In COVID-19 crisis public cloud computing is an unsung hero

crn.com | March 23, 2020

The growing coronavirus crisis has been a test like no other of the ability of online applications to dramatically, reliably and securely scale—a remarkable feat only possible because of publiclouds and their companion technologies.Office closures, social distancing and shelter-in-place orders have resulted in a massive and sustained surge in users of collaboration, shopping and entertainment solutions as the entire world converts personal interactions to virtual ones.So far, that unprecedented shift has gone off with barely a stutter. As millions around the world strive to remain productive, and fight boredom, public cloud has enabled video conferencing, remote project collaboration, e-commerce, education, gaming and streaming video companies to meet spectacular and unplanned-for demand in a way that would have been impossible a decade ago.While application vendors like Zoom Video, Slack, and Netflix are at the forefront of public consciousness these days, behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services which supports all those webscale companies has been the essential player in enabling them to accommodate a world in crisis.

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Private Object Storage is an Object Storage solution built on dedicated compute resources either in a private or public cloud. As such, it guarantees better isolation and security to ensure no performance impact by other users of the object storage. ObjectStorage in a private cloud enables all of the benefits of the public Object Storage. However, it eliminates the latencies associated with the Internet and the public cloud, and therefore, provides much better performance.


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CLOUD STORAGE

ICF Partners with Google Cloud

ICF | June 01, 2022

ICF (NASDAQ:ICFI), a global consulting and digital services provider, is partnering with Google Cloud to expand its cloud and analytics services to public sector clients. "As organizations across the public sector execute on their digital transformation strategies, there is an increased need for technology partners and solutions that seamlessly support these transformation goals," said Lesta Brady, director, federal sales, Google Cloud. "We're pleased to partner with ICF and continue helping customers across the public sector with the solutions and expertise they need to move into the next stage of their digital transformation journeys." ICF's partnership with Google Cloud illustrates ICF's success in accelerating digital transformation for federal agencies on Google Cloud's platform, which includes supporting federal health clients such as the National Cancer Institute and many others. The partnership further expands the company's digital and partnership ecosystem in support of its multi-cloud strategy. Combining ICF's deep domain and technology consulting expertise with new Google Cloud capabilities enhances ICF's capabilities to rapidly deploy digital solutions that advance our customers' missions and increase operational efficiency. "ICF's partnership with Google Cloud strengthens our ability to bring greater innovation to federal agencies so they can deliver better citizen services, faster, With Google Cloud as a partner, ICF can provide more clients with the interdisciplinary partners they need to accelerate their migrations to the cloud and increase their mission impact." Mark Lee, ICF executive vice president and public sector lead ICF combines public sector domain expertise with an ecosystem of platform partners and digital practices to deliver responsive, scalable solutions that achieve clients' mission outcomes and a step change in productivity. The company's digital solutions help mission leaders solve critical problems, modernize systems, harness the power of data and analytics and optimize the customer experience to drive positive change from within. Read more about ICF's digital transformation and federal health IT services and its technology partnerships. About ICF ICF is a global consulting services company with approximately 8,000 full- and part-time employees, but we are not your typical consultants. At ICF, business analysts and policy specialists work together with digital strategists, data scientists and creatives. We combine unmatched industry expertise with cutting-edge engagement capabilities to help organizations solve their most complex challenges. Since 1969, public and private sector clients have worked with ICF to navigate change and shape the future.

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CLOUD SECURITY

Xanadu launches first public cloud-deployed computer with quantum computational advantage

