Focusing on the cheapest cloud price could cost you more

Amazon Web Services really leads the way in determining market price for cloud services, and the second-, third-, and lower-tier cloud providers try to price their cloud services below that of AWS to steal its business. That is, until AWS drops prices—again.

Enterprises that focus only on cloud usage prices are missing the big—and more important—picture.

For example, say that you move 100 applications and their linked data to a public cloud provider. It charges you a certain usage price for compute and storage, which is set at the time you provision those resources. 

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: When does tech make you money and when does it cost you?

There’s an interesting Forbes article on the topic of turning a cost center into a profit center. In it, author Larry Myler talks about three ways to “become a hero” by:

  1. Killing overhead,
  2. Inventing revenue, and
  3. Supporting company strategy.

Having worked in cost centers within organizations myself, I was skeptical as to whether this can actually be done. If so, it would change the game for just about any company trying to reduce costs and increase revenues (and that would be almost every organization).

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: The high cost and risk of On-Premise vs. Cloud

When was the last time I bought an on-prem application?  Over five years ago and I am not looking back. Having been a CIO for many years, I have seen my share of large-scale software implementations and the maintenance and upgrade overhead that comes with on-prem applications. The numbers are varied, but it’s safe to assume that 30-40% of companies have moved into the Cloud and use it as a resource for their applications and/or infrastructure.

Should you simply jump into the pool with the others?  Of course not. First off, a simple “lift and shift” of applications from on-prem into the Cloud will produce minimal benefit if any, and those may be consumed by the resources required for the move itself. That said, a careful strategy to re-engineer your applications platform into the Cloud could have significant cost savings and operational efficiencies. A very detailed TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is required before making such a strategic decision. There are a variety of published methods for calculating TCO.  My advice is to make friends with the team in Finance and together agree on which method is best for your environment.  Then partner with Finance to do the TCO.  If it has Finance’s fingerprint on it, the credibility ranking goes real high.  

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CIO Cloud Computing

The cloud just cost 5,500 Cisco workers their jobs

Cisco this week announced it is laying off some 5,500 workers, about 7 percent of its global workforce. The firings fell far short of the 14,000 positions that had been rumored, but they still cut deep.

And it can’t help ease the sting that workers getting pink slips had to listen to Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins exult, “We had another strong quarter, wrapping up a great year.” That “we” doesn’t extend to the fired workers, obviously.

So, what’s really going on here?

Basically, Cisco is trying to keep up with fundamental changes in the world of infrastructure. Those changes take many forms, but the biggest, most obvious development is the incredible rise of cloud computing. Companies are scrambling to run every possible workload into the cloud, which is grabbing an ever-increasing share of new infrastructure investment.

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Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: 4 cost considerations you can’t afford to overlook when moving to SAP HANA

It’s impossible to decouple SAP’s vision for the cloud from HANA, its in-memory database and computing platform. The company aims to run its core solutions on HANA, while also migrating customers to use it as a cloud, application and innovation platform. 

But, for current SAP customers, transitioning to HANA is a complex and expensive endeavor. Several considerations should be taken into account when making the decision to migrate:

1. SAP doesn’t just want to run your enterprise applications; they want to capture your database spend. SAP has positioned itself to displace Sybase and Oracle database technologies in some customer environments. That’s opened the door to new revenues for application development and hosting, as well as data access.

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CIO Cloud Computing

A blockchain ‘smart contract’ could cost investors millions

Investors in a “smart contract” built on the Ethereum blockchain platform may have lost cryptocurrency worth millions of dollars because they missed a loophole in the contract’s fine print.

The contract was written in Ethereum’s Solidity programming language, and the fine print was the code that set out the rules for investing in, operating, and withdrawing from a crowd-sourced venture capital fund called The DAO (The Distributed Autonomous Organization.) .

Ethereum, like other blockchains, is a distributed public ledger, or record of transactions. Where the bitcoin ledger records bitcoin transactions, the Ethereum blockchain records transfers of a cryptocurrency called Ether. But there’s more: Ethereum is also a platform for running smart contracts. Its creator, the Ethereum Foundation, describes smart contracts as “applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.”

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CIO Cloud Computing

The cost of mold in the cloud

Your cloud provider hosts a lot of images, if they’re even mildly successful. There is no legal onus to keep images patched/fixed/rev’d.  Our industry provides no inherent mechanism to provide an image Good Until Date. The potential poisoning of moldy cloud images scares the hell out of me. No two OS vendors do patch/fix/revision control quite the same way.

I’ve heard various statistics bandied about that claim that the top five cloud providers may host more than 300 million images at any particular time of day. These images are getting moldy. Ever see any of the big cloud hosting companies put a freshness date on their stuff? Me neither.

Some of these images (and internal binaries) are containers or VMs. Their lifecycle might be measured in hours, but it could be in days, weeks, or even years. None of them are guaranteed to be up-to-the-minute patched/fixed/rev’d. Inside of the images, varying degrees of binaries that are running are also at a similar unknown patch level. Black mold is possible. Think: the state of Thanksgiving leftovers remaining in your fridge. 

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Network World Cloud Computing

Amazon cuts cost of running Oracle’s database in its cloud

Amazon Web Services now lets companies run Oracle’s database for about 3 cents per hour, while at the same time adding more options for enterprises that want to move high-performance workloads to the cloud.

The offering that makes this possible is Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service), which aims to offer cheap and resizable capacity, and take over many database administration tasks.

The last two months have seen Amazon step up its efforts to make RDS and its cloud a viable option for running databases. Improvements include using SQL Server Enterprise Edition without buying separate licenses, the general availability of its own MySQL-compatible Aurora database, and an increase of the maximum database storage size.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing