Posts Tagged ‘ Software-as-a-Service ’

Cloud Computing’s Popularity with SMB’s

There is no simple answer as to whether or not 2010 was the year small business IT finally adopted cloud computing once and for all. On behalf of Microsoft, 7th Sense Research recently conducted a study on cloud computing in small business computing environments and found that 29% of SMBs view the cloud as an opportunity for small business IT to be more strategic. The study also found that 27% of SMBs have bought into cloud computing because it integrates with existing technology investments, while 12% of SMBs have used the cloud to start a new business.

Despite those figures, overall, small businesses are largely unfamiliar with cloud computing. Josh Waldo, director of SMB Marketing at Microsoft reveals, “Roughly 20 percent of SMBs claim to know what cloud technology is.”

The numbers just don’t match up, but Waldo points out that just because people may not identify with the term cloud computing doesn’t mean they aren’t using the technology. Take Gmail or Hotmail, for example: They are both prime examples of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) form of cloud computing and are extremely popular—without their many users even realizing they are using cloud technology when checking their inbox.

“People might not understand what cloud is. But they are using it. They’re using it in their private life. In some cases they’re using it in their work life. But they might not necessarily identify it with the term cloud,” says Waldo.

He believes that the lack of familiarity SMB’s have with cloud computing can be an opportunity for Microsoft, Zoho and other providers of small business technology. Says Waldo, “For Microsoft, what that means is that this gives us a big opportunity to really educate SMB’s about cloud technologies and how they can benefit their business. Our goal is really going to be to help SMB’s evolve how they think about technology.”

According to Waldo, the benefits for small businesses that embrace the cloud are potentially huge: “First, SMBs can get enterprise-class technology at a fraction of the price, where you’re not purchasing on-premises technology that’s going to cost you an enormous amount upfront. Second, it really allows companies, whether you’re a development shop and you’re building software, or you’re an end customer—like a financial or insurance firm—to focus on your business rather than your IT requirements.”

By outsourcing data-center needs, for example, small business IT can eliminate building out capacity to handle potential strikes in data or transaction processing, because they buy the processing power they need when they need it. This leads to another key benefit of cloud computing: elasticity and the expectation of mobility. Waldo defines elasticity as the capability to scale up or down rapidly, based on need. While that includes processing power, it also means being able to add new users from a seasonal workforce—without having to deal with per-seat licensing associated with traditional desktop software.

When it comes to the expectation of mobility, Waldo says that today’s notebook, smartphone and tablet-totting employees want to make their work more flexible by making it mobile. SMB’s can let employees access the information and applications they need while on the go by exposing core applications as SaaS via the cloud.

Embracing Cloud Computing
Waldo recommends that SMB’s that have decided to embrace the cloud by adding cloud computing to their small business technology portfolio seek expert advice. “We really think it’s important that SMB’s choose carefully. And if they’re uncertain, they should work with a third party or a consultant or a value added reseller or some type of agent who understands the various elements of cloud technology and [who] can advise clients,” he says.

According to Chad Collins, CEO of Nubifer.com, a provider of turn-key cloud automation solutions, the first thing a small business should consider is which problem it is trying to solve: “The most important thing is that the cloud really isn’t just about infrastructure. It’s about solving problems. It should be about scalability, elasticity and economies of scale.” Collins adds, “What our enterprise clients are asking for is the ability to create virtual environments, run applications without code changes or rewrites and, most importantly, to be able to collaborate and share using single sign-on interface.

Collins says that the person responsible for small business IT should ask a range of questions when considering a cloud services provider. Among the most important is: Does the cloud provider allow you to run existing applications without any code rewrites or changes to code? Microsoft’s research reveals that 27% of SMBs have already bought into cloud services because it integrates with existing technology, while another 36% would be encouraged to but into the cloud because of that fact. “Being able to migrate custom applications over to the cloud without rewrites is not only a huge cost saver but also a huge time saver for SMBs,” says Collins.