Xanadu | June 02, 2022

Xanadu has demonstrated quantum computational advantage using Borealis, their newest photonic quantum computer. It is the first photonic quantum computer offering full programmability of all its gates to demonstrate quantum computational advantage, and the first time that a machine capable of quantum advantage has been made available to the public in the cloud. This achievement, published in Nature, is a significant milestone on the path to building a large-scale, fault-tolerant quantum computer, and a pivotal step in Xanadu's mission to build quantum computers that are useful and available to people everywhere. Quantum computational advantage is achieved when a quantum computer outperforms the world's fastest supercomputers, running the best known algorithms, on a well-defined task. Borealis synthesizes a quantum state of 216 squeezed-state qubits, entangled in three dimensions according to the user's specified program. It then generates samples from this state at a rate exceeding the capabilities of any existing classical supercomputer. Using direct simulation, the fastest supercomputer in the world would take approximately 9,000 years to generate a single such sample, compared to 36 microseconds for Borealis. This runtime advantage is more than 50 million times larger than that of earlier photonic demonstrations. "We are thrilled to have deployed quantum computational advantage on the cloud publicly for the very first time for users around the world, This is another big milestone for quantum computing. And it shows the exceptional talent we have here at Xanadu as well as the ability for photonic quantum computers to scale up." Christian Weedbrook, founder and CEO of Xanadu This demonstration marks the first time quantum computational advantage has been achieved in Canada, and also the first time anywhere by a startup company. Additionally, several technologies developed for this machine solve key challenges in the development of fault-tolerant quantum computers. Such computers have the potential to unlock computational power that will solve an array of intractable problems in fields as diverse as next generation battery development, drug discovery, finance, and logistics. Borealis is accessible to anyone with an internet connection over Xanadu Cloud, and will also be available via Amazon Braket, the fully managed quantum computing service from AWS. "With Borealis on Amazon Braket, for the first time, any researcher or developer will be able to validate a claim of quantum advantage and evaluate how photonic quantum computing may eventually expand their choice of compute technologies, enabling them to innovate more quickly," said Richard Moulds, General Manager of Amazon Braket at AWS. The team at Xanadu continues to focus on the next monumental hurdle in quantum computing — achieving fault-tolerant quantum computation and developing industry-relevant applications. Customers can access Borealis on Xanadu Cloud beginning today or soon via Amazon Braket. About Xanadu: Xanadu is a Canadian quantum technology company with the mission to build quantum computers that are useful and available to people everywhere. Founded in 2016, Xanadu has become one of the world's leading quantum hardware and software companies. The company also leads the development of PennyLane, an open-source software library for quantum computing and application development.

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CLOUD COMPLIANCE AND AUDIT

Qumulo Launches Cloud Now Program; Gives Cloud Builders One Free Petabyte of Storage

Qumulo | April 26, 2022

-Qumulo, the leader in data storage and management at scale, today unveiled “Cloud Now,” a new program that offers cloud builders the ability to create and test up to one petabyte (PB) of multi-cloud file storage at no cost*. As the only multi-cloud file platform able to run massive data workloads with radical simplicity, Qumulo designed the Cloud Now Program to eliminate barriers to unstructured data storage in the cloud while speeding time to deployment. Customers can now build a proof of concept (POC) at scale with no Qumulo licensing costs, no underlying cloud storage infrastructure costs, and a white-glove deployment experience. are already turning to the cloud to scale rapidly. Recent macroeconomic challenges, such as supply chain delays and labor shortages, have accelerated cloud adoption. According to recent independent analyst reports, organizations are increasing annual cloud spending by 20.7% through 2025, and more than 40% of enterprises surveyed are moving workloads to the cloud to mitigate supply chain disruption. “Today’s enterprises need to manage their data and keep their business moving forward. We believe every business should experience the benefits of cloud, which is why we are offering to build proof of concept environments for our customers free of charge in the cloud of their choice,” said Bill Richter, CEO at Qumulo. “The Cloud Now Program removes concerns of cost and infrastructure lock-in – something legacy vendors simply can’t do.” As the only multi-cloud provider that runs on AWS, GCP, and Azure infrastructure at massive scale, Qumulo gives customers the ability to manage massive amounts of unstructured data, regardless of which cloud it is in, for instant freedom and flexibility. Customers frequently turn Qumulo POCs into production workloads and with Cloud Now, have a free cloud storage environment to run real-world production workloads with confidence. As a software defined, multi-cloud unstructured data solution, Qumulo runs in data centers, private clouds and all three major public clouds. Deploying the Qumulo single software stack across on-prem and the public cloud reduces complexity with a single management experience wherever a customer’s data resides. Qumulo also offers the same award-winning customer support experience across all deployments. About Qumulo, Inc. Qumulo is the breakthrough leader in simplifying data management in its native file form at a massive scale across hybrid-cloud environments. Its high-performance file data platform is designed to store, manage and create workflows and applications with data in its native file form at massive scale on prem and in the public cloud. Qumulo is trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major film and animation studios, and some of the largest research facilities in the world to easily manage the full data lifecycle from ingestion, transformation, publishing and archiving with cost-effective capacity, dynamic scalability, automatic encryption, real-time visibility and an advanced API that enables customers to easily integrate Qumulo into their ecosystem and workflows.

