Companies making major push for the Cloud

Last month Apple Inc. (Cupertino, Calif., U.S.A.) came out with the iCloud, a cloud service unique to its products. Since then, more companies have been announcing their moves into the cloud computing business.

On Monday, Microsoft (Redmond, Wash., U.S.A.) CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference, and urged its partners to join Microsoft as it moves into cloud technology.

“We’ve got 41,000 partners now who identify themselves primarily as Cloud partners, people who’ve come into the Microsoft ecosystem, in some sense for the first time, because of the opportunities represented by the Cloud,” said Ballmer at the conference. “This journey to the Cloud with us is going to be one of the most beneficial transitions for all users of information technology around the planet. It’s disruptive technologically. We’re redoing things in our business model. You’re going to have to continue to re-map and re-skill and re-train yourself for this new world.”

This push by Ballmer was preceded by the April launch of Office 365, a cloud-based version of its office software. According to Microsoft, less than two weeks after the official launch of Office 365, more than 50,000 organizations were trialing the service.

On Tuesday of this week, Citrix Systems (Fort Lauderdale, Fla, U.S.A), a software company, announced it has completed the acquisition of Cloud.com, a provider of software infrastructure platforms for cloud providers, thus moving itself into the cloud computing business. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Also on Tuesday, VMware (Palo Alto, Calif., U.S.A.) a virtualization software company unveiled a cloud infrastructure suite, vSphere 5, created to assist companies in building intelligent virtual infrastructures. Along with the announcement, VMware also unveiled: vShield, a security, control and compliance software for cloud security; vCenter Site Recovery Manager, a built-in storage replication for information recovery; and vCloud Director, a self-service model for provisioning infrastructure services.

As many software companies break into cloud computing, other companies such as Ciena (Linthicum, Md., U.S.A), a network equipment provider for backhaul, see the role they can play in the industry.

“The fact of the matter is that cloud will only happen if the right underlying infrastructure is in place and if that infrastructure is capable of evolving as cloud services evolve. In the cloud world, demands on capacity and connectivity are fluid, entirely dependent on businesses’ specific requirements at any given time,” said Tom Mock, senior vice president of Corporate Marketing and Communications for Ciena. “The network supporting those requirements needs to be able to reflect their fluidity with intelligent bandwidth capabilities that allow it to be as elastic, programmable and, in a sense, ‘virtualized,’ as storage and servers are today. The ideal to aim for is a fully integrated infrastructure and service offering, combining flexible, SLA-assured, secure computing power with elastic and scalable storage, supported by a high-performance backbone and bandwidth-on-demand”

With companies making transitions into cloud technology, the industry is set to grow in the upcoming years. According to technology research company ICD, cloud computing is expected to exceed $11 billion by the end of 2013.

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