Cloud Computing 2015: Expect Strong Performances from REST, Docker and …

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KPMG’s 2014 Cloud Computing Survey: Enterprises Quickly Moving Beyond …

Business analytics is a pivotal factor in 35% of enterprises adopting cloud computing today,  and 73% are seeing improved business performance after implementing cloud-based applications and strategies.

These and other insights are from the KPMG study, 2014 Cloud Survey Report: Elevating Business in the Cloud. KPMG’s annual survey of enterprise cloud computing adoption finds there is a significant shift away from cost reduction alone to a more customer- and data-driven mindset on the part of C-level executives interviewed.

The study is based on 500 interviews with global C-level business executives (CEOs, CIOs and CFOs) from enterprises with annual revenues between $100 million and $20+B representing more than a dozen industries. The methodology is explained in greater detail on page 15 of the study. The study is available for download here (free, no opt-in).

Key take-aways include the following:

  • According to Forrester Research, the public cloud market is estimated to reach $191B by 2020, growing significantly from 2013’s market size of $58B.  Cloud applications are predicted to deliver the greatest proportion of the growth, reaching approximately $133B in revenue by 2020. Forrester predicts cloud platforms will contribute $44B in revenue and cloud business services, $14B by 2020.  The following graphic from the study illustrates these findings:

forrester public cloud computing market size

  • Driving cost efficiencies (49%), better enabling mobile workforces (42%), improving alignment with customers and partners (37%), and better leveraging data to provide insight (35%) are where enterprises look to drive the greatest transformation of their business models using cloud computing. KPMG’s comparative analysis in the report highlights the shift away from purely a cost-driven mindset to a more customer-centric one from 2012 to 2014. In 2012 cost efficiency dominated the discussion with C-level executives, and today the focus has shifted to improving alignment with customers and gaining greater insights using analytics. Enabling mobile workforces nearly tripled from 15% in 2012 to 42% today. The following two graphics from the study illustrate these points and the key factors driving mobile adoption in enterprises.

transformation graphic

mobile transformation

  • Improving business performance (73%), improving the levels of service automation (72%) and reducing costs (70%) are the three most successful areas of enterprise cloud implementations today. KPMG found that enterprises were more successful in 2014 achieving their cloud computing goals than 2012, mainly due to more of a focus on business outcomes over just cost reductions. This study has many examples of how enterprises were able to accomplish this, including the transformation of mobile workforces and improvements in business process and service automation performance.

business improvement cloud implementation

  • 53% of enterprise executives say that data loss and privacy, risk of intellectual property theft (50%) and the impact on their IT organization (49%) are their top three challenges in adopting cloud computing.  Compared to the 2012 survey, security and data privacy are now more important to enterprises than cost efficiency.  The following graphic provides an overview of the most challenging areas enterprises face when adopting cloud-based applications and platforms as part of their business strategies.

most challenging areas

  • Enterprises now evaluate cloud-based applications and service providers on security first (82%), followed by data privacy (81%) and cost (78%). Consistent with many other surveys of cloud computing adoption, ease of integration into existing environments (74%) is in the top ten list of evaluation criteria, as is configurability (74%).  The following graphic provides a summary of the findings from the study.

selecting a provider

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Top Cloud Computing Services Trends of 2014

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Bringing to Cloud Integration


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Dec 24, 2014

Because the applications that many people are trying to integrate these days run in the cloud the assumption that many people make is that the point of integration for those applications should in the cloud as well. The folks at would beg to differ. is now making it possible to integrate data from a variety of cloud services at the point where that data is consumed.

Because the applications that many people are trying to integrate these days run in the cloud the assumption that many people make is that the point of integration for those applications should in the cloud as well. The folks at would beg to differ.

With the recent unfurling of a Collage service, makes it possible to integrate data from a variety of cloud services at the point where that data is consumed. David Lavenda, vice president of product strategy for, said Collage is designed to make it simpler to unify workflow that now typically spans multiple disjoined cloud services. Rather than ask end users to keep track of where files are located, Lavenda said Collage provides a mechanism through which each individual users can customize their own workflow. Notifications then inform them when changes are made within that workflow, after which they can use Collage to fire up the native application required to access that data.

