Tag Archives: Cloud computing

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

Tech Q&A: What is cloud computing?

Question: What is cloud computing?

Answer: Everyone is talking about cloud computing.  So, what exactly is it and it is right for your business? Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet).

The real question is should you use a hosted or non-hosted cloud? In other words, does your company want to own the system or lease it?

We’re firm believers that owning is a better solution. There are so many variables in cloud computing that no one takes into consideration. Where are you geographically located? How reliable is your internet connect? Can you survive without access to your cloud system? These are just a few things to think about.

Some benefits of cloud computing are lower overhead and system maintenance. Lower cost of ownership and upgrades. To determine which solution is best you really need to sit with a IT consultant and map out the big picture of your company.

Eric Marcus is CEO of Tempe-based Marcus Networking, which specializes in telecommunications centered on phone systems, cabling, and the network infrastructure also known as the “backbone.” Read more about Eric Marcus in the January issue of Az Business magazine.

magirus group - data center

Avnet Agrees To Acquire Magirus Group

Avnet, Inc. announced that it has agreed to acquire the Magirus Group, a leading pan-European distributor of data center solutions and services. Magirus Group is a leading value-add distributor of software, systems and related services encompassing virtualization, storage management, cloud computing, security, intelligent networks and information life-cycle management services. Through its professional services portfolio and knowledge of the IT sector, Magirus Group enables business partners to take new technologies to market in eleven markets throughout Europe and the Middle East. The transaction, which is subject to normal regulatory approvals, is expected to close in October 2012.

Phil Gallagher, president of Avnet Technology Solutions, Global, commented, “The acquisition of Magirus will significantly enhance our competitive position in Europe and the Middle East by expanding our suite of solutions in high-growth technologies. Magirus increased its revenue 20 percent in calendar 2011, delivering powerful, flexible and cost-effective data center solutions from a breadth of suppliers, including Cisco, VMware and EMC. We welcome the knowledge and expertise of their talented management team and staff, who will allow us to further enhance the value we provide to our customers and suppliers.”

Founded in 1981, Magirus Group has 400 business and technical professionals that help over 4,500 resellers, system integrators and IT service providers develop and deploy IT infrastructure solutions that bring together traditional server, storage and network operations so that constantly changing business requirements can be supported more efficiently. Its services span demand generation, pre-sales, consultancy, training, certification, implementation as well as support from its pan-European, multi-lingual support center. Magirus generated revenue of approximately US$530 million in the 2011 calendar year, and will be integrated into Avnet Technology Solutions’ EMEA business.

Graeme Watt, president, Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA added, “Magirus is a high quality focused business and represents an excellent expansion to our current operations as it adds complementary product lines across the region while meaningfully increasing our scale in important markets including Germany and France. Magirus’ position with market-leading suppliers in high growth technologies will bolster our solutions practices and create significant cross-selling opportunities in the combined customer base. Its business model is a strong fit with our strategy to provide more value-add services, and the combined expertise of both organizations will enable us to accelerate the success of our customers and suppliers.”

This acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings and achieve Avnet’s return on capital goal of 12.5% within two years.

For more information on Avnet and Magirus Group, visit Avnet’s website at avnet.com and visit Magirus Group’s website magirus.com.

Cloud Space

CX Claims Its Space In The Cloud

CX Inc. has declared its emergence in Cloud Space.

The company, whose initials stand for “cloud experience,” is a consumer-focused cloud computing company backed by TomorrowVentures and Hanna Capital with offices in Phoenix/Scottsdale; Palo Alto, Calif.; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. TomorrowVentures is the venture capital enterprise of Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.

“The Cloud” is a term that essentially refers to the Internet as a whole. When users access data on the Internet, Cloud Service data centers, managed by a third party, store and access that data. The data is securely stored and becomes available through the Internet itself, independent of what users have stored in their personal computers’ hard drives.

