government agencies to store records outside of the home state.

While workarounds have been created in some jurisdictions, the fact that WA Government users will be able to point to their data still being held in the state will probably give some comfort to cloud sceptics. Mr Foster said that Government clients were one of the target markets for the new cloud instance.

{loadposition bev}“The reason our local cloud is successful is that organisations want to use the cloud’s elasticity but they want to know where their data is. We’ve sold that hard,” he said.

Fujitsu’s WA cloud service should be operational by November.

]]> (Beverley Head) Cloud Computing Thu, 16 Aug 2012 20:29:00 +1000
50 million have chosen to

LogMeIn's online meeting service has clicked up 50 million participants, with more than 500,000 people attending meetings each week.

The rate of growth is impressive, with more than one million people using for the first time each week, company officials claimed.

"In 2012, has become LogMeIn's fastest growing product, both in terms of new users and new sales, and we believe it's now among the fastest growing collaboration products on the market," said Lou Orfanos, LogMeIn's director of collaboration products.

"As grows to serve millions of users and their broadening needs, we will continue to invest in delivering powerful features while maintaining a simple yet elegant experience, a core philosophy we believe will continue to drive rapid, viral user adoption."

{loadposition stephen08}Recent changes to the service include the addition of a window sharing feature to the pro version.

Screen sharing is a core component of the free service, but window sharing has the advantage of keeping focus on the intended content and avoiding interruptions caused by other applications that happen to be running on the presenter's computer.

Other features of the pro version (which costs $US19 per month or $US149 per year) include premium audio conferencing lines, presenter swapping options, private meeting rooms, custom meeting links, and administrative control for teams.

Also relatively new is the free app for Windows 8 PCs, phones and tablets (illustrated above).

The app takes advantage of the 'UI formerly known as Metro' but now officially named 'Windows 8 UI' and works with the free and pro version so

]]> (Stephen Withers) Cloud Computing Thu, 16 Aug 2012 12:43:28 +1000
Dell Wyse delivers more cloud clients

A new range of cloud clients from Dell's Wyse business promises a balance of performance, energy efficiency and manageability.

The midrange Dell Wyse D series is intended for use with virtualised desktop systems from Citrix, Dell, Microsoft and VMware.

Based on the hardware as the high-end Z series, it is said to outperform the equivalent HP product on graphics benchmarks.

A range of options are available for enhanced multimedia support. Connectivity includes Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

{loadposition stephen08}The D series comprises the D90D7 (with Windows Embedded Standard 7), D90DW (with Windows Embedded Standard 2009), D50D (with a Dell Wyse enhanced version of SUSE Linux Enterprise), and the D00D (a full-featured but centrally managed 'cloud PC').

"The Dell Wyse D class mid-range cloud client family provides new levels of desktop performance in an extremely efficient, compact form factor, as well as extends Dell's cloud client computing offering to better serve the customer needs," said Param Desai, executive director of product management at Dell Wyse.

"The D class offers businesses the efficiency, flexibility and ease of integration they require, while end users enjoy a rich, high-performance multimedia desktop experience."

The D90D7 can be ordered immediately, with prices starting at $670. Other models will go on sale "in the near future".

]]> (Stephen Withers) Cloud Computing Wed, 15 Aug 2012 15:09:07 +1000
Reckon adds bank feed to cloud accounting service

Accounting software provider Reckon has created a cloud service to automatically import bank transactions.

Reckon BankData - initially available only in conjunction with CashBook Online - can receive transaction details from Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB, ANZ, St George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA in Australia, plus ANZ, Westpac, ASB Bank, Kiwibank and National Bank in New Zealand.

It also works with the Yodlee service to import data from "thousands of banks throughout the world."

The service includes a system for automatically classifying transactions and splitting amounts across multiple categories.

{loadposition stephen08}Reckon officials said the company plans to offer BankData as an adjunct to Quicken Personal Plus, Quicken Home & Business, and QuickBooks (desktop and hosted).

"With Reckon BankData, unlike some existing products, both the accounting professional and their small business client are using the same tool," said group marketing manager Gerald Chait.

"Being a cloud accounting application they are able to access the same data simultaneously and make collaborative business decisions."

A broadly similar service is offered by BankLink Australia, and MYOB's LiveAccounts cloud accounting service collects transaction feeds for more than 100 banks and financial institutions.

]]> (Stephen Withers) Cloud Computing Wed, 15 Aug 2012 14:48:13 +1000 going social with Salesforce Communities

Salesforce Communities brings private social networking to users.

Although Salesforce Communities won't be generally available until the second half of 2013, is already spruiking its merits.

The idea is to make social networking features such as profiles, real-time feeds, trending topics, recommendations and influence measurement available on alongside business information and processes.

Company officials say this will allow users to provide a more unified customer experience, as well as connecting with partners and external communities.

{loadposition stephen08}One early adopter is GE Capital.

"Our goal was to build deeper relationships with our mid-size business partners across the world, and be seen as builders, not just bankers," said global marketing vice president Ian Forrest.

"With Access GE built on Salesforce Communities, we have deployed more than 50 custom communities, leading to stronger partnerships with companies."

Salesforce Chatter senior vice president Doug Bewsher said "Today, more than ever, companies need to put customers at the heart of their business.

"With Salesforce Communities, enterprises will be able to break the boundaries of their companies, connecting them much closer to their customers and partners."

Pricing will be announced on general availability.

]]> (Stephen Withers) Cloud Computing Wed, 15 Aug 2012 13:31:26 +1000