EMC launches IaaS Cloud Architect Certifications

EMC has announced the availability of two new cloud-related certification tracks. The first one is called EMC Cloud Architect (EMCCA) en the second one is called EMC Data Center Architect (EMCDCA). The tracks are targeted towards architects, designers and consultants who will be responsible for designing highly virtualized cloud-ready infrastructures a.k.a. IT as a Service (IaaS) environments. Both certifications will be ‘Open’ curriculum based training and certification focused on technology concepts and principles applicable to any vendor environment.

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Amazon introduces new features for CloudWatch

Amazon has announced some new features for its CloudWatch monitoring tool. CloudWatch is a web service providing real-time monitoring to Amazons Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) platform which provides Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

The new features announced and detailed at the hyperlink are:

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VMware releases .NET and PHP SDKs for vCloud API

With a post on his personal blog, Mike DiPetrillo, Principal Systems Engineer at VMware, announces that his company has extended the vCloud API support to Microsoft .NET and PHP languages.

At the beginning of November in fact, VMware released the vCloud SDK for .NET 1.0, supporting the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008.
Similarly, the company released the vCloud SDK for PHP 1.0, supporting PHP 5.3.1 or later.

The company released the vCloud API 1.0 specifications in early September, along with the first version of vCloud Director, its management solution for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds.
At that time the company only offered support for the Java language.

Red Hat acquires Makara

Red Hat has acquired Makara, a developer of deployment and management solutions for applications in the cloud. With this acquisition Red Hat wants to accelerate the development of their Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution called Cloud Foundations. Red Hat didn’t disclose what they paid for Makara.

Makara’s Cloud Application Platform provides solutions for deploying, managing, monitoring and scaling applications in the cloud. It includes an infrastructure management component to provision and automatically scale virtual machines.

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Rackspace launches a $1/day DaaS offering – UPDATED

Rackspace, which provides hosting and cloud solutions will be offering a Desktop as a Service solution using the Desktone Platform 3 hosted VDI solution, as announced by a press release from Desktone. Pricing for the solution will start at $30 per desktop per month, which is almost equal to $1 a day.

By partnering with Desktone, Rackspace can now offer a competitive solution against the recent announcement made beginning this month by tuCloud, which offers a DaaS solution together with Kaviza. This solution offers a Desktop as a Service solution for $29.99 per month.

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Abiquo announces Series B Funding in order to raise 10 Million dollars

Abiquo, a company which provides cloud management software has announced a Series B funding in order to collect 10 Million dollar which it will use to expand global sales, marketing and customer support efforts and expand the senior team. The funding will be led by Balderton Capital, which is a venture capital firm in Europe, and the current investors, Nauta Capital and Eurecan also participate. Abiquo was founded in 2006, and was covered for the first time on virtualization.info in March this year when it secured 5.1 Million dollar.

Bernard Liautaud, who is partner at Balderton Capital will join the Board of Directors of Abiquo. Liautaud was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Business Objects, which was acquired by SAP in 2007.

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Xen Cloud Platform hits 1.0 beta

Just before Thanksgiving, Xen.org released the first beta of the long awaited Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) 1.0.

XCP can be considered an evolution of Citrix XenServer, as described by Citrix itself:

XCP is taken directly from the XenServer code base with the removal of the source code for the Microsoft drivers as well as the binaries for the XenCenter management solution that runs on Windows. The products are identical beyond that. The only real issue in terms of production is that XCP will always be ahead of the XenServer product as Citrix and other companies use XCP as a place to trial new features before they are released in a stable “production” / “supported” product. It really depends on the level of support you need and if you want to be the first kid on the block with the new product.

Originally announced in early September 2009, XCP has been in development for almost one year before reaching version 0.5, its first, stable, production-ready build.
Version 1.0 introduces a few platform modifications and improvements, including:

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Amazon EC2 receives ISO 27001 certification

Amazon has received the ISO 27001 certification for its Infrastructure as a Service platform: EC2. Amazon received this certification after completing a SAS 70 type II audit a year earlier.

ISO 27001 certification is an information security standard. Its full name is: ISO/IEC 27001:2005 – Information technology — Security techniques — Information security management systems — Requirements. ISO 27001 specifies the management system needed to bring information security under explicit management control. SAS 70 certification specifies the depth of security and controls by thorough investigation and testing of each defined control.

Goal of this certification is that Amazon can prove to its customers a certain maturity for its cloud computing platform EC2.

Microsoft extends MAP support to Azure

Microsoft has made available a beta of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit version 5.5 which now supports assessment for migration to Windows Azure and SQL Azure. MAP provides agentless discovery,assessment capabilities and reporting which can help with planning upgrade- or migration projects for Microsoft technologies.

The Windows Azure assessment inventories web applications and SQL Server database instances in the environment and reports the information you need to plan the migration of these on-premises workloads to the Windows Azure Services Platform and Microsoft SQL Azure Database.

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Amazon offers direct access to GPU in EC2, how much before DaaS?

With an unprecedented move, today Amazon announced a new feature for its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing platform EC2: direct access to its graphics processing units (GPUs).

So far the access to GPUs has been impossible because of the abstraction provided by hypervisors that power EC2: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Xen, and more recently Oracle VM.
While display card direct access can be provided to a virtual machine thanks to technologies like Intel VT-d and AMD IOMMU, Amazon never leveraged them inside its cloud infrastructure.
Now the company is providing a new kind of instance, called Cluster GPU, which provides exactly this: direct access to a pair of NVIDIA Tesla M2050 (codename Fermi) GPUs.

These GPUs come with 448 cores and 3GB ECC RAM each. With them, Amazon is stuffing inside the same instance two Intel Quad-Core X5570 CPUs, 22GB RAM, almost 2TB of local storage and 10Gbps Ethernet.
Any EC2 customer can have up to 8 of these virtual machines, with more available on demand.

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