Another important question is whether the cloud provider offers granular user access and user-based permissions based on roles. Can you measure value on a per user basis? Can you auto-suspend resources by setting parameters on usage to avoid overuse of the cloud? The latter is important because although cloud services can result in immense cost savings, their pay-as-you-go nature can yield a large tab if used inefficiently.

Collins recommends paying special attention to the level of responsive support offered by a cloud provider. “I think for SMBs it’s really important. Having to log a Web form and then wait 24 to 48 hours for support can be really frustrating,” he says, adding that the provider should guarantee that a support team would respond in mere hours. Agreeing with Collins, Waldo points out that a service-level agreement with a high-availability and 24 hour support is key.

To discover how the power of cloud computing can benefit your SMB, please visit Nubifer.com.

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DoD Business Applications and the Cloud

The current cloud spending is less than 5% of total IT spending, but with an optimistic 25% growth rate, cloud computing is poised to become one of the dominant types for organizing information systems—which is why it is important for the Department of Defense Business Mission to begin organizing the path to cloud operations in order to migrate from its current low performance/high cost environment. 

The DoD Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 IT cost of the Business Mission—excluding payroll costs for uniformed and civilian personnel—is $5.2 billion, in addition to 1/3 of the costs of the communications and computing infrastructure tacking on an additional $5.4 billion to total costs.

The average IT budgets of the largest US corporate organizations are exceeded by the scope of DoD Business Applications by a multiple of three. As a result, DoD Business Operations need to think about its future IT directions as operating a secure and private cloud that is managed organically by the DoD Business Mission in order to squeeze the cost benefits out of the cloud.

There are many forms of cloud computing, ranging from Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), but when it comes to the Department of Defense, offerings that can offer support of over 2,000 applications need apply. Business Operations cannot be linked to “public” clouds that are proprietary.

The DoD, for example, can’t rely on the largest cloud service like the Amazon Elastic Cloud, which offers computing capacity completely managed by the customer and is thus a “public cloud.” Because compute processing is purchased on demand, Amazon is an IaaS service. Once your applications are placed in the proprietary Amazon cloud, however, it is difficult to transfer the workload into a different environment.

Google, however, offers a PaaS service as a public cloud (read: accessible to all) via the Google App Engine. Google allows developers to build, host and run web applications on Google’s mature infrastructure with its own operating system; Google only provides a few Google-managed applications.

Salesforce.com’s enterprise level computing currently operates at $1.4 billion revenue rate per year, with 2 million subscribers signed up for SaaS application services running in a proprietary PaaS environment. Because Salesforce offers only proprietary solutions and can’t be considered by DoD, although Salesforce’s recent partnership with VMware might change all that.

Other cloud providers offer IaaS services, but they all leave it to customers to manage their own applications; they qualify for DoD applications provided that would meet open source and security criteria.

Open Platform and Open Source
Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform offers a PaaS environment for developers to create cloud applications and offers services running in Microsoft’s data centers on a proprietary .Net environment. These preferentially .Net applications are integrated into a Microsoft controlled software environment but can be defined as a “closed” platform.

Currently, DoD Business Mission applications are running largely in a Microsoft .Net environment. What remains to be seen is if DoD will pursue cloud migration into a multi-vendor “open platform” and “open source” programming environment or continue sticking to a restrictive Microsoft .Net?

The largest share of the DoD IT budget goes towards the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), which has advocated the adoption of the open source SourceForge library in April 2009 for unclassified programs. DISA’s Forge.mil program enables collaborative software development and cross-program sharing of software, system components ad services in support of network-centric operations and warfare. Forge.mil is modeled from concepts proven in open-source software development and represents a collection of screened software components and is used by thousands of developers. Forge.mil takes advantage of a large library of tested software projects and its components are continuously evaluated by thousands of contributors (including some from firms like IBM, Oracle and HP although not from Microsoft, which controls its own library of codes).

