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Could the digital 'cloud' crash?

By Steven McIntosh Newsbeat reporter

When Megaupload was taken down last month, users around the world lost access to files they had uploaded.

The site was shut down by prosecutors in the US after it was claimed users were illegally sharing music and movies, costing copyright holders an estimated $500m (315m).

But many people used the site legally to share personal files such as photos and documents.

It’s now becoming more common for users to store their files online in what’s referred to as “the cloud”.

But how safe is cloud storage when prosecutors can close down massively popular websites without warning?

While certain sites or servers could be closed down, it would be practically impossible for the cloud as a whole to crash.

Rik Ferguson from internet security company Trend Micro says: “The cloud, much like the internet, is not one single system reliant on one single connection. For the whole cloud to disappear is pretty much inconceivable.”

However, it is possible for individual cloud servers to fail as a result of physical damage to the hardware.

Will Shenton from Bedford, says he stands to lose hours of audio from his work as a DJ and producer.

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Computer Basics: What is the Cloud? – Video


07-03-2012 13:55 http://www.GCFLearnFree.org You may have heard people using terms like the cloud, cloud computing, or cloud storage. But what exactly is the cloud? Basically, the cloud is the internet – more specifically, it’s all of the things that you can access remotely over the internet. When something is in the cloud, that means it is stored on servers on the internet, instead of on your computer. It lets you access your calendar, email, files and more, from any computer that has an internet connection. There are many reasons to use the cloud, but the main reasons are convenience and reliability. In the past, if you wanted to bring a file with you, you would have to save it to a USB flash drive, external hard drive, or CD-R disc. Saving a file to the cloud ensures that you’ll be able access it with any computer that has an internet connection, so you don’t have any physical media to keep track of. The cloud also makes it much easier to share a file with coworkers or friends, making it possible to collaborate over the internet. With the cloud, you’re much less likely to lose your data, since it is stored on servers. However, just like anything online, there is always a risk that someone may try to gain access to your personal data, so it’s important to choose a strong password and pay attention to any privacy settings for the service you’re using. To learn more about the cloud, watch the following video.

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elchemyv2.wmv – Video


08-03-2012 17:54 cloudhostingproviders.com.au Cloud Hosting Providers offer a new approach to web hosting which can boost your site’s speed and help it cope with surges in traffic. Cloud Web Hosting uses a cloud of thousands of servers to host your website, meaning that it can hope with huge volumes of traffic, and won’t crash due to hardware failures. Best of all, you only pay for what you use, so your site can be prepared for a huge burst of traffic but when its quiet you aren’t paying for a dedicated server. Find out more at Cloud Hosting Providers: we review cloud web hosting services and compare cloud hosting to traditional web hosting such as shared hosting, VPS and dedicated server hosting. We also place special emphasis on Australian Cloud Hosting Services cloudhostingproviders.com.au

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4t Networks Offers Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 for Cloud Hosting

ATLANTA, GA, March 09, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ 4t Networks would like to announce that it now offers Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 for Cloud hosting services clients.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is a Linux based operating system created by Red Hat, which creates an accessible Linux environment for commercial users. RHEL6 provides users with excellent resource management, integrated security features, and the stability of Red Hats industry leading production and development.

We are as excited as our clients to add the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux to our catalogue, says Kevin Gray, President of 4t Networks. Linux is a great platform, and RHEL 6 is the latest in a line of Red Hat products that have made Linux accessible and useful to hosting users.

4t Networks provides Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 to its Cloud Virtual Machine hosting clients. Cloud Machines from 4t Networks come with a deep dedication to superior customer service, the flexibility of customizing your server or machine to your companys needs, and the convenience of no long-term contracts. In addition to this, hosting clients receive the security of 4t Networks top of the line data center and 24/7 technical support.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is just one of the ways you can customize your Cloud Virtual Machine with 4t Networks. Your company can custom engineer your own Cloud Machine with the software your company uses, as a part of your virtual hosting services through 4t Networks.

To learn more about Cloud Hosting with 4t Networks, please go to http://www.4tnetworks.com/.

About 4t Networks

4t Networks is a managed virtual hosting company based out of metro Atlanta. Since 2004, 4t Networks has been providing the world with the very best in virtual private servers, cloud hosting and email hosting. Superior customer service, a top tier data center and dedicated server virtual space make 4t Networks the best choice in virtual hosting for your VPS, Cloud machine, and email hosting needs. With customizable data and usage plans, you can always get the dedicated server space your company requires from 4t Networks.

