Thursday, March 27, 2014

Microsoft's Satya Nadella: A Cloud for Everyone, on Every Device

Microsoft rolled out "Office for iPad" – specifically Word, PowerPoint and Excel - as part of its vision to move customers to subscription-based, cloud services.  To get the full editing and creation experience, mobile users will need an Office 365 subscription ($100/year for home users, $150/year for small businesses).

Microsoft also announced the Enterprise Mobility Suite, which is a set of cloud services to help businesses manage corporate data and services on laptops, tablets and smartphones.  The new Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) provides device, identity and access management with data protection from the cloud. EMS includes Windows Intune, Azure Active Directory Premium and Azure Rights Management Services,

In addition, the company announced the upcoming availability of Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium and enhancements to Windows Intune. Azure Active Directory Premium delivers cloud-based identity and access management with single sign-on to over 1,000 popular software as a service (SaaS) applications, self-service tools for users, and machine-learning-driven security reporting and anomaly detection. Effectively, AAD acts as the "identity hub" in the cloud for single-sign on to Office 365 and hundreds of other cloud services.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's newly appointed CEO, said the launch represents the new "mobile-first cloud-first" world. He sees "mobile" and "cloud" as two facets of the same trend in connectivity.

"Microsoft is focused on delivering the cloud for everyone, on every device. It’s a unique approach that centers on people — enabling the devices you love, work with the services you love, and in a way that works for IT and developers,” said Nadella.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/mar14/03-27mobilecloudpr.aspx

Microsoft Azure Launches in China

Microsoft Azure is now commercially available in China. The service is delivered by 21Vianet from multiple locations in China to enable critical disaster recovery scenarios.

21Vianet has already provides cloud services to more than 3,000 customers in China, including CNTV, LineKong, GMW.cn and Coca-Cola China.

Microsoft said this launch is significant because Microsoft has now become the first global company to make onshore public cloud services available to customers in China.

http://www.microsoft.com

Tiscali Builds Social Network on Metaswitch’s Clearwater IMS Core

Metaswitch Networks confirmed Tiscali as the first customer for its Clearwater Core,  an implementation of IMS built for the cloud using Web development methods to provide voice, video and messaging services.  Tiscali has successfully built on Clearwater Core and Perimeta Session Border Controller (SBC) as part of its innovative Indoona over-the-top (OTT) application.

Tiscali’s Indoona application gives users access to a unique social network designed for smartphones. It allows users to publish posts up to 3,000 characters, share photos, audio or video files and much more. The application offers users 100 minutes per month of free calls to Western Europe, Canada, China and the U.S.

Metaswitch said the deployment of its Clearwater Core marks an important step toward network functions virtualization (NFV) for Tiscali, and also helps validate its own “software telco” strategy, which asserts that communications networks are transitioning to a cloud-based, software-centric, all-IP future.

Clearwater Core combines the economics of OTT-style service platforms with the standards  compliance and reliability expected of telco-grade communications network solutions. The Web-services-oriented design inherent to Clearwater Core makes it ideal for instantiation within NFV environments as a virtualized network function (VNF).

“A network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) is the perfect environment in which to construct, test, deploy and scale innovative network functions. We’re pleased that Tiscali chose Metaswitch’s NFV expertise to help it grow Indoona while providing telco-grade reliability,” says Dave Reekie, general manager of Metaswitch’s open source and security/interconnect business units. “We’re confident that as the Indoona service continues to scale and evolve and become more popular with consumers, Metaswitch will be right there helping Tiscali promote the rapid innovation of new services.”

“Our customer demand is growing rapidly and Metaswitch is helping us meet the needs of our customers quickly and easily,” says Tiscali CTO Andrea Podda. “Metaswitch’s Clearwater and Perimeta products are helping Tiscali achieve its goal of operating a modern, intelligent future-proof network in Italy, in turn delivering high-quality services to our customers.”

http://www.tiscali.it
http://www.indoona.com
http://www.metaswitch.com

  • In February 2014, Metaswitch introduced Clearwater Core, a software subscription service capable of delivering voice, video and messaging services to millions of users.  The company said its Clearwater Core provides a foundation for complete wireline and wireless IP communications while effectively removing the typical cost barriers to deploying IMS-centric Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Rich Communications Services (RCS). This enables network operators to leverage their standard compute resources while incurring a minimal software subscription fee based on the number of virtual CPU cores utilized.  The IMS core implementation, which is fully supported by Metaswitch with custom engineering, bespoke professional services and consultancy, could be run within network functions virtualization (NFV) environments as a virtualized network function (VNF).

    “NFV has far-reaching effects in communications networks and this new approach to building networks will provide numerous benefits to network operators, including reductions in both capital and operating costs and the promotion of rapid innovation in the services space,” says Dave Reekie, general manager of Metaswitch’s open source business unit.


Intel Backs Cloudera for Apache Hadoop Data Management

Intel announced a significant equity investment and broad strategic alliance with Cloudera, a start-up specializing in Apache Hadoop-based data management software and services for enterprises.

Intel's equity investment makes it the largest strategic shareholder in Cloudera.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the partnership, Cloudera's enterprise analytic data management software powered by Apache Hadoop will be optimized for data center architecture based on Intel Xeon technology. The goal is acceleration of customer adoption of big data solutions, making it easier for companies of all sizes to obtain increased business value from data by deploying open source Apache Hadoop solutions. Specifically, Cloudera will develop and optimize Cloudera's Distribution including Apache Hadoop (CDH) for Intel architecture as its preferred platform and support a range of next-generation technologies including Intel fabrics, flash memory and security. In turn, Intel will market and promote CDH and Cloudera Enterprise to its customers as its preferred Hadoop platform. Intel will focus its engineering and marketing resources on the joint roadmap.