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CLOUD APP DEVELOPMENT

Aptum Report Calls for Big-Picture Thinking to Close the Gap Between Cloud’s Promise and Reality of Secure Operations

Aptum | June 18, 2022

Aptum, a hybrid multi-cloud managed service provider, has announced Part 2 of its annual Cloud Impact Report 2022, titled Solving the Data Security Equation. The report examines the complexities inherent in hybrid cloud environments and their implications on security, data governance, compliance and disaster recovery. In particular, it finds that while companies are convinced of the value of cloud computing, its drivers have evolved. Drivers to the cloud When it comes to the value of cloud, the majority of respondents (91%) consider cloud computing to be essential for data management. In fact, more than half (54%) believe cloud transformation has had a positive impact on data governance. While financial considerations have traditionally been a common driver, the study shows a shift in focus for many organizations, especially as security concerns evolve and continue to be top-of-mind: 50% of respondents cited efficiency as the top motivator for cloud investments Increased security is the second most important business driver for organizations investing in cloud computing, with 48% of respondents citing it as a key factor in their investment Resilience is also a primary driver of cloud computing investments for 40% of companies Managing complexity During the pandemic, organizations had to hastily increase their cloud deployments to support the increase in remote work, enhance business resilience and enable greater flexibility. As a result, many businesses naturally moved toward a hybrid model. In fact, 86% of respondents said their organization has adopted a hybrid or multi cloud approach to cloud deployments. For many organizations, the move to hybrid has meant their environments have become increasingly complex as data and workloads are now located across a range of cloud and non-cloud infrastructures. As a result, many are grappling with complexities traditionally associated with hybrid cloud environments, such as data and workloads being located across a range of cloud and non-cloud infrastructures. Of those respondents, the top challenges cited in managing their environments include control and governance of access to cloud environments (90%); a clear mechanism to detect and respond to security threats across all environments (90%); and the ability to efficiently meet requirements of compliance audits (90%). Impacts on security The study showed that managing security effectively is no longer just an issue of securing data within each environment; data must also be secured as it moves between locations. “Businesses use different environments for different purposes. A platform for application development and another as a production site, for example. That’s where you achieve the benefits of a hybrid cloud environment,” explains Marvin Sharp, Vice President of Product and Strategy at Aptum. “But moving workloads between the two environments puts data at risk. Therefore, in a hybrid work environment, organizations need to consider securing point A and point B, as well as the movement of data between them.” When it comes to disaster recovery, the study’s results tell a similar story of complexity. Disaster recovery is amongst the top reasons organizations are continuing to move data to the cloud, with 37% of respondents citing improved data backup services and disaster recovery as a driver. However, 87% of respondents cite the ability to provide Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to the business as a key consideration. “Disaster recovery is traditionally thought of as being in one environment – usually very secure public or private cloud facilities,” says Sharp. “Various experiences of downtime during the pandemic confirmed the importance of a coherent disaster recovery strategy. But as hybrid environments become more widespread, disaster recovery becomes more complex, and it’s likely to become more dispersed as a result.” Strategy is key to cloud transformation The study’s results reveal that only 20% of organizations surveyed have a holistic cloud strategy in place. The other 80% have a fragmented approach to cloud transformation that lacks the necessary big-picture thinking. The results also reaffirm a singular holistic cloud strategy must have security principles embedded in its design at the earliest stage possible. By doing so, businesses can take an integrated approach to security, mitigate threats and minimize risks across their entire infrastructure stack. This will eliminate any disconnect between the cloud's promise of secure, reliable operations and what organizations will actually experience. The study canvassed the opinions and approach to cloud technology of 400 senior IT professionals. Respondents were from organizations with 250+ employees in the U.S., Canada and UK. Industries included financial services, technology, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, public education and the commercial sector. About Aptum Aptum is a hybrid multi-cloud managed service provider delivering complex and high-performance cloud solutions with an integrated secure network. Using its Data As Infrastructure™ approach, Aptum solves complex technology challenges with total solutions and tailored options that drive tangible business outcomes and maximize the value of its clients’ technology investments. Aptum’s cloud and global network solutions, underpinned with expert managed and professional services, offer genuine choice and adaptability with international reach spanning North America, Latin America, Europe and the United Kingdom. Aptum is a portfolio company of DigitalBridge, a global investment firm dedicated to strategic opportunities in digital infrastructure.

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Spotlight

Private Object Storage is an Object Storage solution built on dedicated compute resources either in a private or public cloud. As such, it guarantees better isolation and security to ensure no performance impact by other users of the object storage. ObjectStorage in a private cloud enables all of the benefits of the public Object Storage. However, it eliminates the latencies associated with the Internet and the public cloud, and therefore, provides much better performance.

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