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According to a new survey from Forester Consulting that was commissioned by, one of the primary reasons that IT organizations are so interested in collaboration is that they are trying to enable deeper levels of engagement across their application portfolios.

There’s not much argument these days concerning the need to integrate data residing in the cloud to improve productivity via greater collaboration across business processes that are becoming more extended by the day. There is, however, a lot of debate concerning where that process should occur. Providers of integration services that run in the cloud naturally argue that the processing horsepower available in the cloud makes that option the most cost effective. Others argue that the local server is the most logical place because it’s the closet shared resource to the people that are going to consume that data. has now extended that argument all the way down to the client being used by the end user to access data.

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The truth is that all three mechanisms for accessing data in the cloud will be widely used. In general, the integration of data in the cloud era is becoming more federated with each passing day. That creates opportunities for solution providers in terms of not only crafting the solution that integrates cloud data, but also for monitoring over time points of integration that may need to change because of both new performance requirements and potential security concerns.

Collage currently works by invoking application programming interfaces (APIs) exposed on Microsoft Office 365, Yammer and services; with support for additional cloud services planned for 2015, said Lavenda. For many end users and so-called “citizen integrators” the capabilities provided by Collage with be more than enough to meet their needs. In fact, there’s more demand for integration projects than there are professional developers available to accomplish. For that reason, organizations are looking to offload simpler integration tasks from the professional developers that are absolutely needed for complex projects; versus wasting their time on the routine data integration tasks that in an ideal world end users should be able to do on their own anyway.

To that end is making available a software development kit (SDK) through which its partners can extend the reach of Collage to custom applications. The end result should be an opportunity for solution providers to quickly address a backlog of integration projects either directly themselves or alternatively providing the tools that enable end users to actually do it themselves.

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Experts forecast the 2015 cloud computing market

Jim O’Reilly

Overall, the cloud’s growth rate will increase — driven by confidence in the cloud approach, better tools, stability and completeness in the OpenStack family of modules, as well as more powerful, yet cheaper hardware. Legacy processing will speed up its transition to the cloud in the face of overwhelming operational cost arguments. The ability to build agile hybrid clouds will trickle down to the mid-tier and boost cloud adoption.

Big data processing and video editing will create expanding markets for large instances and specialized GPU clouds, such as NVIDIA. These will be positioned to handle spike loads in hybrid environments, but the ability to avoid high hardware acquisition costs and outdated equipment will make a strong case to move all the work to the specialty clouds.

Cloud price wars will continue well into 2015 and [will] force smaller competitors to niche markets, such as industry verticals. A bridge to non-cloud and legacy setups is an industry problem. And this may be a refuge for system vendors with large legacy bases. However, vendors such as IBM, HP, EMC, Cisco and Dell face critical mass issues for their cloud efforts. This likely will result in partnerships and joint ventures.

AWS will continue to dominate the market despite challenges from Google and Microsoft. Google is making an effort to replace Windows on the desktop with Chrome OS and Android on a mobile. This could give Google control of the standard app space and a lucrative software revenue stream, leaving AWS as king of the IaaS market, but not king of the millions of users. This battle is not likely to conclude in 2015, but we should know how Google’s plan turned out.

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Roundup Of Cloud Computing And Enterprise Software Predictions For 2015

Whenever this time of the year arrives with its proliferation of predictions, William Gibson’s quote “the future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed” comes to mind.

The best predictions provide a glimpse into the future while also providing mile markers to measure the journey. Those are the most fascinating of all because they take a firm stand on where, how and why a given area is scaling and at what pace.

Instead of adding to the many cloud computing and enterprise software predictions being made for 2015, I’m providing a listing of those that are the most interesting and thought-provoking.

