Tag Archives: Cloud Computing Trends

World of Analysis on the World Cup

Similar to a world champion Olympic sprinter, the Spanish national team seemingly stumbled out of the blocks so badly that their tournament was over almost as quickly as it had started.

The spectacular and quite unexpected surprise of this year’s World Cup was the level of parody between power-house and underdog teams with a special mention to Costa Rica. They were unarguably this year’s overwhelming underdog of the tournament, surprising everyone! (ie. A bet of $1 on Costa Rica reaching the quarter final would have won $180).

We can see that there was a technical superiority of the European teams, as Europe was the continent with the most goals scored. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean the South American teams were punished with more yellow cards than any other continent. However, an interesting trend was noticed when the lower tear teams were facing a superior team, they would raise their level of aggressiveness on defense in an attempt to offset the superior teams’ offensive prowess. Although the “Fair Play” award was given to Colombia, in general every team behaved accordingly during the tournament with only a few minor exceptions. Most notably, the infamous Suarez bite.

Overall America as a continent was the great winner of this World Cup in terms of teams from that region being able to qualify for the second round.

The highest possible percentage of teams (66.7%), followed by Europe (53.8%) and rounded out by Africa (40%).

There is no doubt that Germany deserved the glory! Throughout the World Cup they lead in attacking statistics. Known for being a sport that is turning into tactical and at times offers fans just plain boring games has a hope, the old way of playing is still very exciting and valuable.

Panorama Software and OCZ Storage Solutions Announce Extreme Performance Technology Collaboration

SAN JOSE, CA, US and TORONTO, ON, Canada – May 1, 2014 – OCZ Storage Solutions – a Toshiba Group Company and leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, and Panorama Software, a global leader in BI 3.0 solutions, have established a technology partnership to deliver real-time Big Data analytics of data stored in Microsoft SQL Server 2014 databases.

The companies have jointly developed a solutions demonstration for the upcoming PASS Business Analytics (BA) Conference showcasing Panorama’s leading Necto BI capabilities with OCZ’s ZD-XL SQL Accelerator’s ability to accelerate SQL Server applications. The collaborated demonstration showcases how the power of data transforms businesses through data-driven insights and business intelligence and will be presented during exhibit hours in OCZ’s booth E-11 at the PASS BA Conference, San Jose Convention Center, May 7th through May 9th.

“The combination of our Necto BI solution coupled with one of the industry’s fastest acceleration cards for SQL Server delivers an advanced business intelligence solution that unleashes the value of enterprise information whether that information is structured, semi-structured or unstructured,” said Eynav Azarya, CEO of Panorama Software. “We are pleased to partner with OCZ to help solve those critical challenges associated with Big Data analysis so that efficient and relevant insights can lead to informed decision-making and invariably better business decisions.”

“We are pleased to join forces with Panorama Software to deliver real-time, self-service analytics of large database data sets that reside in SQL Server,” said Dr. Allon Cohen, Vice-President of Software and Solutions for OCZ Storage Solutions. “The ability to analyze, visualize and collaborate data in an infographic format while accelerating I/O and the application itself provides an extreme performance analytical solution from two visionary leaders in enterprise BI and storage.”

Analyzing large data sets has become a key issue in today’s enterprises as organizations have gained the ability to get access to Big Data and to make it more useful and meaningful. Advanced tools, such as Panorama Necto, enable additional data exploration and advanced analysis to be performed in a matter of minutes providing a powerful combination of in-memory performance coupled with advanced data discovery tools. Powered by in-memory engines, self-service interactive analytics, infographics and dynamic dashboards, the Necto BI solution enables business users to easily access, analyze, visualize, track performance, collaborate with colleagues, and share data for quick, efficient and relevant insights that lead to informed decision-making with minimal IT involvement.

To provide accelerated Microsoft SQL Server performance of these large database data sets, OCZ’s ZD-XL SQL Accelerator leverages its proven PCIe SSD hardware and application-tuned software to deliver low latency flash that can be deployed as a local flash volume, a flash cache for HDD volumes, or as a combination of both. It provides a potent combination of fast flash performance, a unique cache mechanism that makes advanced and statistically-optimized decisions on what data to cache, a dynamic cache warm-up scheduler that enables workloads to be placed on flash cache in advance of demanding and critical jobs, and a wizard-based GUI that enables DBAs to setup caching policies that optimize performance based on SQL Server workloads.

