We have to hand it to keepgoing.biz, because if you're going to get your point across, you might as well go all out in a high powered YouTube video that ends in a bang (literally). The victim, in this case, is a server.
To demonstrate the benefit of disk-to-disk backups with multiple offsite backups at data centers in separate states, keepgoing.biz posted a video of company president Jon Klaus and others firing rounds at a computer server with shotguns and an assortment of other weapons. The video culminates with the server being blown to bits.
So what's the point?
"Businesses rely on their servers and data being protected and safe," a voice over narrates. "When a server fails, data is often lost, putting your business at risk. Keepgoing.biz backs up your data continuously and restores it completely in minutes, no matter what happens."
Because, you know, a good IT is always prepared for a Colt M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun firing rounds in slow motion at an exposed server that happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
All joking aside, keepgoing.biz's 2 minute video is worth every second. Check it out here.
Ready for a shocker? Rackspace Hosting, a company which rents server space, surveyed 441 U.S. and U.K.-based IT decision makers at companies with anywhere between 100 to 500 employees and found that just over half of them -- 51 percent -- "would love to never have to buy another server again."
Rackspace's spin on the survey suggests that the time and money enterprises currently allocate to managing in-house servers would be better spent on increasing strategic initiatives within the company. This, of course, would require a shift to cloud computing services, such as those offered by Rackspace.
The survey also found that "on-site servers are causing stress for IT decision makers," with hardware issues and maintenance, after hours issues, and 24/7 availability listed as the main challenges.
But while Rackspace sees the data as overwhelmingly positive in favor of cloud computing, another way to look at it is that nearly half of IT admins remain skittish about off-site services. And understandably so, given the early-adoptance aspect and high profile data scares, like the recent glitch that caused T-Mobile Sidekick owners to lose their contacts.
It was just four months ago that Unisys unveiled its Secure Cloud Solution for public cloud customers, and now the company is gearing up to roll out a private cloud option. Unisys says it's just the latest in a series of aggressive moves to further expand its cloud computing portfolio.
"Unisys is committed to giving clients highly flexible computing services that enable them to move more of their business workload to the cloud," said Rich Marcello, president, Unisys. "We have found that some organizations prefer a private cloud solution for mission-critical applications that use sensitive data so they can retain greater control over their own and their customers' information. Unisys meets that need with the Secure Private Cloud Solution."
Unisys expects to have its Private Cloud Solution available in December starting at $50,000. Then in the springtime, Unisys plans to start shipping a hybrid cloud solution that will tie together the company's private and public offerings.
Citing anonymous sources "familiar with their plans," Reuters reports that Cisco and storage area networking company EMC will work together to bring a new line of products to market dubbed vBlock. The new line will consist of cloud computing gear, including networking equipment, computers, and storage devices.
Cisco and EMC both declined to comment, but according to the talkative sources, the two companies will assemble computer systems for customers, which will also include all the necessary software.
"It's a 'virtual block' of the data center. You can buy it from them as a service, then eventually transition it to your own data center," said one of the people familiar with the plan.
Should the rumor turn out to be true -- and there's reason to believe it is, given that this isn't the first time the two have been linked in plans to jointly develop could-based solutions -- it will turn the heat up on rivals IBM and Hewlett-Packard, both of which offer a wider selection of data center equipment.
Los Angeles City Council approved a deal which will roll out Gmail and Google Apps to about 30,000 employees throughout the city.
"The City of Los Angeles, the second largest city in the nation, made a world-class decision today to support a state-of-the-art e-mail system," said Tony Cardenas an L.A. City Councilman. Most of the concerns regarding the switch surrounded privacy, stability, and cost.
Google and the city of Los Angeles cut a deal that if there was a “significant data breach” in which employee information was stolen or viewed Google would pay damage compensation. There should be obvious cost savings in moving away from onsite infrastructure as well as stability improvements moving the services into the cloud.
Have you, or your company made the switch? What are your thoughts on the Google Apps system?
Amazon Web Services, a division of Amazon.com, unveiled its Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), which the company says will help streamline the process of setting up, operating, and scaling relational databases in the cloud.
