Rackspace introduces auto scaling to its public cloud offering

Auto scale is, in my opinion, one of the core features that a potential customer must evaluate in order to choose a cloud provider.

In short, auto scale is the feature that allows virtual servers to obtain new resources on demand without the need of a reboot.

AWS has implemented this technology in 2009, Google Compute and Microsoft Azure offer auto scale too even if its introduction was not exactly flawless.

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Salesforce acquires Cloudconnect

Salesforce.com, company headquartered in San Francisco and famous for its CRM platform, quietly acquired Cloudconnect, a startup which produce, or produced, a developer tool that allowed to access customer data through a unified database containing all CRM, social and web data.
There are not many details on the acquisition, it was not publicized at all and no press release has been made available, only on Cloudconnect’s website there is a short announcement telling that the company has been acquired by Salesforce.com and that it is now part of Heroku, a Salesforce.com company.

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Amazon announces Desktop-as-a-Service offering

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced at their 2013 re:Invent  summit the company will start a Desktop-as-a-Service (Daas) offering. Amazon WorkSpaces as the service is called is a fully managed Windows 7 experience which will  be available in four different bundles named Standard, Standard Plus, Performance and Performance Plus.

The Standard bundle offers 1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB of memory, and 50 GB of persistent user storage. All of the bundles include Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9, and 7-Zip, among other utilities. The Plus bundles also offer Microsoft Office.

Pricing starts at $ 35 per month for Standard to $ 75 per month for the Performance Plus bundle. The service is currently available as a Limited Preview. Amazon did not provide information on a general availability date.

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CSC acquires ServiceMesh

Computer Sciences Corporation, better known as CSC, the multinational headquartered in Virginia, USA, announced the acquisition of Santa Monica-based ServiceMesh, an enterprise-grade cloud management provider specialized in automation of the deployment and management of enterprise applications and platforms across private, public and hybrid cloud environments.

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Tech: Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2012 R2

Microsoft has updated its Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2012 R2. The Performance Tuning Guidelines provides a set of guidelines that you can use to tune the server settings in Windows Server 2012 R2 and obtain incremental performance or energy efficiency gains, especially when the nature of the workload varies little over time.

The Guideline describes important tuning considerations and settings that can result in improved performance or energy efficiency. It also describes each setting and its potential effect to help you make an informed decision about its relevance to your system, workload, performance, and energy usage goals.

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Cisco announces its Application Virtual Switch, will most likely not hop on the NSX bandwagon.

Cisco last week announced a new virtual switch type called the Application Virtual Switch (AVS). The AVS is designed to be part of the Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) range of products and services. In the ACI architecture, applications drive networking behavior, not the other way around. Pre-defined application requirements and descriptions (“policy templates”) automate the provisioning of the network – virtual and physical, application services, security policies, tenant subnets and workload placement. The switch will be made available for several hypervisor platforms: vSphere, Hyper-V and KVM/Xen.

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Book: Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Technical Overview

Microsoft has released a free eBook titled:"Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Technical Overview". The book which contains around 300 pages is intended to provide you with an overview of the new features and enhancements introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2. The intended audience for this book is IT pros who deploy, manage, and maintain Windows Server workloads in data center, private cloud, and hosting provider environments.

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Paper: AWS Security Best Practices – November 2013

AWS shared responsibility model is still difficult to understand for many IT administrators who approach to the public clouds world.

Amazon’s paper AWS Security Best Practices, available in AWS Security Resource page, starts from this model as a foundation and then provides a list of security best practices and an overview of different security topics to help existing and potential customers who are designing a security infrastructure for applications running in Amazon Web Services.

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Midokura and Puppet Enterprise annouce Network Virtualization Certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform

During the Openstack Summit Midokura and Puppet Labs announced Network Virtualization Certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Midokura, Japanese startup, focused on network virtualization and based in San Francisco, Barcelona and Tokyo, announced Red Hat certification for MidoNet, its network virtualization solution for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Formerly named Reductive Labs, now Puppet Labs, based in Portland, Oregon provide IT automation software that enables system administrators to deliver the operational agility and efficiency of cloud computing at enterprise-class service levels, scaling from handfuls of nodes on-premise to tens of thousands in the cloud.

MidoNet is a scalable Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) product that transforms the physical network from operational backbone to enterprise – ready private cloud foundation built on the OpenStack community project, integrated with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

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