About PASS and the PASS BA Conference
The Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) is an independent, not-for-profit association dedicated to supporting, educating, and promoting the global Microsoft SQL Server community. Led by a member elected Board of Directors, PASS is run by and for the community, with a global membership of more than 100,000 and growing. PASS strives to fulfill its mission by:

• Facilitating member networking and the exchange of information through local and virtual chapters, free web events and local and regional events
• Delivering high-quality, up-to-date technical content, presentations, and other educational materials for in-depth learning and professional development
• Working with Microsoft to influence the evolution of SQL Server technologies

The PASS Business Analytics (BA) Conference is a professional community-oriented gathering for business analytic professionals and established to meet the needs of a growing BA community affiliated with Microsoft technologies such as Excel, SharePoint, SQL Server, Parallel Data Warehouse, Azure, Hadoop, and more.

About Panorama Software
Panorama is a leader in Business Intelligence 3.0, facilitating the next generation of self-service business intelligence solutions. Panorama’s Necto product is a BI platform which is context-aware allowing any type of user to interact intuitively with data within an intelligent collaborative environment. Panorama recently released Necto 14, the market’s first Business Intelligence data discovery solution to offer infographics for dynamic data visualization. More information is available at www.panorama.com.

About OCZ Storage Solutions
OCZ Storage Solutions – a Toshiba Group Company is a leading provider of high performance client and enterprise solid-state storage products and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation. Offering a complete spectrum of solid-state drives (SSDs), OCZ Storage Solutions leverages proprietary technology to provide SSDs in a variety of form factors and interfaces to address a wide range of applications. Having internally developed firmware and controllers, virtualization, cache and acceleration software, and endurance extending and data reliability technologies, the Company delivers vertically integrated solutions enabling transformational approaches to how digital data is captured, stored, accessed, analyzed and leveraged by customers. More information is available at www.ocz.com.

All trademarks or brand names referred to herein are the property of their respective owners.

OCZ Press Contact:
Scott Harlin
Director of Marketing Communications, Enterprise Solutions
(408) 440-3484
sharlin@ocz.com

The future of cloud computing: Emerging trends

Cloud technology gives businesses the ability to store, share and analyze data more efficiently and put it to use to improve operations, drive sales and otherwise help companies grow. Cloud computing trends indicate that this technology is still transforming and adapting to be even more beneficial for those who use it for data visualization and advanced analytics.

Security
Cloud technology allows companies to collect and store business intelligence and big data in a secure location, but many are still wary of the risks associated with moving to the cloud. Computerworld reported that businesses need to take safety precautions when moving their data to a cloud, but as long as security is a top concern during this process, the information will be protected. A recent study by Intermap found that only 15 percent of businesses with knowledge of cloud services were concerned with safety, but more "cloud-wary" companies (40 percent) had security concerns when it came to moving to cloud technology. 

Different cloud providers offer various security measures. For instance, the hybrid cloud, which combines both public and private clouds, provides new opportunities for scalable security, according to CIOL. This allows for tiered security with features like access control policies that will keep information secure.

Standardization
Sharing documents and information within one cloud is simple, but what if you need to share data between different clouds? InformationWeek reported that as cloud technology advances, it will likely be forced to reach a level of standardization that allows for more easily integrated services across providers. Currently, providers are operating with more than 160 different cloud computing standards, but the source stated that this will need to be pared down to fuel interoperability and portability.

Private cloud sharing
Private clouds are increasingly being used in corporate settings, as CIOL reported that this helps companies determine whether to run processes internally or externally, giving them more control over the cloud. This also allows for real-time analytics and provides scalability that will adapt along with technological advances and company growth.

Consolidated data
As business intelligence analytics becomes a more integral aspect of running a successful company, there will be an increased need for streamlined, efficient IT services. CIOL pointed out that consolidation of data in the cloud can allow for better visualization. In turn, this will make it easier for professionals to make improvements to various IT systems, cut costs and do it all in a quick and concise fashion.