With CX Inc.’s cloud storage and data file management system, users have access to a safe platform in order to backup, synchronize, share and manage documents, photos, music and videos across various devices – including desktop computers, laptops, netbooks and mobile devices.

Brad Robertson, who has had 20 years of experience with technology startups, is the CEO of CX Inc. He says he hopes to offer users the most comprehensive and intuitive cloud management platform “bar none.”

Robertson says social networks, at the center of the digital universe, have irreversibly changed communication and group social dynamics. He says he believes the current model is imperfect, though, because users and files rely on the “Masters of the Universe.”

“At CX we intend to change all that,” said Robertson. He says he believed the future of social networks will be designed so that users are the “master of their own universe” and will dictate how their files are used and shared, taking control away from a “social hub behemoth.”

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing: Better, Faster, Cheaper?

Cloud computing is the latest buzzword in information technology (IT), and depending on who you talk to, you will get a different answer as to what exactly cloud computing really means.

Some refer to cloud computing as SaaS (Software as a Service), utility computing, managed services, Web services, outsourcing, etc. The term is so hot as a marketing tool that every business wants to somehow be associated with it, making it that much harder to define. While a popular buzzword, cloud computing also has very real and beneficial practical applications.

Cloud computing is not the first and it will not be the last buzzword used in IT. The one constant in IT is change and it occurs at a rate much faster than in most other industries. Ultimately, the drive behind the spread of cloud computing as both a marketing term and practical business application is the bottom line. Better, faster, cheaper is always something that technology providers and consumers want.

Efficiency and performance are touted with cloud computing because they are two of the key metrics in every business decision. They are critical measurements of success in any process/technology improvement or investment. No organization should invest in a project if it does not measurably improve the status quo, and efficiency and performance are two quantifiable ways to track this. In IT, servers, disk (storage), memory, space and power consumption are all easily quantified, and gains or declines in efficiency and performance can be measured down to the second.

Historically, many organizations have failed to look at these IT components individually or even at an aggregate level to measure the true cost of their IT infrastructure. Now, organizations large and small are determining that building, owning and operating their IT infrastructure is one of the most significant operating expenses they have. A principal reason for this is that most organizations operate their IT infrastructure very inefficiently, as IT is not their core competency. This inefficiency can be tracked from their internal data center (typically a small space in their office) through their individual servers. The data center is the heart of an IT infrastructure providing power, conditioned air, and telco connectivity, all to support the server and associated infrastructure. Independent studies have shown that the average server utilization is less than 20 percent. Even if the server is only using 20 percent of the resources, it is using 100 percent of the power. This type of inefficiency is very common.

Directly associated with cloud computing and its expanding recognition is virtualization. Virtualization, like cloud computing, has many definitions depending on who you are talking to, but the simplest explanation is that virtualization allows the resources of various types of hardware to be shared.

Virtualization has exploded in no small part due to VMware’s ESX software. ESX is software that allows organizations to run multiple different operating systems on the same computer. These operating systems run separately and securely from the others, but allow for utilization of the same memory, processor, storage and power, based on the individual operating system needs. This is an example of how increased efficiencies and performance can be gained with virtualization and, by proxy, cloud computing. No longer is there a one-to-one relationship between an operating system and a server. Individual servers running on a server with virtualization software can run optimally, utilizing resources from the pool as needed and giving them back when they are not.

So what is cloud computing, and is it truly better, cheaper and faster than a traditional architecture? Cloud computing is so nebulous at this time there is no clear answer.

The answer to the second part of the question is a little more straightforward, and that answer is yes — but a qualified yes. Consumers need to be aware of the “pretenders” that are offering cloud computing services and also be aware of the level of service they can expect. Whether they are working with a large provider that is trying to sell subscriptions to their unused space or a small cloud computing provider that is pushing very poorinfrastructure, they need to understand exactly what they are getting. Consumers need to know that they are receiving better efficiency and performance per dollar spent. It is beneficial to work with providers that are exclusively operating in this segment who do one thing extremely well.