OSS is defined as software for which the human-readable source code is available for use, study, reuse, modification, enhancement and redistribution by the users of that software by a DoD Memorandum of October 16, 2009 by the Acting DoD Chief Information Officer on “Clarifying Guidance Regarding Open Source Software (OSS).” OSS meets the definition of “commercial computer software” and will thus be given preference in building systems. DoD has began the process of adoption of open course computer code with the announcement of Forge.mil.

Implications
Due to the emigration of business applications, a reorientation of systems development technologies in favor of running on “private clouds”—while taking advantage of “open source” techniques—is necessary in order to save the most. The technologies currently offered for the construction of “private” clouds will help to achieve the complete separation of the platforms on which applications run, from the applications themselves. The simplification that can be achieved through the sharing of “open” source code from the Forge.mil library makes delivering cloud solutions cheaper, quicker and more readily available.

For more information regarding the DoD and open source cloud platforms, please visit nubifer.com today.

Squeezing the Most Out of Gmail

If you have moved from server based email systems and are using Gmail, it is important to make sure you are making the most out of Gmail.

Use Priority Inbox to Save Time
Do you know how much time you spend checking your email? Likely a lot! Gmail’s Priority Inbox helps you prioritize your email by identifying the messages that require your immediate attention, saving you a lot of time. Using a variety of signals to predict which messages are important, Gmail discovers which people you email most and which messages you open and reply to. Once you turn on and manage Priority Inbox in your mail Settings, the service will continue to get better and better the more you use it.

Seamless Chat, Video and Calling
Gmail knows that you work with people in multiple ways, and makes it easy to choose the most effective means of communication, whether it may be email, chat, text messaging, video chats or phone calls—which are all available from your inbox. Voice and video chat, for example, lets you have an actual conversation with someone or meet face-to-face in high resolution. Google also added the ability to call phones in Gmail, making it possible to make phone calls from your computer to any landline or mobile phone number.

Become More Attached to Your Email
Attachments in other email systems take up space, can be difficult to find and often make you open up another program to take action—slowing you down. Gmail alleviates this cumbersome burden by letting you quickly view attachments without needing to open or download them on client-side software. Google’s Docs Viewer lets you view .doc, .pdf, .ppt and other attachments in a new browser tab by clicking the “view” link at the bottom of a Gmail message. And what if you want to edit the file? Simply click “edit online” to open it in Google Docs or download it to your desktop.

Gmail also features the Google Docs preview tab, which lets you read the entire contents of a Google document, spreadsheets or presentation right in Gmail. (Your administrator needs to have enables Labs for your to access them.)

Put Email in Context
With contextual gadgets, you can update a sales lead without even leaving your inbox. Contextual gadgets display information from social networks, business services, web applications and other systems—while allowing you to interact with that data right within Gmail. With just a few clicks via the Google Apps Marketplace, your administrator or any third-party developer can build and distribute Gmail contextual gadgets to the domain with a few easy clicks.

Productivity Keys
Google built in keyboard shortcuts to help you sort through your email quickly and efficiently. After enabling this feature in settings, you can archive (e), reply (r), compose (c), delete (#) or complete other actions with one key or a short combo. While in Gmail, you can print it out and post it at your desk as well.

Experiment in Google Labs
Gmail Labs gives you, the user, features to customize Gmail in whatever way you want. Some Labs accommodate references (like adding a “Send & Archive” button), while others help you communicate (like the Google Voice player and SMS in Chat) and help you stay organized (like the Google Docs and Calendar gadgets).

For more information regarding Google Apps, and its efficiencies, contact a Nubifer representative today.

Zoho Corp. Adding an SMB Accounting Application: Zoho Books

Zoho Corp., a leader in Software as a Service business applications, announced Wednesday January 19th that they are adding an accounting application to their portfolio: Zoho Books. Over the past few years, Zoho has had over 300,000 apps created on their platform, and as Zoho evolves as a leading work-flow engine, they are introducing application Integration with online payment gateways like Paypal, Google Checkout and Authorize.net.