They are listed below:

  • 10 Hadoop Predictions For 2015 – Well-researched series of Hadoop predictions and market forecasts.  Key insights include the following: Over the next five years, the Hadoop-MapReduce market is expected to hit $2.2BV, attaining a compound annual growth rate (GAGR) of 58%, according to; IDC predicts that worldwide revenues for the Hadoop-MapReduce market will increase to $812.8M by 2016, up from $77M in 2011; IDC, which expects Hadoop to be in use in 45% of European organizations by the end of 2015; and SQL to become Hadoop’s killer app for 2015.
  • Top 10 Trends in Business Intelligence in 2015 – Tableau’s Vice President of Product Marketing Ellie Fields has written an interesting series of predictions for Business Intelligence in 2015.  Her perspective on conversations with data replacing static dashboards shows how quickly contextual intelligence is coming to every phase of analytics. You can find a PDF of all the trends here.
  • 2015 CRM Predictions To Fire Up Customer Success And Growth – Series of insights on how CRM will change in 2015, with an optimistic assessment of spending on predictive analytics and market intelligence.  The series of predictions include the Gartner forecast that by 2015, predictive and prescriptive analytics will deliver at least 50% of the business value of business analytics projects. 
  • 2015 Technology Predictions For CIOs – Series of nine predictions on the future of IT based on interviews with senior IT executives and CIOs that underscores how cross-platform development will become the norm, mobile security will become a high priority, and mobility will continue to re-order enterprise computing.
  • 2015 Tech Trend Predictions Round Up – Comprehensive roundup of predictions provided by the Mobile Enterprise editors has several interesting takeaways including the following: expect to see greater investment in IoT for the enterprise systems, technologies and solutions; enterprises will spend an estimated $16.3B on middleware software in 2015, an increase of 9.3% YOY, according to Ovum’s 2015 Trends to Watch: Integration and Middleware report; and a projected 50% increase in cloud-based data security and authentication technologies.
  • 2015 Predictions: EMC Spins Off VMware, Azure Catches Up to AWS – Virtualization Review (VR) predicts that Microsoft Azure will become the enterprise’s preferred platform for deploying new workloads, migrating on-premises workloads and developing hybrid cloud solutions. By the end of 2015, VR predicts that Azure will seriously compete with AWS on scale, features and services, user experience and market share. VR also predicts that EMC will spin off VMware, and VMware will acquire ServiceNow.
  • Gartner Reveals Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2015 and Beyond – Series of predictions that span the time horizon of 2015 to 2020. Notable predictions made include the following: through 2015, the most highly valued initial public offerings (IPOs) will involve companies that combine digital markets with physical logistics to challenge pure physical legacy business ecosystems.2015 to 2020; and that by 2015, more than 90% of durable goods e-tailers will actively seek external partnerships to support the new “personalized” product business models.  Another interesting prediction is that by 2017, nearly 20% of durable goods e-tailers will use 3D printing (3DP) to create personalized product offerings.
  • Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015 – Gartner’s prediction of the ten most strategic technology trends for 2015 are based on the three themes of the merging of the real and virtual worlds, the advent of intelligence everywhere, and the technology impact of the digital business shift.  One of the more interesting data points from this analysis is forecast for worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 98 percent in 2015, followed by a doubling of unit shipments in 2016.
  • IDC Reveals Cloud Predictions for 2015 – IDC recently hosted the web conference IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2015 Predictions to deliver their predictions from the IDC FutureScape for Cloud report. Notable predictions from the webcast include that by 2017, IT buyers will actively channel 20% of their IT budgets through industry clouds to enable flexible collaboration, information sharing, and commerce. IDC is also predicting that by 2016, there will be an 11% shift of IT budget away from traditional in-house IT delivery, towards various versions of cloud as a new delivery model. By 2017, 35% of new applications will use cloud-enabled continuous delivery and DevOps lifecycles for faster rollout of new features and business innovation. You can find the replay here. The IDC FutureScape Executive Summary from the webinar is shown below:

