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26Dec 2014

Big data analytics means big boosts for businesses. In sum, big data analytics simply involves analysing large sets of data. This enables businesses to spot market trends, and understand consumer behaviour like never before.

Even businesses that have not seen fit to join the cloud have recognised that big data analytics are extremely useful for a whole range of things, from formulating financial strategies to planning that next ad campaign. Recent developments in information technology mean that starting from now, the cloud is set to be the repository of most big data sets and hence of most big data consultancy services.

This is why it certainly makes sense for large and medium sized companies to migrate their on-premise infrastructure to Amazon Web Services. Harnessing this exciting and new aspect of cloud computing will enable companies to integrate their on premise data with the vast repositories of data that are available on the cloud. Safe and secure, the data contained in the cloud is vital for good decision making in the modern business climate.

It is also worth considering that many companies are feeling the lure of big data analytics, and have recognised the importance of migrating over to the cloud in order to make the most of this significant tool. Thus, in order to put up a good fight against the competition, it is very sensible for companies to switch over to a platform such as Amazon Web Services.

In terms of South East Asia in particular, companies have shown a marked interest in both big data and big data analytics. There has also been a noticeable trend away from a reliance solely on on premise infrastructure and towards the cloud.

In 2014, for instance, Singapore played host to the Big Data Show, where thousands of visitors from companies across South East Asia and beyond came to learn and to share expertise. The buzz of interest at the 2014 show certainly heralds a further move towards an increased use of the cloud to help with companies’ big data analysis needs in 2015, and for many years to come as well.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

17Dec 2014

In its latest round of price reductions, Amazon has set about slashing the costs of bandwidth, significantly lowering prices on outbound data migrating from its CloudFront content delivery platform.

With the price war between Amazon and Google hotting up, both companies are looking for new ways to attract small and medium-sized businesses to their cloud services. Just last week, Amazon undercut Google’s cloud prices in what was a bold, but unexpected, move. Now the US company is attempting to outdo its rival once again; this time by squashing outbound bandwidth costs.

Developers in Singapore, Tokyo, and Sydney, places in which the cost of bandwidth has traditionally been more expensive than in the US and Europe, will see the largest reductions, with prices dropping between 6 percent and 43 percent.

In all the zones across Europe and the US, the price for sending out your first 10TB chunk of outbound data has plummeted by 25 percent. In Singapore, Amazon has gone one better, slashing the cost by a more than respectable 37 percent, while Tokyo is treated to a reduction of 30 percent. Elsewhere, Sydney sees their costs fall by 26 percent.

This puts the new price for data transfers at just 12 cents for Singapore, bringing the costs of Amazon Web Services closer to Microsoft’s competing Azure platform in the region. The prices tumble even further if your outbound data breaks the 40TB mark; netting a further 6 percent reduction in Europe and the US, and 43 percent in Singapore.

If that wasn’t enough, AWS has also cut down on the cost of data transferred from it content delivery and distribution framework, CloudFront. Customers in the Americas and Europe can now save 29 percent on the first 10TB of data transferred, while customers located in the Philippines, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, and Japan have been treated to a price drop of 26 percent.

While the price cuts are not quite on par with the massive reductions Amazon rolled out in February 2013, developers and businesses in the region are sure to welcome them with open arms.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

08Dec 2014

Global cloud-computing giant Amazon Web Services has added to its already vast array of cutting-edge features, in order to make it even more attractive for companies in South-East Asia and around the world looking to be more efficient and profitable.

AWS announced the new services at a recent tech conference, re:Invent, in Las Vegas and unveiled new initiatives and programs specifically for its cloud-computing partner network, as well as new enterprise and governance features. The company has beefed-up its security features, which is particularly important for the many AWS clients and the vast amounts of their data – much of it confidential and sensitive – that’s stored on its servers, at a time of increasing attacks by hackers.

The company also introduced a new service called Aurora, which it says is a cost-effective MySQL-compatible database engine for the Amazon Relational Database Service launched in 2009. A number of other database engines had been available, and the newcomer will first be rolled out in North American markets. AWS said Aurora “is a fully-managed, MySQL-compatible, relational database engine that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.”