Zoho offers SaaS applications and provides a wide, integrated portfolio of rich online applications for businesses. With 26 different applications spanning Collaboration, Business and Productivity, Zoho helps businesses and organizations get work done. Zoho’s applications are delivered via the Internet, requiring nothing but a browser, enabling organizations to focus on their business while leveraging Zoho in order to maintain the servers and keep data safe.

Detailing Zoho Books

Zoho Books is an online accounting application that gives organizations complete visibility of their finances and aides management of cash moving in and out of the business. Zoho defines its’ Books application as “accounting for rest of us”. A primary selling point is that users need not be an accountant to mange their business and make informed financial decisions.

Those interested can view Zoho’s Youtube video describing Zoho Books here.

Features of Zoho Books:

Money In
Get a clear picture of how much cash-flow your business is generating. Manage your customers and invoice them either online or by direct mail. Automate recurring invoices, payment reminders and payment thank-you notes.

Money Out
Manage and control expenses and cash flow. Record invoices and commitments for purchase, services and even for reimbursable expenses, such as client travel. Keep track of the outstanding balances with vendors.

Banking and Credit Cards
Record and monitor your bank and credit card transactions such as deposits, fund transfers, checks, expenses, credits and refunds.

Go Global
Transact globally with multi-currency capabilities. Record foreign currency invoices and  expenses.

Collaborate
Share accounting duties with anyone in your organization, but set different permissions for those with access employees.

Stay on Top of Your Business
Glance through the dashboard to know what’s going well with your business and what’s not. Make smart and quick business decisions with the help of our insightful, available-anywhere reports.

Zoho Books integrate​s seamlessly with other Zoho ​applications. F​or example, users can import their contacts from Zoho CRM, view d​ata from various modules in Zoho Sheet, etc. I​n particular, Zoho Invoice customers will be able to seamlessly migrate from Zoho Invoice to Zoho Books – and go beyond invoicing to full-blown accounting without having to start over.

Zoho Books is also immediately available for Google Apps users through the Google Apps Marketplace.

Zoho Books is priced at $24/month (or $240/year with a 2 month discount). This includes access for 2 users. If you’d like to provide access for additional users, it’ll be an additional $5/user/month.

For more information on Zoho Books or any other Zoho application contact a Nubifer representative today.

Cloud’s Little Helpers: 12 Companies to Watch in 2011

Article reposted form HPC in the Cloud Online Magazine. Article originally posted on Dec. 14th 2010:

2010 has been an incredible year for cloud computing in general and an even more exciting year for HPC and cloud. This is due, in part, to an increasing number of offerings designed to make high-performance computing applications perform better, flow with more steamlined management and make better use of the elastic resources that have become available.

As the end of the year approaches, it seemed like a great time to look back on some companies that shaped the HPC cloud ecosystem as a whole as well as to give a holiday “heads up” on some companies to keep an eye on in the coming year. There’s no way to put together a list that encompasses everything but here are a few honorable mentions.

Amazon EC2

This year Amazon took the world by storm with the announcement of services focused on HPC, HPC Clusters.  Cluster Compute and Cluster GPU instances have been specifically engineered to provide high-performance network capability – allowing applications to get the low-latency network performance required for tightly coupled, node-to-node communication.  Finally, it seems that affordable, flexible and elastic services have arrived for the HPC community.

Adaptive Computing

Computing, and in particular cloud computing, is really all about the software and how to make the cloud work for you and not against you as a user.  Adaptive has been around since mid 1990’s (formerly known as Cluster Resources) and provides intelligent automation software for data center, cloud, and high-performance computing environments. The company’s software solutions, powered by Moab, deliver policy-based governance that allows customers to consolidate and virtualize resources, allocate and manage applications, optimize service levels, and reduce operational costs.  These services have allowed many users to get the most out of the cloud infrastructure.

