Wednesday, February 27, 2013

States consider taxing cloud-based services

  • States consider taxing cloud-based services
    Subscription software delivered via the cloud is considered a product and not a service and is subject to sales tax in Idaho. At least five other states have ruled similarly. However, tax authorities in Kansas and Nebraska, among other states, have come to the opposite conclusion.

Friday, February 22, 2013

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner exam

  • How agility is becoming part of project-management certification
  • The advent of the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner exam speaks volumes about how agility is becoming a standard within IT, Rick Freedman writes. PMI is increasingly applicable for IT organizations, developers and project managers that are moving toward agile approaches, he writes.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Study cites shortfall of agile software developers

Study cites shortfall of agile software developers

Agile software developers are in demand, according to a study based on CareerBuilder data that indicates there is one qualified candidate for every 4.6 jobs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Health-care sector vulnerable to hackers

As the health-care industry rushed onto the Internet in search of efficiencies and improved care in recent years, it has exposed a wide array of vulnerable hospital computers and medical devices to hacking, according to documents and interviews.

Security researchers warn that intruders could exploit known gaps to steal patients’ records for use in identity theft schemes and even launch disruptive attacks that could shut down critical hospital systems.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A forecast on health IT

A forecast on health IT

Software-as-a-service, bring-your-own device policies and telehealth applications are likely to drive health IT innovations and create headaches around data security and patient privacy, Brian Horowitz writes. "The tools available to manage those devices and ensure that they meet compliance and security requirements will become much better in 2013.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Microsoft MCSE Cloud Training and Certification

Microsoft MCSE Private Cloud 2008 Training and Certification

List Price: $1495.00 15 DVDs

This certification proves your expertise in managing and implementing Microsoft private cloud computing technologies. With Windows Server and System Center, you will build your Microsoft private cloud solution to optimize IT service delivery and gain the automation and flexibility you need for your IT infrastructure, now and in the future. Real LIVE Practice-Labs are also available.

To view this product on our website click here

Exam 70-246 Training: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

This course describes how to monitor and operate a private cloud with System Center 2012. Students will learn the basics of the cloud, cloud servies, monitoring and automating responses. Students will also learn about managing problems in the private cloud, service management, cloud protection and cleaning up system center databases.

To view this product on our website click here

Exam 70-247: Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

This course describes how to configure and deploy a private cloud with System Center 2012. Students will learn about understanding and working with the cloud, the cloud components, including infrastructure and service catalog, and virtual applications. Students will also learn about server management, automation and security for the cloud.

To view this product on our website click here

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Baby Steps Towards Cloud Computing

Baby Steps Towards Cloud Computing

Determine the Cost of Operating Applications

Teasing out all the hidden costs of running an application may take some work, but is absolutely critical in taking the first step toward cloud computing. Without an accurate picture of the cost, an internal application may appear less expensive to run than it actually is and conversely a cloud computing application more expensive. This is important because the more costly the application is to run, the better candidate it is for cloud computing. But again this is only the first step.

Determine the Cost of Moving the Application

 Current operating costs can not be the only criteria to use when identifying candidate applications to move to the cloud. Even if you identify an application that could be run much less expensively on the cloud, the one‑time costs of moving it may be prohibitive. Before you begin, there are many questions you need to answer about how the application is integrated with the rest of the infrastructure:
•How many sources of data does the application have?

•Where is this data coming from? User entry? Database? Other applications?

•How many integration points does the application have with other applications?

•To how many other applications does this application feed data?

•Are the interfaces standardized using middleware or API’s or custom?

•How well documented are the interfaces?

•Are the people who developed them still available to answer questions?

All these factors determine the next step in estimating how expensive it will be to move applications to the cloud.

Determine Compatibility Issues

 The third step in analyzing which applications to move to the cloud is to determine compatibility issues. Cloud computing depends on virtualization. Virtualization software comes from vendors like VMware, Citrix, Microsoft, Novell, and Oracle. Not all applications are certified to run on top of all brands of virtualization software. Determining what virtualization software your application can be run on can make choosing Cloud computing vendors much easier since not all vendors support all platforms.

Determine Latency Issues

 One of the biggest complaints people will have when working with computers is response time. Delays in the real and perceived time between a request for data and its delivery have driven data center spending for years. The assumption that most people seem to make is that data should be instantly transmitted between one point and another, which is impossible. But keeping the wait within acceptable bounds should be the goal of any good IT organization. So any time the physical location of an application server changes, latency issues will need be considered and occasionally addressed. 

This can be complicated. Some of these issues include:
•Application performance ‑ although it is not strictly a part of the cloud, poor application performance can impact response time and acceptance of the cloud solution. A poorly written data base request can have a measurable impact on response time, even though it has nothing to do with the cloud. 

•Application chattiness ‑ some applications may communicate back and forth as much as a 1,000 times between client and server before completing a cycle. This may not have much impact on response time in a local area network, but in a wide area network it can be significant.

•Network performance ‑ again the connection between the end user and the provider’s data center is technically not part of the cloud but should be addressed. Among the factors that influence network performance are:
◦Transport medium ‑ The physical connection between points, whether it be twisted pair, coaxial cable, microwave, or optical fiber (and the myriad of possible combinations), introduces different levels of delay.