Many companies delay cloud migration due to security concerns

Cloud storage gives companies greater access to their data, but though the technology has been around for years, many are still hesitant to embrace data center consolidation and cloud services. A recent SafeNet, Inc. survey of about 600 IT and security executives from around the world revealed that many are concerned about the security needs that would come with making such a move. 

Encryption is key for safe cloud storage
The majority of IT respondents (roughly three-quarters) are aware of data center consolidation's importance, but 62 percent of this group expressed concerns about having control over cryptographic keys. Prakash Panjwani, senior vice president and general manager of SafeNet, explained in the press release that the most effective way to protect business intelligence is to encrypt it using encryption keys Unfortunately, the study found that less than half of respondents were centrally managing these keys, which creates a host of problems including auditing difficulties and inefficiencies.

"The adoption of new technologies – such as big data, mobility and cloud-based services – has pushed data center consolidation to the top of the priority list for many businesses. Yet it is clear that security concerns combined with a lack of resources are hampering the progress of such transformations," Panjwani said. "Any shift in infrastructure can be daunting for IT professionals, however with data now stored across a hybrid IT landscape … security teams need to move away from traditional approaches and adopt new encryption technologies that support today's dynamic data center and service provider environments."

SMEs may benefit most from cloud technology
For small- and medium-sized enterprises, financial advantages can make all the difference in terms of a company's success. Being able to offer employees access to mobile BI offers a plethora of benefits, from BYOD policies to allowing employees to telecommute, which can help a company save. In fact a recent IDC report predicted 33 percent of SMEs in the U.K. are already using cloud-based technology for storage and data backup, according to Real Business.

Smaller companies especially should place importance on security measure for their cloud services, as they may not have the same resources as larger businesses in the event of a data breach. Given that a cloud management system can be vastly more cost-effective than other operations, SMEs may have more capital to invest in security provisions, whether they hire an in-house IT team or employ the use of a third-party security service.

Upcoming surges in cloud and big data markets

During the past several years, the cloud computing phenomenon has surged forward in the tech sector to become one of its most dominant segments. Although a certain amount of doubt has persisted among some regarding the security and overall lifespan of cloud platforms, these tools remain popular for countless businesses and organizations of all sizes. 

The same statements can, almost word for word, be made about business intelligence software tools that harness the actionable potential of big data. There has been a similar atmosphere of furious interest in the trend coupled with significant doses of skepticism. It may seem as if those who are not interested in either of these business trends are fervently waiting for the other shoe to drop.

However, two recent industry reports pointed out that both cloud computing and software related to big data are likely to experience considerable growth in the next few years. It would behoove those who are unsure about deploying analytics or cloud platforms to review this information and consider where these tools could fit into their business plans for the future.

IT spending increasingly focused on the cloud
Research firm Gartner recently released a new report gauging the future of cloud implementation, and it made it clear that the presence of these tools is only bound to expand. Specifically, by 2016, the IT budgets of most businesses and organizations will be largely directed toward the cloud. By 2017, hybrid cloud deployments in particular will be in place for approximately 50 percent of large enterprises.

Chris Howard, research vice president at Gartner, elaborated on this in a recent statement.

"Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and also toward massively scalable processing … Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management."

Further growth in the big data market
Another research organization, Visiongain, issued a study centered around the increasing presence of big data and related tools between 2013 and 2018. 

"The overall big data market is growing at a rapid pace and will continue to do so over the forecast period 2013-2018 … 80 percent of the enterprises in the developed world are now investing at least some part of their IT budget on big data," the report stated.

During this period, the value of the big data market is projected to reach $12.4 billion. This can be seen as indicative of industry confidence in the usefulness of such tools.

Cloud-based predictive analytics in vogue for various purposes

Among the various types of business intelligence and analytics platforms available, software tools that provide predictive analytics capabilities are arguably some of the most prevalent. The ability to foresee – with a reasonable to high degree of accuracy – what factors will affect a business' market or what decisions customers will make can be an invaluable advantage for any company, helping to facilitate actions and initiatives that are ultimately beneficial to the bottom line.