Nubifer

Here’s a name that might be new to some of you. Nubifer’s mission revolves around making (and keeping) the cloud simple with a series of cloud program and services that enable users to easily configure and create cloud based services. One aspect of the company is its personalized and tailored architecture from any web-enable device–this means that part of their appeal is their technology-agnostic approach.

Clustercorp

Clustercorp has an impressive sound byte – “Over 10,000 datacenters are power by Rocks Worldwide.”

Rocks+ is a complete cluster and cloud operating environment. Rocks+ can be used with Amazon’s EC2 to power large scale enterprise data and HPC workload.  Rock’s creates single computing resource from multiple clustered systems.  Remove the complexity drives down the costs.

Whamcloud

First what a great name, not easy to forget.  Whamcloud is basically picking up Lustre where Sun left off.  The company provides vendor-neutral solutions for Lustre 1.6 and beyond.  With years of experience developing Lustre features for high performance computing solutions – 50% of the TOP 500 fastest computers are powered by Lustre.

Cloud.com

Yet another great name that’s certainly not easy to forget….

Cloud.com’s approach to cloud computing is to help organizations quickly and easily build, manage, and deploy private and public clouds. Extending beyond individual virtual machine images running on commodity hardware, the Cloud.com CloudStack provides an integrated software solution for delivering virtual data centers as a service.

The CloudStack’s secure cloud architecture, administrators can ensure that memory, CPU, network, and storage allocated to the individual virtual datacenter deployments are isolated from one end user to another.  Certainly addressing one of cloud computing’s big challenges – security.

Microsoft

With many of the traditional big vendors reducing or even eliminating their spend in HPC markets Microsoft seems to be increasing their spend.  Pushing the Azure and Azure services Microsoft’s cloud services vision starts to become a reality as the company continues to tout its proclaimed devotion to bringing high performance computing to the masses.

Platform Computing

It is all about software management services here and many from traditional HPC have at least heard the name.  After all, it’s the software makes the hardware work.  The good news is that the world is recognizing that software and software management has been a missing link in the evolution of cloud computing.  Platform has a rich set of cluster workload management software and have clearly targeted the HPC community and will likely continuting building its long legacy in HPC this year with more advancements for HPC cloud users.

Mellanox

With a broad array of system interconnects, Mellanox provide the fabric or glue that connects all the pieces together – Ethernet to Infinband, interconnect CPUs and  Storage, adapter cards to switches. Mellanox has what can only be described as a “veritable smorgasbord” of interconnect products for high performance computing.

Rightscale

A pay-as-you go cloud computing model which is very attractive to small- and mid-size businesses as well as HPC users for the simple reason that it reduces capital expenditures and provides economies of scale not possible with the traditional datacenter model.  Rightscale also provides a simple way to leverage Amazon’s EC2 platform, which is the top IaaS choice for many scientific and large-scale enterprise applications.

BlueArc

In 2009 the amount of digital content created and stored grew by 62 percent over the previous year, which had already been higher than any year on record. By the end of this decade the amount of data to be stored and created will be 44 times bigger than it was in 2009. This explosive growth in digital content, particularly unstructured content, has changed the rules of the game for businesses of all types. HPC is a huge creator and consumer of data, and it is more and more unstructured.  Not only do you get both structured and unstructured but you also get high availability, manageability and high performance.

Virident Systems

Is it conceivable that the HPC user community is ready for solid-state storage solutions? Answer is yes.  Solid state has been around for 30 or so years in the HPC/supercomputing community from vendors such as Cray Research first half of 1980.  Now SSD, based on NAND Flash memory, is back with a vengeance in several form factors as HDD replacements or more impressively as storage utilizing PCIe form factor.  tachIOn from Virident provides a Tier 0 solution for high performance computing workloads, the goal is to eliminate the all to common IO bottleneck.