IDC FutureScape Executive Summary

  • IDC: Top 10 Technology Predictions For 2015 – Excellent analysis and summary by fellow Forbes contributor Gill Press on the top 10 technology predictions IDC is making for 2015. You can find the IDC document here and the webcast viewable here. Key take-aways from these predictions include the following:  Worldwide IT and telecommunications spending will grow 3.8% in 2015 to more than $3.8 trillion; and worldwide spending on big data-related software, hardware, and services will reach $125B in 2015.
  • My One Big Fat Cloud Computing Prediction for 2015 – Fellow Forbes contributor independent researcher, writer and analyst Joe McKendrick sees cloud-based analytics making the massive amounts of data enterprises have accumulated over decades more actionable. He predicts that 2015 will be the year where the inherent advantages of cloud computing architectures will make analytics more valuable, leading to greater innovation in the process.
  • What will happen with marketing technology in 2015? – Great series of insights from Scott Brinker, co-founder and CTO of Ion Interactive are worth reading if you follow marketing, marketing automation and want to excel in the role of a marketing technologist.  Scott is predicting Microsoft will make one or more major acquisitions in the marketing technology space in 2015, spending more than $1 billion in MA to make a bid as a major marketing platform provider.  He also has several insights into the future of marketing technology in 2015 that are worth reading.

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The cryptic cloud: Can cloud encryption operate effectively right now?


Encryption in the digital world is akin to a safe in the physical world. Data is locked away and can only be seen by those who have the correct key. Among other things, encryption is what provides an assurance of confidentiality in data security and it is fast gaining ground in the cloud. But is encrypted data therefore more secure? Not if your keys are transferred in the clear, duplicated or mismanaged.

Data that goes to the public cloud is usually transferred securely and files are not kept on public web servers, so the obvious security measures are there. But once it gets to the storage server, data is beyond the user’s reach or control. It may be stored unencrypted or not, it may be read by the service administrator or not. It may be delivered to influential third parties, such as governments or associated agencies, or not. It may be compromised if the servers are broken into or it may be accessed if the servers are physically hijacked.

Key holder is king

Any reasonable storage provider who offers encryption will store each of their customers’ data encrypted with their own unique encryption key. The deal is that the provider holds the data and the user holds the key – normally derived from the account’s password using some algorithm (PBKDF2 is a good example).

But here’s where things get tricky: usually encryption of stored data occurs on the provider’s servers, which means that during the process of encryption they must hold the encryption key. We, as the customer, have no choice but to trust the service provider.

In this encryption model, the provider will at certain moments hold its users encryption keys, which it requires to be able to encrypt and decrypt information. The user holds the key and the provider holds the encrypted data. Whenever the user needs to access his or her pool of data they must lend the key to the provider in a ‘security by proxy model’. This happens by logging in to the service.

Online storage providers should seek to offer assurances until encryption comes of age

Web application or compiled programs are no different. The password travels within the point-to-point encrypted tunnel (usually SSL/TLS) which means that it exists in a memory space in plain text at the client and at the server. The key has been copied.

So if the provider has other, less clear, less honest intentions or is coerced, they can keep copies of encryption keys and decrypt users data. Customers cannot do anything to mitigate this without additional mechanisms. For instance, a truecrypt volume would solve the problem – although, with this solution there are a number of down sides and a significant loss of flexibility, not to mention potential integrity issues, particularly when attempting to share files in the TC volume. If such tools are not used, the simple truth is that data held by online storage providers, encrypted or not, is simply held on trust.

Data security vs trust

Issues of trust aside, a discussion needs to take place about the merits of data security versus the implications of security by proxy.

If a user requires data security within online storage, then they should not use a security by proxy model. They must use a method that ensures that the provider never has sufficient information to decrypt or facilitate decryption of stored customer data. Can data security be implemented in such an encryption model that ensures that the provider never has sufficient information in its systems to decrypt it? Yes, naturally, there are protocols and methods for doing this and no doubt many more solutions are in the pipeline.

But as of today, such a model does not exist, as many providers are required to have access to surrender information to authorities.

The current cloud storage services which provide encryption or add on encryption services are of the ‘security by proxy’ model. Therefore in all cases users do not get assurance that the provider cannot access their data. The provider can, with little or no effort, access their customers’ data, if they want to.