AWS customers elsewhere, however, can get a preview of the new Aurora service by signing up here: http://aws.amazon.com/rds/aurora/preview.

For its Amazon Partner Network, Amazon has introduced SaaS Partner and Managed Service programs as well as training for APN members. Also new is 2015 Premier Consulting Partners, a tier of leading APN firms that have invested heavily in AWS practices and are leaders in top customer service, as well as having extensive experience in project management.

In the critical area of security, Amazon has introduced an AWS Key Management Service that allows clients to use encryption keys to protect their data stored on AWS servers. Customers are now able to create their own keys and they will have full control over them. Other newly announced developments include AWS Config, to manage resources, and AWS Service Catalog, allowing administrators to decide what AWS resources workers can use.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/
 

01Dec 2014

Data centres use enormous amounts of power to run their millions of servers and to keep them cool, and so when Amazon Web Services (AWS), the largest cloud-computing operation in the world, promised to go 100% green by only using renewable energy, environmentalists everywhere rejoiced.

The many corporate clients of AWS, in Singapore and wider South-East Asia, and indeed right around the world, will also be pleased at the development, as it sets the company apart from others and shows a level of innovation and corporate responsibility matched only by a handful of other mega-corporations, such as Google and Apple, which have been rapidly transitioning to renewable energy sources only.

The move will help to boost Amazon’s public image at a time when heavy carbon footprints among large companies are increasingly being frowned upon.

Already, AWS is part of the way towards running entirely on renewable sources of energy, which include wind and solar power, among others. A number of AWS data centres are currently carbon neutral, according to the company, and overall, AWS is using 15% clean energy sources, according to a study by the environmental group Greenpeace.

Announcing the move in a blog post, AWS said it was making “a long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint”. As it is, however, operating in the cloud is far more environmentally friendly than companies running their own on-site IT networks, Amazon said.

That’s because individual networks rarely reach capacity and are often running and consuming power when there’s not a lot of use for it. Data centres offer vastly improved power efficiencies, as they’re configured to shift data loads and performance and keep server-idling to a minimum. That translates into overall lower power consumption, which is better for the environment and for costs to clients.

“AWS operates at a massive scale and has invested in significant hardware, software and operational efficiencies that drives several times improvement in server utilisation levels as compared to the average corporate data centre,” the company said.

“AWS infrastructure uses rack-optimised systems that use less than 1/8th the energy of the blade server enclosures that are often used in corporate data centres,” it added.

For more on Amazon’s renewable energy plans, visit https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/sustainable-energy

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

24Nov 2014

Companies in South-East Asia and around the world are flocking to leading cloud-computing services such as Amazon Web Services in record numbers, lured by greater efficiencies and far lower costs, a new survey reveals.

The study, by digital media company IDG Enterprise, found that 69 percent of firms surveyed had switched their IT infrastructure from in-house to the cloud, representing a 12 percent increase in the number of companies making the transition in the last two years.

In large corporations – those with at least 1,000 employees – investments in cloud computing had risen by 19 percent, with an average US$3.3 million being spend on data centre services annually, according to the IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Study 2014. Indeed, such is the rush by enterprises to cloud-based computing solutions that the study projects that in 2015, around 24 percent of IT budgets will be for cloud computing.

Companies are being drawn to cloud computing because of a range of clear advantages that allow them to be more competitive in the marketplace. These include the enormous computing power of data centres, which employ the latest hardware and software technologies and handle all the IT support and requirements – meaning client firms get cutting-edge services and assistance and don’t have to have their own IT staff.

Substantial savings are also realised in the much lower costs of operating in the cloud instead of on the firm’s own premises – even data centres’ power and server idle times deliver far greater economies of scale than individual networks ever could. High levels of security and up-time are additional attractions for firms, as is ease of use, as programs and databases can be accessed and run from anywhere in the world.

Even better news is that as the cloud-computing sector grows dramatically, stiff competition between Amazon Web Services and the other major players means more services are being added while pricing is coming down all the time.

Among the other main findings of the IDG Enterprise study – which involved over 1,600 firms in a range of industries – are that 56 percent of companies are still trying to find out which of their IT operations should be hosted in the cloud, and that 38 percent had identified the relevant areas and were comfortable hosting them in the cloud.