"For almost two years, many AWS customers have taken advantage of the simplicity, reliability, and seamless scalability that Amazon SimpleDB provides; however, many customers have told us that their applications require a relational database. That’s why we built Amazon RDS, which combines a familiar relational database with automated management and the instant scalability of the AWS cloud," said Adam Selipsky, Vice President, Amazon Web Services.
Amazon added that the new service will include a fully featured MySQL database, and will automatically handle common database administration tasks like setup and provisioning, patch management, and backup duties. But perhaps the best part is that there will be no up-front investments required, and users will pay only for the resources they actually use.
With no clear winner in the cloud computing sector, some ITs feel it makes more sense to incorporate their own private clouds. Doing so allows businesses to offer its customers a range of customized virtual services, automated tools, and other advanced services at a lower cost than what might otherwise be possible, argues mark Everett Hall of ComputerWorld.
Anything that costs less is sure to be a hit with the bean counters honed in on the bottom line, but the push for private clouds isn't without certain pitfalls. They can be harder to manage and maintain, and then you have to convince end users that being locked into a vendor isn't necessarily a bad thing. And on top of it all, not many people are even aware of what a private cloud is, and that could stymie its adoption. Or could it?
According to Geir Ramleth, CIO at Bechtel Corp., the lack of an exact definition could work to its advantage and prevent some ITs from becoming fixated on too narrow a scope.
Moving forward, that could become a moot point anyway. Earlier this year Thomas Bittman, an analyst with research firm Gartner, predicted that enterprises would spend more money building private cloud computing services over than the next three years than outsourcing to third party providers. And more recently, Gartner said IT shops are likely to spend more than half of their cloud budget on private cloud services by 2012. And when you're talking about a multi-billion industry, those savings start to add up.
Maybe the recent Sidekick debacle has you nervous over the concept of cloud computing, or perhaps you just want a local backup of all your Google Docs. No matter what the reason might be, Google has now made it easy to export all your documents, spreadsheets, and other Google Docs to your hard drive in one fell swoop.
According to Google, the hardest part of the process is selecting all your files. To do so, go to the 'All items' section, scroll to the bottom of the documents list, click the checkbox button, and then choose "select all visible."
And that's it for the "difficult part." All that's left to do at that point is right-click, choose 'export,' and decide what download format you want for each kind of file (PowerPoint for presentation files, for example). Google does the rest, compressing your files and tossing them into an archive. If you have a ton of documents and don't feel like waiting, you can have the archive emailed when it's finished.
Note that the above will not include hidden documents. To include those, go back to the 'All items' section and scroll to Hidden.
With a lot of help from the University of Michigan, Hewlett Packard on Wednesday unveiled its beta BookPrep project, which seeks to make more than half a million rare books available through a print-on-demand system.
Using imaging and printing technology from HP Labs, HP is able to automatically scan rare books and then clean up, brighten, and align the text. As of this writing, there are exactly 472,509 books available for purchase, most of which were published before 1923.
"HP BookPrep technology allows publishers to extend the life cycle of their books, removes the cost and waste burdens of maintaining inventory, and uses a full spectrum of technologies to deliver convenient access to consumers," said Andrew Bolwell, HP's director of New Business Initiatives.
In addition to rare books, HP said it is also extending its BookPrep project to publishers and content owners who want to offer their full catalogs of titles online, The Inquirer reports.
Computing has taken an odd Joni Mitchell twist of late. Nvidia is the latest to announce it’s entry into cloud computing with Cloud 3D, a platform which Nvidia says will make it easier for developers to create and show powerful 3-D graphics technology. According to Nvidia Cloud 3D, which operates on the RealityServer platform, is “a powerful combination of GPUs and software that streams interactive, photorealistic 3D applications to any web connected PC, laptop, netbook and smart phone.”
RealityServer is powered by the Telsa RS GPU-based server, a massively parallel computing system boasting of 240 CUDA processors per core. Rendering will be performed with iRay, a technology developed by Nvidia’s Mental Images subsidiary, which provides physically correct ray-tracing in this computing environment. Nvidia’s goal is to provide real-time rendering solutions over the web.
"This is one giant leap closer to the goal of real-time photorealistic visual computing for the masses," said Dan Vivoli, Nvidia senior vice president. Nvidia sees Cloud 3D serving the high demand needs of car designers and those of online shoppers, who will be able to interactively design home interiors, including rearranging the furniture.