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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
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One of the main reasons companies are reluctant to take advantage of cloud services isn't because they don't realize how cloud can transform business practices, but instead it comes down to a matter of risk, according to an article on HuffingtonPost.com.

It seems executives are concerned with the basic issue of security when deciding whether to use cloud computing to handle mission-critical data or workloads.

Caution, of course, is always prudent, especially when it comes to new innovations. But instead of continuing to question whether the cloud can handle mission-critical computing needs, it's time to realize that an industrial-strength cloud - or one that allows organizations to focus on business innovation rather than continuing to worry about the reliability and safety of data - is ready for primetime, according to an article in the Huffington Post.

The right skills, tools and best practices now exist to make cloud computing secure, no matter the corporate demand. In fact, rather than a major inhibitor of adoption, security can be a critical enabler, making it possible for executives to stop losing sleep over data risks and focus on getting business done. The key is understanding that not all clouds are created equal.

Read more about it here.

Rackspace: Certifications for Private Cloud Partners
Rackspace recently rolled out a product certification program for partners using its private cloud service, according to CRN.com.

The two certifications, revealed at the opening of the OpenStack Design Summit in San Diego, are intended to make it easier for new and old solution providers and businesses to use Rackspace's OpenStack private cloud service.

Rackspace intends to both foster the adoption of the OpenStack standard and make it easier for businesses to use its private cloud, which is becoming more attractive to enterprises that want the savings and efficiency of hosting data centers off-premise but the security of a specialty service cloud.

Rackspace is offering partners two product certifications for use in its private cloud.

"We will have programs where hardware and software partners can get certified to work with us using OpenStack," Jim Curry, general manager of Rackspace's private cloud business, said in an interview with CRN.

Cloud Computing Still in Its Infancy: Study
Using factors such as market size and diversity, levels of acceptance and integration, and amount of innovation, a recent survey from Cloud Service Alliance and ISACA has determined that cloud computing is still in its infancy.

According to an article on WindowsITPro.com, CSA and ISACA have defined four stages of development for cloud technology:

  • Infancy: "potential for growth and innovation . . . has not been realized."
  • Growth: Widespread adoption and innovation takes place and the technology is well understood.
  • Maturity: The main players are well-established, and the technology is "business as usual."
  • Decline: The market becomes saturated, and there's little room for new entrants or products.

Within the study results, respondents rated Software as a Service (SaaS) as barely into the Growth phase and ahead of both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), with the overall result putting cloud computing squarely in its infancy. One of the characteristics of this stage is that it's the era of early adopters, according to the study.

According to the study, "cloud computing can provide significant opportunities for enterprises to innovate in ways that could disrupt established ways of providing and using information technology. However, according to the participants in the CSA/ISACA survey, the cloud market has not yet reached a level of maturity that will support this scenario."

However, it seems inevitable that such a maturity level will be reached, and the study predicts another two to three years before cloud computing will be firmly in the Growth stage of development overall.

About Patrick Burke
Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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