It’s for this reason that data held in remote storage should always be assessed by the user to determine its value should it be compromised. (If the celebrities whose naked selfies were leaked online had paused for thought in this respect, the Celebgate fiasco could have been prevented.) In the meantime, online storage providers should seek to offer assurances until encryption comes of age.

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Cloud computing is finally reaching for the skies

Two months ago, IBM abandoned its demanding profit targets, citing the need to ramp up investment in its cloud computing business. Meanwhile, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella has put the cloud at the centre of strategy this year. The software company plans to move from its heavy focus on PCs, while Cisco has been forced to shed staff in the face of growing pressure on its core networking equipment business.

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Cloud Computing Enables Powerful, New Data Use Cases

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Top Five Cloud Trends Expected in 2015

Cloud integration is generally viewed as a pain point, but maybe it’s time to look at how the cloud can support new and exciting integration use cases.

That’s the view that Don Rippert, IBM’s general manager of Cloud Strategy, promoted at IBM’s Insight 2014 conference. When we look at managing data in the cloud, it’s easy to focus on the problems or the applications, but Rippert focused on cloud computing’s utility for data integration, access and replication, reports a recent Dataversity article

“Arguably the most essential aspect of the Cloud is its ability to provide an integration of nearly limitless numbers of data sources involving structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data,” Dataversity’s Jelani Harper writes. “Such integration spans geographic location and includes both on-premise and Cloud sources, and is frequently typified by a speed of access that comes in real time or close to real time.”

Obviously, that’s not something that would be cheap or easy or maybe even possible with traditional data management tools, she adds.

The article includes three sample use cases that show off cloud computing’s mad data integration skills. Oddly enough, two involve boat racing. It’s a surprisingly useful way to illustrate how much of a game changer the cloud could be for data management and integration. In both yacht and speedboat racing, you’re dealing with data sent from different boats, at geographically different locations, and then disseminating that information to racers, judges and viewers.

“By utilizing the Cloud as a means to funnel upwards of a hundred disparate data sources at once for analytics, advanced analytics company DataSkill was able to partner with visualization specialist Virtual Eye to not only present an attractive broadcast package to audiences, but also significantly improve the performance and awareness of competitors,” Harper writes.

She goes on to explain what the cloud can bring to data replication, as well as how it improves access, which is sort of a no-brainer.

It’s pretty easy to see how cloud computing could change data management in a significant way, especially as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality. Certainly, the IoT is one of the key drivers listed for adopting a cloud-based integration solution, according to this SnapLogic InfoGraphic on cloud integration drivers and requirements.

A good chunk of companies still see integration as a problem: Out of 100 U.S. companies surveyed, 43 percent cited it as a barrier to cloud application adoption. It’s worth noting, though, that a significant number see the benefits of cloud-based integration: 59 percent said speed and time to value are the primary business drivers for a cloud-based integration service. 

Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.

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Apprenda partners with San Francisco startup to improve cloud computing

Apprenda 2

Abraham Sultan, vice president of engineering and Sinclair Schuller, CEO, of Apprenda.

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Chelsea Diana
Reporter- Albany Business Review


Apprenda, a Troy, New York software company, is partnering with Piston, a San Francisco startup, to improve its cloud computing platform.

Apprenda announced today that the company will be using Piston CloudOS and Piston OpenStack software to automate information technology operations and bring new products to market faster.

Piston makes software for a global-scale private cloud, built on OpenStack, a scalable cloud framework that was founded by Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) in 2010. Apprenda builds a technology platform that helps its customers create computer applications, such as those used in ATM transactions.

The partnership with Piston will help software development teams build cloud applications and microservices faster. With Piston providing the infrastructure, Apprenda will provide a software layer that transforms that infrastructure into a policy-driven, hybrid cloud application platform.

“Apprenda’s integration with Piston allows developers to have policy based access to OpenStack APIs to quickly manage infrastructure,” Apprenda CEO Sinclair Schuller said in a release.

Piston’s customers include Qualcomm, a semiconductor company based in San Diego, and Zulily, an online retailer known for selling baby accessories, housewares and kids products.

Chelsea covers technology and money

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