Under the deal, Intel's Distribution for Apache Hadoop/Intel Data Platform (IDH/IDP) will be integrated into CDH and IDH/IDP and will be transitioned after v3.1 release at the end of March. To ensure a seamless customer transition to CDH, Intel and Cloudera will work together on a migration path from IDH/IDP. Cloudera will also ensure that all enhancements will be contributed to their respective open source projects and CDH.
 
"By aligning the Cloudera and Intel roadmaps, we are creating the platform of choice for big data analytics," said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group. "We expect to accelerate industry adoption of the Hadoop data platform and enable companies to mine their data for insights that inform the business. This collaboration spans our data center technology from compute to network, security and storage, and extends to our initiatives for the Internet of Things."

"Hadoop has changed the entire conversation around data," said Tom Reilly, chief executive officer, Cloudera. "Based on our ability to store, process and analyze all kinds of data, increasingly in new ways, the potential for advances in business, social and economic environments are vast. Teaming with Intel, the industry leader in data center technology innovation, presents an opportunity for us to layer Hadoop into a platform's core framework. The result is rapid performance improvements on workloads such as those extracting intelligent insight. Intel's vision for delivering open, performance optimized solutions for big data is synergistic to our vision to help companies accelerate time to achieving success."

http://www.intel.com
http://www.cloudera.com

Earlier this month, Cloudera, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced $160 million in new venture funding support its Apache Hadoop-based data management software and services. The new funding round was led by T. Rowe Price, along with three other top-tier public market investors, and included an investment by Google Ventures and an affiliate of MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment firm for Michael S. Dell and his family. To date, Cloudera has raised $300 million in venture funding.

Cloudera said it will use the funding to further drive the enterprise adoption of and innovation in Hadoop and promote the enterprise data hub (EDH) market; support geographic expansion into Europe and Asia; expand its services and support capabilities; and scale the field and engineering organizations.

"Cloudera is successfully helping enterprises exploit 'big data' and manage the transition to becoming more data centric," said Henry Ellenbogen, Portfolio Manager, T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund. "With strong leadership, an ability to innovate, a satisfied customer base, and a large partner community, we believe Cloudera is well positioned to build a durable and leading company in this space."

"We see broad demand from enterprises who want a flexible approach to handling large amounts of data, and we expect this market to continue to grow rapidly," said Google Ventures General Partner Karim Faris. "Cloudera is dramatically lowering the cost of reliable storage for the enterprise and is enabling the analysis and mining of large data sets in a way that wasn't possible before."

Recently, Cloudera brought to market the industry's first complete enterprise data hub.  The company said the key advantages for enterprise customers are:

  • Frees them from being dependent on expensive, specialized data storage and compute systems, and instead take advantage of the power of industry-standard server hardware and scale-out architecture;
  • Enables enterprises to store any amount of data, of any type, and keep it online as long as needed;
  • Ensures that data is secure and governed to meet enterprise requirements;
  • Makes it possible for customers to "bring compute to the data," to build a single unified data system rather than moving data around from one system to another;
  • Lets customers offload selected data and workloads from expensive, specialized data warehouse infrastructure to alleviate the pain of missed SLAs and degraded query performance;
  • Can accommodate huge and varied data sets for more meaningful and timely analytics and enable innovative security solutions, such as real-time anomaly detection without duplicating data or building custom, specialized solutions.

Hortonworks Raises $100 Million for Enterprise Hadoop

Hortonworks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced an oversubscribed $100 million funding round to support it enterprise Apache Hadoop solutions.

Hortonworks develops, distributes and supports a 100% open source Apache Hadoop data platform that deeply integrates with existing IT investments and upon which enterprises can build and deploy Hadoop-based applications. The company has deep relationships with the key strategic data center partners, including Microsoft, SAP, Teradata, HP and others.

The new funding round was led by funds managed by BlackRock and Passport Capital, joined by all existing investors.

http://www.hortonworks.com

Amazon Web Services Wins DoD Provisional Authorization

All four of Amazon Web Services’ infrastructure Regions in the U.S., including AWS GovCloud (U.S.), have received Department of Defense (DoD) Provisional Authorization under the DoD Cloud Security Model (CSM) for Impact Levels 1-2.

This enables more DoD agencies to use AWS’s infrastructure.

“After receiving an overwhelming response from defense agencies interested in leveraging our FedRAMP Authority to Operate (ATO), we’re very excited to further extend our services to the government community by meeting the additional requirements of the DoD,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President Worldwide Public Sector, AWS. “Today, more than 600 government agencies use AWS services, and we look forward to continuing to demonstrate the security and reliability of the AWS Cloud so that an even broader set of DoD customers can use our services to reduce costs and innovate for their missions.”

https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/dod-csm-faqs
http://aws.amazon.com/security
http://aws.amazon.com/compliance

NSN: 87% jump in Indian Mobile Data Traffic in 2013

Mobile operators in India experienced an 87% rise in data traffic generated by 2G and 3G services during 2013, according to an annual study by NSN. 3G data traffic leapt by 146%, surpassing the world average that is roughly doubling every year. 2G data traffic continues to stabilize, growing by 59% over the same period.

“India is recording mobile broadband data growth figures higher than most other markets,” said Sandeep Girotra, head of India region at NSN. “With the recent spectrum auctions paving the way for acceleration of mobile broadband penetration in the country, there is a great  opportunity for India to create a world-class infrastructure and improve the lives of millions of Indians. This can be achieved through a wider 3G rollout as well as through selected introduction of LTE technologies and the modernization of existing GSM networks.”

The study is available online.

http://nsn.com/news-events/press-room/press-releases/nsn-study-shows-87-jump-in-indian-mobile-data-traffic-in-2013

See also