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Rackspace Hosting Positioned as a Leader in the Leaders Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting Providers

SAN ANTONIO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Rackspace Hosting (NYSE:RAX – News), the service leader in cloud computing, today announced that it has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the Leaders quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting.1

The Gartner assessment, performed by the firms IT industry experts, evaluates providers based on the completeness of their vision and their ability to execute. It categorizes providers in quadrants labeled Niche Players, Challengers, Visionaries, and Leaders. Rackspace was among the 17 providers assessed by Gartner.

The year 2011 has been fundamental in several major Rackspace initiatives with the formation of Rackspace Cloud Builders, providing consultative work around OpenStack, and the continued success and growth of RackConnect, Rackspaces hybrid hosting solution. We consider our leadership position in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting providers as further confirmation that Fanatical Support provides great IT outcomes for our customers, said Lanham Napier, CEO at Rackspace. 2012 is a critical and exciting year for us as we work to advance OpenStack and extend the quality of services we provide our customers. We are obsessed with building a great company, and we’re doing the hard work to build the service leader in cloud computing.

Rackspace is one of the few providers in the managed hosting market to offer hybrid hosting capabilities using its solution called RackConnect. According to the report, Most solutions for complex needs are hybrids, mixing different types of infrastructures to achieve cost-effectiveness, and to meet the customer’s range of availability, performance, security and IT operations requirements. For instance, customers may need test and staging servers hosted on an IaaS platform, their front-end Web and application servers on utility hosting, and dedicated database servers. This has spurred providers to develop and productize hybrid hosting services that interconnect colocation, traditional hosting environments and cloud IaaS within unified networking and security contexts.

About Rackspace

Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX – News) is the service leader in cloud computing, and a founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. The San Antonio-based company provides Fanatical Support to its customers and partners, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing. Rackspace has been recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company and was featured on Fortunes list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. The company was also positioned in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner Inc. in the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting. For more information, visit http://www.rackspace.com.

About the Magic Quadrant

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose

Forward-Looking Statements

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UK Cloud Computing Company iomart Hosting Recruits Scotland Footballers to Kick off New Campaign

GLASGOW, Scotland, March 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

iomart Hosting becomes natural choice for football kit as well as business hosting

UK cloud computing and managed hosting services provider iomart Hosting has recruited two Scotland footballers to launch its latest community campaign.

‘Host Your Kit’ is an initiative by the Scottish Digital IT Company of the Year to give away top quality football kits to youth teams in England, Scotland and Wales, who for various reasons either can’t afford their own kit or desperately need a new one. The company is giving away the latest adidas strip to 30 teams who send in the best video or email explaining why their side deserves a new kit. The adidas kits, which will consist of 14 outfield players’ and one goalkeeper’s strip, are being provided by Greaves Sports, the official retail partner of the Scottish Football Association.

Phil Worms, Director of Marketing for iomart Hosting, said: “I know that many of our customers and employees have sons and daughters who play football for their local teams and that getting new kits season after season is a real challenge for many of the parents involved. With 2012 being called the Year of Sport, this is the perfect opportunity for us to get involved with a campaign that combines our hosting expertise with the promotion of sport in the community. As a leading managed and cloud hosting company we’ve built a great reputation for the hosting of physical server kit and count many sporting organisations as clients, so now we’re hoping to make our mark in the hosting of football kits!”

Scotland and Celtic star Charlie Mulgrew and Scotland and Glasgow City Ladies player Emma Fernon took part in a photo-shoot to promote the campaign.

Charlie, who has just been voted SPL Player of the Month, said: “I’m delighted to be supporting this great campaign by iomart Hosting. I remember as a young boy how much of a confidence boost it gave me when I ran out on the pitch wearing a proper kit. Thanks to iomart Hosting’s Host Your Kit campaign, teams across Britain will be able to kick off their next league campaign with that extra bit of pride.”

Emma Fernon said: “I’m really proud to be supporting this great community campaign by iomart Hosting. It was a real struggle for clubs when I was young. Parents and coaches had to beg money from local businesses to buy kits so it’s great that iomart Hosting is offering a helping hand to teams.”

The company is giving away the latest adidas strip to 30 teams who send in the best video or email explaining why their side deserves a new kit. The adidas kits, which will consist of 14 outfield players’ and one goalkeeper’s strip, are being provided by Greaves Sports, the official retail partner of the Scottish Football Association.