The cloud, too, is continuing on the surge in popularity that it has been riding for the past few years. As such, predictive analytics solutions that are primarily or completely based in the cloud are being adopted by more and more companies. There is a notably wide variety of worthwhile purposes for these platforms, and companies that are still on the fence regarding cloud predictive analytics implementation would do well to look at the gains that can be had. 

Following Netflix's lead
The movie rental and online streaming service Netflix relies a great deal on its ability to use algorithms that help determine recommendations of titles to rent or watch, based on customers' past preferences. As one might imagine, this requires compiling a massive volume of consumer data, and the company employs hundreds of data analysts to examine data points that number in the billions.

For this reason, Netflix chose to adopt a cloud-based predictive analytics platform, according to Data Center Knowledge. The processing speed that such a solution can offer is invaluable for a service that is contingent on operating quickly and efficiently for its customers while simultaneously juggling countless user queries.

Common applications of cloud-based analytics
Research firm Decision Management Solutions recently conducted a survey of 350 businesses, all of whom used cloud predictive analytics as part of their daily data-related operations. According to Forbes, a number of sectors and business functions were identified as benefiting greatly from such tools.

The news source reported that as far as different industries were concerned, retail saw the most impact from predictive analytics, with positive effects 13 percent higher than the overall average. Financial services also gleaned benefits 12 percent greater than other industries, while industries such as health care delivery seeing a decline – 9 percent below average.

Overwhelmingly, customer analytics were viewed as most important to these cloud platform users, with 72 percent of respondents claiming the most interest based on this purpose. Marketing came in second, as it was named as most important by 58 percent of those surveyed.

Considerations for implementing cloud BI

The rising prevalence of cloud computing and the use of business intelligence throughout many different sectors are two key trends of the modern business world. Both are revolutionizing the way countless companies perform their daily operations. Software platforms that combine these two trends are also on the rise among businesses, as shown by research conducted in 2012. In fact, BI is making itself known as the fastest-growing aspect of the entire cloud computing market.

Firms that are looking to adopt cloud-based business intelligence and analytics can be confident that doing so might be tremendously beneficial to these organizations' day-to-day operations and overall bottom line. Even so, it is essential to look over a number of major considerations before instantly committing to such software.

Looking closely at the market
In mid-2012, Saugatuck Technology conducted a survey regarding the past, present and future state of the cloud-based BI and analytics market. In 2011, things did not bode as well – only 13 percent of organizations questioned stated that they had implemented such solutions at the end of that year. However, the research made it clear that adoption figures would not remain that low for long.

The report's authors claimed that between 2012 and 2014, cloud-based BI software would experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 84 percent. Brian Dooley, one of the study's co-authors, elaborated on this in a statement accompanying the survey.

"Inevitably, cloud is opening up business intelligence to more users – non-analysts – within organizations," Dooley explained.

Solution attributes to examine
It won't be wise for business owners to adopt business intelligence simply as a way of latching on to a trend. They will need to examine whether this type of solution is right for their organizations' needs.

According to an op-ed piece in Digital Journal, factors that should be looked at carefully include the scope of a business' BI needs, pricing, vendor support, security and mobile compatibility, among others. The capability for mobile integration may be one of the most important of these. Considering the increasing popularity of employees using mobile devices for business tasks – including tablets, smartphones and laptops – this needs to be a feature of a cloud BI solution.

Real-time data access is yet another majorly important attribute. The rapid pace of modern business necessitates that companies have to be able to examine the most up-to-the-minute analytics and use them to make more informed decisions. Finally, the solution should ideally be easy for employees in all departments to use. 

Panorama Necto Customer Testimonials

Neopharm:

“Panorama Necto is extremely easy to use and with the self service features our users can create their own private views, reports and dashboards and share the information with their teams.”

Necto has enabled us to expose relevant BI data to our major suppliers where they can analyze the data that is relevant to them. The system is extremely intuitive and most of the users go way beyond reading reports – they easily deploy a wide range of features; creating their own reports, views and dashboards

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Cloud BI could ‘remove most barriers’ to data analytics

Implementing a widespread data analytics strategy across the workplace has been a dream of many decision-makers for years now, but there has never been a technology with the ability to accommodate that goal.