The Public Sector Cloud Model

With technological innovations in security, storage, network and connectivity making cloud infrastructure increasingly cost effective, cloud computing is becoming increasingly prevalent in enterprise IT environments. Cloud service brokers are quickly adopting these new technologies and are looking to deliver reliable, scalable, cost efficient options to their customers.

The concept of ‘shared compute resources’ has existed for awhile, with the industry full of ideas to eliminate the need for the desktop and computer sprawls in data centers, with these concepts centering on hosted applications. Hosted applications can be accessed from any place using an Internet connected device, but recently a new paradigm of similar hosted computing has come forth. This new concept is to create compute power in the cloud and make it available to anyone—while simultaneously hiding all of the complexity of managing it.

Cloud computing can not only be used as a vehicle of quicker service deployment and delivery for enterprises, but can aid governments as well. This is because the combined scale, sprawl and complexity of the government sector IT requires a simpler solution. Governments commonly reach out to widely dispersed geographies, people and sectors, which have different agendas, Internet connectivity, require different scales, applications of different complexity and other variables.

Because of this, governments have been maintaining IT environments of their own, creating an inability to reach people and deploy applications being limited by their capacity to create more data-centers.

A cloud platform may be an effective option for the public sector because it can provide a scalable way of building and facilitating computing infrastructures for their computing needs. The government’s ability to reach people on a broader scale can be made possible by the cloud’s increased availability, also resulting in simplified maintenance requirements for their own in-house IT environments.

Compute Resource Distribution
In order to guarantee that compute resources are readily available for various departments, governments usually require large geo-located deployments of IT infrastructure. In the past, this was completed with the help of distributing and allocating budgets for IT within siloed departmental budgets, making it difficult for governments to track and control the expenditures various departments make in their disparate IT ecosystems.

Lower investments in IT equals lower automation of processes and subsequently lower quality of service, but this can be changed by IT infrastructure provisioning using a pubic cloud platform. Cloud infrastructures can help entities ensure that that IT needs of its department are dispersed in the form of computing capacity as opposed to budgets.

Provisioning
A users scale of usage dictates deeper discounts on the platform pricing, but not in provisioning of compute efficiencies. Governments are essentially buying IT solutions in bulk—which is why cloud computing is able to provide a solution to the provisioning challenge of governments’ IT needs. Governments should readily consider centralized cloud deployments with quick provisioning of computing power.

In anticipation and expectation of providing better access to information and services to the people, most governments entities are aiming to distribute compute resources to as many sectors of the country as possible. The time to deliver a service is currently dependent on factors like bottlenecks, availability and processes, but cloud computing can shift the focus of governments to extending the reach of IT applications and information.

Standards in Regulation
It is necessary for governments to ensure that complex regulatory frameworks are implemented and followed in their IT environments. A large portion of these regulatory needs are followed through by IT departments today, and regulatory controls are executed through IT policies. Most often, security and governance are dependent on individual or standardized procedural controls—and the cloud can facilitate the shift from procedural controls to standards.

Managing Information Availability
Governments’ focus is on dispersing meaningful information to their citizens and their various departments, and cloud computing can help facilitate this focus. Governments will be able to scale to unforeseen new heights with a renewed focus on information disbursement.

Essentially, shifting the priority from managing infrastructure to managing information can drive social change, and the cloud is positioned to make this a reality for governments organizations.

For more information regarding the Cloud Computing’s role in the public sector, visit Nubifer.com.

Start Me Up….Cloud Tools Help Companies Accelerate the Adoption of Cloud Computing

Article reposted form HPC in the Cloud Online Magazine. Article originally posted on Nov. 29 2010:

For decision makers looking to maximize their impact on the business, cloud computing offers a myriad of benefits. At a time when cloud computing is still being defined, companies are actively researching how to take advantage of these new technology innovations for business automation, infrastructure reduction, and strategic utility based software solutions.