◦Packet size ‑ Larger packets can take longer to send and receive than smaller ones

◦Propagation delay ‑ The amount of time it takes for data to travel from one point to another.

◦Router overhead ‑ The time it takes routers to examine and update packets can add to delay. 

•Cloud performance ‑ the devices in the cloud provider’s data center and virtualization software can also effect latency.

Cloud Pricing Reflects Utilization

 Looking again at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition for cloud computing, one idea that stands out is that customers should only pay for what they use. In an additional part of the definition (yes! there is more) NIST goes on to suggest true cloud computing be metered to encourage optimal use of resources. The only problem with this is that there is no agreement in the marketplace about what exactly to meter.
Until this sorts itself out there will be almost as many methods of pricing as there are vendors. For example, to effectively know how much you will spend with every month it is helpful to know the duration of your VPN connection, the amount of data you expect to transfer in, the amount of data you expect to transfer out, how many Gigabytes of storage you expect to use, the operating system, that database or file system, how many applications you are going to run and how much CPU and Memory they will use. on the other hand bases its pricing primarily on the number of users, with some limits on applications and storage. Other vendors such my company, ACS Business Application Solutions, simplify things for our users by asking fixed monthly fee for specific periods of use time.
After determining what applications cost to run on your terms you need to begin to analyze what your applications will cost to run under someone else’s terms. This means starting to collect and analyze lots of system data. This can be done while you take the next step and consider what your infrastructure architecture looks like today and what it will eventually look like.

Performance Monitoring

 Closely related to latency issues is performance monitoring. How performance is measured across the cloud is an important consideration since most relationships between cloud user and cloud provider will be governed by a service level agreement (SLA). Most typically this agreement will have a performance clause. Measurement is intrinsically complex because the user’s data transfer path is likely to involve multiple layers of the network and application stack and to cross multiple network domains that are independently administered. Determining the right tools to perform network monitoring and what is being measured ‑ end‑to‑end, point to point, bandwidth, throughput, or absolute capacity ‑ is worth considering up front. 

Cloud Architecture Options

 With all the hype in the marketplace it is easy to think of cloud computing as an all‑or‑nothing proposition but it is not. Like real clouds, computing clouds come in many sizes, and shapes..
•Public Cloud ‑ The public cloud is the least traditional but most publicized kind, in which a service provider makes computing resources, such as servers, storage, and applications, available to anyone from the general public over the Internet. Typical public cloud providers are very large companies who want to deal with a large numbers of customers using standardized service level agreements and offerings. This offering is usually has the lowest cost and most potential for scalability. In transportation terms, a public cloud is like a passenger train, commercial airliner, or a bus.

•Private Cloud - An organization that needs or wants more control over its computing or wants a more specialized service can build a private cloud, which provides hosted services to authorized users behind a firewall. This can be done internally as well as externally, although some of potential cost savings are lost in this approach. In transportation terms, a private cloud is like a limo, taxi, or fractional plane ownership.

•Community Cloud - The cost of the cloud is shared by several organizations with similar needs, such as HIPAA compliance, that can not be found on a public cloud. A community cloud can be internal to one of the organizations or hosted by a third party such as ACS. In transportation terms, a community cloud is like car pooling.

•Hybrid Cloud - A fourth model, the hybrid cloud, is maintained by both internal and external providers and is some mix of public cloud, private cloud, and community cloud. Continuing the transportation metaphor, the hybrid cloud is like taking a car to the airport, a bus to the terminal, an airplane to another city, and a taxi to the hotel.

Whether consciously or not, most IT shops today have an architecture that includes some form of a hybrid cloud. The vast bulk of the infrastructure may involve internal applications but some parts of the organization may also use for sales, Gmail for email, Linked In for recruiting, Double Click for advertising, etc. In other words, many organizations are already moving towards cloud computing, though in some cases in a piecemeal way. It is worth considering how a more deliberate and thorough analysis of the fit between existing applications and cloud resources might serve your organization.

The Cloud is Freedom

 Most organizations are headed for the cloud, because besides cost savings, cloud computing offers freedom. The cloud offers the freedom to streamline expenses and increase profits. A cloud can be up and running in a few days, and with the right provider can be more scalable and secure than an internal environment. The cloud also offers freedom from having to justify capital expenditures and unpredictable expenses. It can free the IT organization from maintenance upgrades, security updates, capacity planning, disaster recovery, and release management to concentrate on more valuable work.
With the advantages of cloud computing so clear, if you decide to move forward again you are in good company. IDC announced IT spending on cloud computing will reach $42 billion by 2012.(5) By that time they estimate cloud computing will capture 25% of IT spending growth and amount to 33% of spending growth in 2013.
Getting started is straightforward and using the approach outlined in this article is low risk. There is no reason not learn more about the benefits of cloud computing‑‑the sky’s the limit.

Microsoft MCSE Private Cloud 2008 Training and Certification

Friday, February 01, 2013

Cloud jobs to increase by 26% annually through 2015

Cloud jobs to increase by 26% annually through 2015

The number of cloud-related jobs is expected to increase by 26% every year through 2015, IDC says, with up to 7 million jobs created. The employment opportunities in emerging markets are expected to be even more robust, with a 34% growth rate predicted.

Microsoft MCSE Private Cloud 2008 Training and Certification