Angus MacSween, CEO of iomart Group plc, the parent company of iomart Hosting, said: “We’re delighted to be launching this campaign. I hope everyone in the UK web hosting world who has children who play football gets involved with Host Your Kit.”

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From scooters to servers: The best of Launch, Day One

Rafe’s top picks from the big startup conference include a service to help you get financial aid, one to get you in shape, and cloud storage company with no servers.

The Space Monkey storage pod lives in your house.

I’m an official Grand Jury judge at the Launch startup conference that’s in town right now. Tomorrow I’m supposed to render my judgment on the presenting companies to help determine which ones get pieces of the $1 million in investment prizes that have been contributed to this event. Nothing says I can’t talk up the products I like ahead of time, though. Here are five. And some bonus picks.

1. Space Monkey This was the favorite of most of the judging panels today, as well as my top pick. Not only is it being a potentially very disruptive product, but it’s got a killer value proposition for consumers as well as good sales potential. It’s a faster, larger Dropbox for less money, and since it has a physical component it can be sold easily in retail. See my full writeup for more, including the significant challenges this business faces.

2. Alltuition The conference demos kicked off with what seemed like a very boring product: A Web service to help you find financial aid for college, and apply for all the various programs for which you might be eligible. But any parent can tell you how terrifying the mountain of paperwork can be, and how high the stakes are if you make mistakes on it. This service addresses a real need, not a want, and it has a tangible value. It’s a good business.

The uGrokIt scanner is colored bright orange so you don’t lose it. Because then what would you do?

3. uGrokIt I confess that I am ambivalent about this company, but everyone I talked to about it just loved it, and it is a fun idea. It’s a gizmo for finding stuff that you lose in your house. You attach a paper-thin RFID tag to things that are likely to get lost (your 3-year-old’s shoes, his favorite stuffed toy, your wallet, etc.) and then you can find these things later by docking your smatphone with a scanner gizmo (see picture) that will bleep like a metal detector as you get closer to your item. It has a range of 6 to 10 feet, which makes it easy enough to definitively, and quickly, sweep a room for an item.

4. Budge A little mobile service that helps you pace your fitness goals over time, and that includes nags (if you ask for them) and a way to join groups of people who have similar goals. There have been, and are, dozens or hundreds of fitness apps, but something about the philosophy and design of this one seemed, to me, to be completely dialed in. We’ll see if it works over time (I’ll let you know), but I have a better feeling about this fitness product than most that I see.

Bonus: In the “Demo pit” (showing off in the exhibit center but not presenting on stage) there was another fitness app I liked, Wello. It’s a service that connects personal trainers to clients over Webcams. The idea is to free trainers from the lock that gyms have over them (and the fee that gyms take) and allow them a more flexible, and efficient schedule. Tags are cheap (a dollar each for now, less in the future) and unpowered, so you don’t have to worry about replacing their batteries. But the scanner is big and bulky and can get lost itself. Still, the number of people I talked to who said they’d really like to have one of these in their kitchen stuff drawer for contingencies tells me the company is on to something. And I could see it selling extremely well on SkyMall or QVC.

Scoot CEO Michael Keating on his product.

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Cisco rolls out UCS servers with Intel Xeon E5 chips

Cisco has expanded its data centre portfolio this week with servers and networking gear to better support virtualisation, cloud computing and Big Data.

Cisco says the rollout represents its third generation fabric computing platform and addresses data centre scale and promptness in responding to changing business needs.

As expected, the new servers in Ciscos Unified Computing System (UCS) fabric computing platform support Intels new Xeon processor E5-2600 line, also known as “Romley” and “Sandy Bridge”, and includes multiple form factors, up to eight times the memory capacity and four times the I/O of previous UCS servers.

The UCS Manager now supports Ciscos UCS rack-mount servers, enabling those form factors to reach management parity with the UCS blade servers. Cisco also added fabric extenders, interconnects and I/O modules to support the new servers.

The new servers include one blade and two rack-mount units, all based on the Intel Xeon E5-2600 processor. The Cisco UCS B200 M3 Blade Server comes in a half-blade form factor supporting 24 DIMM slots and up to 80 gigabits of I/O bandwidth.

The UCS C220 M3 Rack Server is a one rack unit (1RU) unit, targeted at business workloads like web services to distributed databases. The UCS C240 M3 Rack Server is a 2RU server designed for storage-intensive workloads, from big data to collaboration.