When leveraging “the cloud”, organizations can have on-demand access to a pool of computing resources that can instantly scale as demands change. This means IT — or even business users — can start new projects with minimal effort or interaction and only pay for the amount of IT resources they end up using.

The most basic division in cloud computing is between private and public clouds. Private clouds operate either within an organization’s DMZ or as managed compute resources operated for the client’s sole use by a third-party platform provider. Public clouds let multiple users segment resources from a collection of data-centers in order to satisfy their business needs. Resources readily available from the Cloud include:

● Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Provides users with business applications run off-site by an application provider. Security patches, upgrades and performance enhancements are the application provider’s responsibility.

● Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): Platform providers offer a development environment with tools to aide programmers in creating new or updated applications, without having to own the software or servers.

● Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): Offers processing power, storage and bandwidth as utility services, similar to an electric utility model. The advantage is greater flexibility, scalability and interoperability with an organization’s legacy systems.

Many Platforms and Services to Choose From:

Cloud computing is still in its infancy, with a host of platform and application providers serving up a plethora of Internet-based services ranging from scalable on-demand  applications to data storage services to spam filtering. In this current IT environment, organizations’ technology ecosystem have to operate cloud-based services individually, but cloud integration specialists and ISVs (integrated software vendors) are becoming more prevalent and readily available to build on top of the emerging and powerful platforms.

Mashing together services provided by the worlds largest and best funded companies like Microsoft, Google, Salesforce.com, Rackspace, Oracle, IBM, HP and many others, gives way to an opportunity for companies to take hold and innovate, and build a competitive, cost saving cloud of their own on the backs of these software giant’s evolving view of the cloud.

Cloud computing comes into focus only when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, licensing and maintenance of new software. Cloud computing involves all subscription-centric or pay-for-what-you-use service that extends your IT environments existing capabilities.

Before deciding whether an application is destined for the cloud, analyze you current cost of ownership. Examine more than just the original licenses and cost of ownership; factor in ongoing expenses for maintenance, power, personnel and facilities. To start, many organizations build an internal private cloud for application development and testing, and decide from their if it is cost-effective to scale fully into a public cloud environment.

“Bridging the Whitespace” between Cloud Applications

One company, Nubifer.com (which in Latin, translates to ‘bringing the clouds’) approaches simplifying the move to the Cloud for its enterprise clients by leveraging a proprietary set of Cloud tools named Nubifer Cloud:Portal, Cloud:Connector and Cloud:Link. Nubifer’s approach with Cloud:Portal enables the rapid development of “enterprise cloud mash-ups”, providing rich dash-boards for authentication, single sign-on and identity management. This increased functionality offers simple administration of accounts spanning multiple SaaS systems, and the ability to augment and quickly integrate popular cloud applications. Cloud Connector seamlessly integrates data management, data sync services, and enables highly available data interchange between platforms and applications. And Cloud:Link provides rich dashboards for analytic and monitoring metrics improving system governance and audit trails of various SLAs (Service Level Agreements).

As a Cloud computing accelerator, Nubifer focuses on aiding enterprise companies in the adoption of emerging SaaS and PaaS platforms. Our recommended approach to an initial Cloud migration is to institute a “pilot program” tailored around your platform(s) of choice to in order to fully iron-out any integration issues that may arise prior to a complete roll-out.

Nubifer’s set of Cloud Tools can be hosted on Windows Azure, Amazon EC2 or Google AppEngine. The scalability offered by these Cloud platforms promote an increased level of interoperability, availability, and a significantly lower financial barrier for entry not historically seen with current on-prem application platforms.

Cloud computing’s many flavors of services and offerings can be daunting at first review, but if you take a close look at the top providers offerings, you will see an ever increasing road map for on-boarding your existing or new applications to “the cloud”. Taking the first step is easy, and companies like Nubifer that provide the platform services, and the partner networks to aid your goals, are resourced and very eager to support your efforts.