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This Week in Cloud, January 27, 2011: Amazon enters the PaaS market, 11 factors to consider for cloud ROI, 5 cloud success stories, 5 Twitter lists to follow. And More…

Feature Article

Is Business Ready for Cloud? You Bet!  

By George Watt, CA Technologies 

Even with recent announcements and case studies documenting the value and potential of cloud computing, there is still much discussion about whether business and IT leaders are ready to take concrete steps to adopt it.  Here are three reasons why cloud computing is more than just hype, and how cloud computing is improving the delivery of business services. Read the full article. 

Cloud News

  • With its Elastic Beanstalk service, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is moving into the PaaS service space, where it will enable developers to deploy and manage apps in the AWS cloud, competing with PaaS providers Google and Salesforce.com. Elastic Beanstalk is available at no extra charge; users pay for the AWS resources they use to run applications, according to this CRN article, which provides more details. Blogger Dustin Amrhein explores some of the questions this move raises, both for AWS customers and the broader PaaS market.
  • Microsoft launched Microsoft Dynamics CRM to compete with offerings from Oracle and Salesforce.com. Microsoft is offering promotional pricing of $34 per user per month, according to this PC Mag article.
  • GoGrid is launching a hosted private cloud offering, according to this PC World article. France Telecom’s Orange, which private-labels the service, is one of the first users.
  • Verizon plans to expand its cloud services, according to this InformationWeek article. Since 2009, Verizon has been offering a Computing as a Service offering, similar to Amazon’s EC2; later this year, it will begin offering PaaS as well as SaaS-based CRM and ERP services.
  • FrontRange has launched a SaaS version of its service management, service catalog and asset management software. Later this year, the company plans to roll out patch management, software distribution and operating system deployment capabilities on the same multi-tenancy architecture, according to this v3 article.

Cloud Views

  • This Information Week article covers 11 factors to consider when calculating cloud ROI. The article includes results from surveys. Some interesting datapoints: While 27% of respondents use or plan to use a cloud service within 12 months, 71% say they have “no idea whether that ‘cheap’ cloud service will end up costing a fortune.”
  • This Information Week article highlights 4 companies getting real results from cloud computing. The profiles include what 2 established companies, (InterContinental Hotels Group and RehabCare Group), are doing with the cloud. It also describes 2 cloud startups: ServiceMax (built on Force.com) and NVoicePay (on Microsoft Azure). This Network World article profiles the results Synaptics has seen from using Service-now.com.
  • This InfoSecurity article asks ‘Will the cloud cause the reemergence of security silos?’
  • This ReadWriteWeb article describes 5 Twitter Lists to Follow About Cloud Computing.
  • This PCWorld article cites research on CFOs’ comfort-level with the cloud. Only 15% of CFOs would be happy to entrust their company’s data to cloud providers. Nearly 75% want to see data centers removed from their company’s balance sheets, but only a quarter expected this to happen in the next 5 years.

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More Stories By CloudCommons 2012

CloudCommons is an independent online community of IT professionals, analysts, technology providers, and industry experts. Members can ask questions, learn from experts, and find the latest cloud-related news. Cloud Commons offers a forum to contribute and discuss best practices and successes, as well as research vendor solutions. Sponsored by CA Technologies, Cloud Commons has been growing steadily since its launch in May of 2010.

Hosted on Cloud Commons is the Service Measurement Index (SMI). Led by Carnegie Mellon University, SMI encompasses a growing consortium of members. SMI compiles user-submitted ratings of cloud services and scores them relative to other services of the same type. Ratings include metrics such as: quality, agility, risk, cost, capability, and security.

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