The new rack mount servers and Ciscos existing rack-mount units can now be managed by Cisco UCS Manager. UCS blade and rack-mount servers can be managed uniformly within a single domain by UCS Manager, Cisco says.

In the second half of 2012, Cisco says it will deliver the capability for UCS Manager to control multiple UCS domains, which would improve scale. The centralised manager will be able to govern and orchestrate thousands of servers in or between global data centres, Cisco says.

Naturally, the network has to support these increasingly virtualised and distributed workloads. So Cisco rolled out the chassis I/O module 2204XP. It offers 80Gbps and 160Gbps down to each chassis to handle workload bursts. The module also offers load balancing across all ports.

Supporting it is the VIC 1240 interface card, which connects the server to the chassis I/O module and delivers the 80G to the server.

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New Cisco servers have Intel Xeon E5 inside

Cisco this week expanded its data center portfolio with servers and networking gear to better support virtualization, cloud computing and Big Data.

Cisco says the rollout represents its third-generation fabric computing platform and addresses data center scale and promptness in responding to changing business needs.

As expected, the new servers in Ciscos Unified Computing System (UCS) fabric computing platform support Intels new Xeon processor E5-2600 line also known as Romley and Sandy Bridge — and includes multiple form factors, up to eight times the memory capacity and four times the I/O of previous UCS servers.

IT’S HERE: Intels Romley products could put crimp in competition

Also, the UCS Manager now supports Ciscos UCS rack mount servers, enabling those form factors to reach management parity with the UCS blade servers. Cisco also added fabric extenders, interconnects and I/O modules to support the new servers.

Cisco says it now has 11,000 UCS customers since the platforms introduction in 2009. And at a $1.3 billion annual run rate, UCS is the fastest growing product in Ciscos history, company officials said.

The new servers include one blade and two rack-mount units, all based on the Intel Xeon E5-2600 processor. The Cisco UCS B200 M3 Blade Server comes in a half-blade form factor supporting 24 DIMM slots and up to 80 gigabits of I/O bandwidth.

The UCS C220 M3 Rack Server is a one-rack-unit (1RU) unit, targeted at business workloads like Web services to distributed databases. The UCS C240 M3 Rack Server is a 2RU server designed for storage-intensive workloads, from big data to collaboration.

The new rack mount servers and Ciscos existing rack mount units can now be managed by Cisco UCS Manager. UCS blade and rack mount servers can be managed uniformly within a single domain by UCS Manager, Cisco says.

In the second half of 2012, Cisco says it will deliver the capability for UCS Manager to control multiple UCS domains, which would improve scale. The centralized manager will be able to govern and orchestrate thousands of servers in or between global data centers, Cisco says.

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Leading Analyst Firm Recognizes Savvis as a Leader in Two Cloud-Focused Magic Quadrants

Savvis Positioned in Leaders Quadrant in Two Reports: Managed Hosting, Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service

ST. LOUIS , March 8, 2012 /CNW/ – Industry analyst firm Gartner Inc. has positioned Savvis, a CenturyLink company (NYSE: CTL – News) and global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises, in the Leaders quadrant in both the Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting and the Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111122/CG10879LOGO )

The cloud-focused reports can be accessed at http://www.savvis.com/en-US/Advantages/Pages/gartner-magic-quadrant-leader.aspx.

“Many of the world’s largest and most well-known companies rely on Savvis’ enterprise-class cloud solutions, and we believe these Magic Quadrant recognitions speak loudly to the reasons our clients see us as a global cloud leader,” said Bill Fathers, president of Savvis. “Our focus on cloud will continue as demonstrated by our recently accelerated investment in our cloud offerings. We deliver cloud-based solutions that improve business agility and reduce costs.”

Savvis’ flexible enterprise cloud services are designed and deployed to meet a broad range of global computing needs. From integrated and hybrid cloud designs to fully virtualized cloud data center solutions, Savvis cloud services deliver business agility and can transform enterprises through maximum scalability and security, seamless migration, a flexible engagement model and superior performance for even the most mission-critical of business requirements.

The Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting was published on March 5, 2012 . The Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service report was published on Dec. 8, 2011 . Both reports were authored by Gartner analysts Ted Chamberlin and Lydia Leong .

The evaluation for both reports was based on vendors’ completeness of vision, including market understanding, offering strategy and innovation, among other criteria. The Magic Quadrant also assesses ability to execute, which includes capabilities, overall viability and customer experience.

About the Magic Quadrant

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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