Until now. 

"With cloud [computing], we have the reach and scale of data access that removes most barriers to finding and accessing data, hence the rapidly-accelerating interest in big data analytics," Saugatuck analyst Bruce Guptill recently told Information Management. 

The other major issue surrounding self-service business intelligence (BI) in the past was the technology's lack of usability. Traditional BI tools would create extremely complex reports that included vast amounts of information, and were nearly impossible to translate for anyone who wasn't a data scientist. 

Some vendors have set out to resolve this problem by developing self-service BI programs. Not only do these solutions make it easy to decipher the reports – even for people with no data analytics expertise – but they are designed to provide relevant information at the right moment.

However, that still leaves the barrier of offering employees throughout the enterprise with easy access to this data – an obstacle that, as Guptill said, cloud computing is helping to eliminate. 

A recent MarketandMarkets study indicates that many decision-makers are taking note of the potential of cloud-based data analytics, Talkin' Cloud reported. The research firm projected that investment in these solutions will achieve a 25.8 percent compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2018, jumping from $5.3 billion to $16.5 billion during that time frame. 

According to the study, the rise in adoption of cloud-based solutions has driven much of this growth. The other major factor, though, has been the rapid emergence of big data analytics. 

"We have practically unlimited data available, now we really need ways to manage it, quality-control it, secure it, cleanse it, etc.," Guptill said, according to Information Management. "That's the next big thing for cloud BI and big data alike."

A recent Sugatuck study highlighted several ways cloud-based BI could make a difference, including increased access to the information. This might not sound like an innovative characteristic, but poor data access is one of the top – if not the biggest – barriers to reaching business intelligence and other data analytics goals, according to several recent studies. 

Another major advantage of the cloud, the report found, is its ability to link internal and external data. This is an enormous benefit considering the growing importance of analyzing information from social media, mobile devices and other such platforms. 

Expert: Cloud computing, big data are a match made in heaven

Studies and analysts have been predicting the demise of business intelligence (BI) for years, but so far the technology continues to do just fine. 

The reason for that could have a lot to do with the rise of other technological innovations, such as cloud computing

"I had thought interest in cloud had gone sideways this year, but it actually increased," Howard Dresner, an independent industry analyst, recently told Datamation regarding the continued explosion of cloud-based BI.

According to a recent survey from Dresner Advisory Services, more than half of organizations plan to adopt cloud business intelligence in some form by 2014. The respondents included a mix of decision-makers and IT professionals, the latter of which comprised about one-third of the 1,200 people polled. 

Three-quarters of respondents labeled cloud-based BI as an important business component, with approximately one-sixth claiming it to be critical. Both numbers represent marked increases from a year ago.

Even more telling is the fact that interest in the technology has become widespread across the workplace. Usually it's IT departments driving new projects forward, but in the case of cloud-based BI, salespeople, marketers and managers are just as interested, if not more. 

"Whenever there is a constituency underserved by IT, those departments will be among the first to seek out a cloud/SaaS solution," Dresner told the news source. 

Cloud, big data inevitably colliding
Overall, the worldwide cloud-based business analytics market is expected to achieve a 25.8 percent compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2018, according to a study from MarketsandMarkets. A number of new challenges have piqued the interest of decision-makers, including:

  • Struggles with data warehousing
  • Challenges when it comes to monitoring influxes of information
  • Difficulty sharing that information

These and other factors are prompting organizations across the globe to invest heavily in cloud business analytics – particularly in cloud-based big data tools. 

In a recent blog post for Wikibon, a technology market analyst for The Wikibon Project, suggested that the cloud and big data are essentially made for each another. For one thing, he noted the supreme cost- and time-saving capabilities that result from leveraging these tools to store internal information produced in the cloud. This is often the first required step before gaining business insights, and one that many companies are struggling with.

At the same time, big data applications provide the opportunity to analyze information that's produced outside the organization's infrastructure. This will enable companies to truly tap into predictive analytics and other capabilities that, so far, have eluded them.