For a more in-depth look at the study on cloud migrations, visit www.idgenterprise.com/report/idg-enterprise-cloud-computing-study-2014.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

 

18Nov 2014

Docker, the new service being touted by many as the next major innovation in cloud computing, has found a new home as part of the world’s leading cloud computing company. During an announcement on Thursday, Amazon Web Services unveiled plans for a new cloud service. The new enterprise is focused on helping software engineers, developers and businesses oversee all their online applications via Docker, an exciting new technology that makes using online software easier and more efficient.

Amazon isn’t the first company to throw its weight behind the emerging technology; earlier this week Microsoft revealed its own plans to incorporate Docker, offering a suite of similar services in its upcoming version of Windows. Google also put the finishing touches on a new, Docker-enabled cloud service. Amazon announced its intentions to get onboard with Docker during its annual cloud computing conference, which took place in Las Vegas. Amazon’s version of the service will reach the market under the guise of a newly developed tool dubbed the EC2 Container Service.

Docker allows vendors to move their software from one machine to another in virtual shipping containers, hence the name. In a time when software needs to reach, as well as run on, machines that number in the thousands, maybe even millions, services like Docker turn a herculean task into a largely painless process. In the past, Amazon has given developers on its cloud computing service access to Docker, allowing them to run software without the need to set up up their own servers. The announcement of the new EC2 Container Service, however, shows them fully embracing the technology.

One of the key components of the new service is the ease with which it allows clients to share data between Amazon’s multiple data centers. This means Amazon’s users can pick from hundreds of server farms, each with their own geographically unique location, which have been separated into different “availability zones.” This, in turn, allows customers to run their applications in various availability zones, safeguarding it from going offline if one zone should go down.

Full details on Amazon and Docker’s new partnership will be announced in December.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

 

 

06Nov 2014

Global standards organisations have been attempting in recent years to define exactly what cloud computing is, removing some of the confusing jargon and trying to make it crystal clear what precisely this powerful and in-demand service is.

Many people in the business sector and elsewhere may already know that cloud computing is a fairly nebulous term for IT networks based in vast data centres where there are enormous computing advantages and large economies of scale – but it’s often the providers of these services who perplex, with unclear descriptions about what they offer.

Now, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), based in Geneva, Switzerland, and whose members are comprised of standards bodies in countries around the world, has come up with its own definition of cloud computing and what it does.

The ISO said it wanted to create “order out of chaos” in a cloud-computing landscape that’s altering the computer sector with its “game-changing technology”. With increasing numbers of data centres offering cloud services, it wants to impose a standard across all so that quality is maintained. IT professionals from more than 30 countries were involved in coming up with two new international standards for the cloud-computing sector, and the results are available in a paper entitled Cloud computing – Overview and vocabulary; it’s available here: http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=60544.

Basically, the ISO says that cloud computing is a “paradigm shift” in the provision of IT services and it could affect the way future networks and IT products are developed and operated. The ISO said it is trialling various service-level agreements as well as the handing of data across cloud-computing services.

Previously, the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the US released its own definition of cloud computing, calling it, “a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources … that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

One of the leaders in cloud computing in South-East Asia and around the world is Amazon Web Services; it defines cloud computing as “the on-demand delivery of IT resources and applications via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing”. That’s about as clear as you can get.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

30Oct 2014

Amazon Web Services, in conjunction with The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), has begun trialling a data as a service project, which both organisations believe will heighten the visibility of data sets held in the private sector.

The pilot scheme is a part of the “Smart Nation” initiative unveiled by the Singapore government this year. The scheme aims to improve efficiency among the public and private sectors by utilising cloud services, big data and Internet of Things platforms.

In what the IDA are calling a federated approach, the pilot program’s main aim is to streamline the discovery of private sector data sets, something has been challenging in the past.

“Currently, there is no coherent mechanism for users to easily discover private sector datasets made available from data providers across various industry sectors,” commented an IDA spokesperson.

“IDA encourages data providers from all industries to participate in the DaaS pilot to increase visibility of their datasets and contribute feedback on how the platform can be improved.”

