Skytap introduces organizational policy management for its IaaS cloud

Skytap (known as Illumita during its stealth mode) is a US startup that entered the (almost empty) virtual lab automation market segment in April 2008
In March 2009 it secured $7M in a second round of funding and started changing its focus and go-to-market strategy: its technology is evolving from a hosted virtual lab automation platform to a fully featured automation framework for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds.

After its Round B, the company greatly accelerated its effort in cloud computing, introducing support for IPSec VPNs, enhanced collaboration capabilities, support for network automation and multi-tier networks, a very interesting integration with the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suite Google Apps, and even an OEM deal with Citrix to use NetScaler VPX inside what is now called the Skytap Cloud.

Skytap even hired a number of new executives:

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UBS Securities predicts Amazon AWS revenue to reach $500M this year

So far Amazon has been very quiet about the financial results of its Web Services (AWS) business division. In its Q2 2010 earnings call the company didn’t provide a breakdown of the revenue and not a single financial analyst in the call pushed the CEO or the CFO to disclose some hard numbers about EC2 and S3.

So it’s with a lot of interest that the market is reading a financial forecast about AWS published today by UBS Securities.

The investment firm reports:

AWS revenue has been relatively immaterial compared with overall AMZN revenue, but this is starting to change. We estimate AWS revenues of $500MM in 2010 and $750MM in 2011, in a $5-6B market growing to $15-20B by 2014 (roughly 35% CAGR). EPS is $0.13 in F2010 and $0.22 in F2011. Using 4.5-5.0x EV/Sales, this yields a $3.4-3.8B valuation for AWS (roughly $7-8 a share).

K7 Computing launches Cyclozzo, an on-premises clone of Google App Engine

Last week covered AppScale, an open source clone of the Google Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud computing platform called App Engine (GAE).
The AppScale platform is able to run both Python and Java GAE applications, but apparently it’s not the only one.

At least another company in fact is offering what seems the same thing: K7 Computing, an Indian software reseller founded in 1991.

In February 2009 the company recently acquired BinaryKarma, an Indian startup focused on virtualization that launched its first product in May 2008.

Converted in the cloud computing division of K7 Computing, BinaryKarma (now K7 Cloud Solutions) launched a new product in mid-July: Cyclozzo, another on-premises clone of Google App Engine.

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Mark Russinovich joins the Windows Azure team

Mark Russinovich is a legendary figure in the IT world because of his company Sysinternals.
He did so much reverse engineering of the Windows kernel that he ended up knowing it as much as the Microsoft architects. Microsoft acquired his company in 2006 and appointed him as Technical Fellow.

So far, his job has been related to the development of the Windows kernel (Windows 7 and beyond), taking care that its architecture was fully virtualization-aware.
Now a Microsoft developer evangelist, Matthijs Hoekstra, reports that he moved to the Windows Azure team.

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Cloud will happen in government, but it will happen cautiously says former US CIO

Just last week covered the launch of Google App for Government, a special version of the Google Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suite that has stronger security capabilities to meet US government requirements.
But while Google creates the opportunity, former US government executives suggests to verify that opportunity carefully.

Earlier today FutureGov in fact published an interview with Hord Tipton, who has been the CIO of US Ministry of the Interior for five years. Hord is now the Executive Director of the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2.

Tipton said a number of interesting things:

For the private sector, losing data is highly inconvenient. For government, it could mean losing a person’s identity, or worse where critical infrastructure is concerned. People could get killed if data is lost.

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Google App Engine PaaS cloud can run on-premises with AppScale

So far the definition of private cloud computing has been mainly applid to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds. But private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) clouds can exist too.

The Google PaaS cloud called App Engine (GAE), for example, can be deployed on-premises thanks to an open source implementation called AppScale.

AppScale is developed and maintained by some researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), in the Research on Adaptive Compilation Environments (RACE)Lab.

Version 1.3 of the platform, released in December 2009 under the New BSD License, supports both Python and Java GAE applications.
It also supports a wide choice of backend database, including HBase, Hypertable, MySQL, Cassandra, Voldemort, MongoDB, and MemcacheDB.

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C12G Labs announces OpenNebula 2.0 beta program

In the last few months C12G Labs has greatly accelerated the development of its management console for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing platforms: OpenNebula.

The imminent launch of VMware vCloud Service Director (vCSD), set for early September, and the Red Hat announced plans to acquire new companies in the cloud computing space, pushed the startup to support both the vCloud API and the Deltacloud API.

Now, trying to leverage the momentum generated by Rackspace and its OpenStack, C12G Labs announces the OpenNebula 2.0 beta program.

The new release includes some major additions and improvements, including:

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DMTF started working on a cloud computing standard API

The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) has an Open Cloud Standards Incubator since April 2009.
The group is working on interoperability standards for the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing market and includes among its members top industry players like: AMD, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Savvis, Sun Microsystems, and VMware.

The Incubator team last week released a couple of new documents that describe how standardized interfaces and data formats can be used to manage clouds:

The first one 75-pages whitepaper focuses on use cases, interactions, and data formats.
It covers anagement use cases across the entire lifecycle of a cloud service, interaction sequences between consumers, developers, and providers to implement the use cases, as well as data artifacts exchanged in the interaction sequences.

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Deltacloud now part of Apache Incubator

The meta-API for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing platforms called Deltacoud, an open source project supported by Red Hat, has been moved into the Apache Incubator facility at the beginning of this month.

Apache Incubator is a code repository and development sharing facility for those open source solutions that want to become official Apache Software Foundation (ASF) projects, like Apache Web Server, Hadoop, SpamAssassin, Subversion and many others.

Once a project has been submitted to the Incubator, the ASF checks if it meets the proper legal requirements and then starts building a community around it to facilitate its development.

Red Hat, which is building a cloud computing management solution on top of Deltacloud, has probably pushed in this direction to further accelerate the development. 
Now that Rackspace has launched OpenStack, the Deltacloud API and the Rackspace API will both try to be the de facto industry standard meta-API, and Red Hat has to hit the market before Openstack gets any serious traction.

The Cloud Security Alliance launches the CCSK security certification

Yesterday the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) announced a security certification called Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), a new exam designed to ensure that a broad range of professionals with a responsibility related to cloud computing have a demonstrated awareness of the security threats and best practices for securing the cloud.

Priced $259 and available starting September 1st, the CCSK consists in a web-based examination with multiple choices about the body of knowledge described in the CSA Guidance v2.1 and the ENISA risk assessment Cloud Computing: Benefits, Risks and Recommendations for Information Security released in 2009.