It is the IDA’s hope that by working with Amazon Web Services to establish metric guidelines at data quality, it will be easier for providers to categorise and gain access to their data. The first 25 companies to pledge themselves to the pilot will receive $3000 (US) in usage credit, a sum that will help cover the hosting costs of registries and datasets, as part of a Memorandum of Intent cosigned by Amazon and the IDA.

By building the world’s first Smart Nation, Singapore aims to overcome difficult city challenges. They are going to gather huge amounts of data, that they can then analyse and use to take action in areas including energy and healthcare.

“It is exciting for us to be exchanging ideas with top leaders in this space. Our goal is to challenge ourselves to keep finding new ways to better use data to serve citizens of all ages,” commented the IDA’s executive deputy chairman, Steve Leonard.

This is just one of many exciting new initiatives undertaken by the IDA, who are hard at work transforming Singapore into the region’s foremost “data and analytics hub.”

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

24Oct 2014

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is most the favoured enterprise cloud service among businesses, according to new research, while the company says it’s not cost savings that are driving firms to the cloud but flexibility.

In a quarterly report by cloud-security firm Skyhigh Networks that examined the data of over 13 million users, AWS emerged as the most popular enterprise cloud service, followed by Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce.

The research, entitled Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, also contains some surprising statistics that underscore the growing importance of the cloud. It says that in the past year, usage of cloud-computing services leaped by 52 percent, and that ordinary companies are currently using 831 services that are based in the cloud. The Skyhigh report is available at www.skyhighnetworks.com/cloud-report.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been busy promoting its marketing-leading cloud services. AWS chief Iain Gavin said at an AWS conference that while many in the business world might think cost advantages are the primary motivator in making the transition from in-house networks to cloud-based computing, in actuality it’s the flexibility offered by the cloud that’s proving as, if not more, attractive to clients.

The key benefit of the cloud is “agility”, he said, allowing firms to become far more efficient and therefore more competitive. But Amazon is not denying that cost savings are also a motivating factor in shifting IT operations to cloud services such as theirs. The company points out that affordable services such as AWS make much more sense than running on-site networks and employing specialised staff to operate them – and in many cases those in-house systems are not used to capacity and therefore waste resources such as power.

There are also the added advantages of automatically updated software, disaster recovery options and stringent security with the cloud, as well as access from anywhere and high levels of uptime. Even better news for companies considering the move is a current price war between the major players, including AWS, that is making cloud-based computing more affordable than ever. Google, for instance, has just slashed its cloud services pricing by 10 percent, as it tries to gain a lead over AWS.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

 

19Oct 2014
In a further indication of the growing clout of cloud computing, a new study among chief financial officers shows a real fear that their companies will not be able to compete in the marketplace if they don’t make the transition, and soon.

Research carried out by French IT services firm Atos reveals that three quarters of CFOs questioned were concerned that their firms would be negatively impacted – as in losing out on revenue-generating opportunities – if they didn’t have top-level cloud-computing services.

For those that do move to the cloud, CFOs project their companies will gain an additional €123 million in the coming year as they take advantage of a wide range of services and scale back their own costs, according to the study.

So why haven’t these companies made the switch to cloud computing, and are instead relying on their own IT systems? For some, there may be a degree of uncertainty, as they adopt a wait-and-see stance in case cloud computing turns out to be something of a fad, and if they did transition and it all fell apart, they’d then have to set up their in-house network all over again. The multibillion-dollar business of cloud computing is proving to be anything but a short-lived trend, however.

The advantages of operating in the cloud – essentially vast banks of servers at data centres, up to 1 million each at the big players – include: ease of use as programs and applications can be accessed from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection; drastic cost reductions, because there’s no need to have IT staff to run an in-house network; high levels of security and uptimes; and constantly updated software and hardware. This all helps to make firms more efficient, and it’s why those that are not in the cloud are so concerned.

For companies looking to make the transition from in-house networks to cloud computing, it’s never been easier nor more affordable to do so. Firms in Singapore and right across South-East Asia can benefit from huge leaps in information technology from market-leading clouds such as Amazon Web Services.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

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