IBM Plans To Build 15 Data Centers To Expand Its Global Cloud Footprint

Last month IBM announced plans to invest $1.2 billion in expanding its cloud footprint. IBM will deliver cloud services from 25 existing data centers and 15 new data centers in 2014. In the Asia Pacific region, IBM plans to open new data centers in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, and Japan.
 
In the last two quarters of 2013, leading cloud hosting vendors announced plans to set up new data centers in Asia Pacific. Given the growing data privacy concerns among enterprises in the region, this momentum will only increase in 2014.
 
IBM’s cloud will accelerate cloud adoption among enterprise customers. Regional data centers will give IBM customers the ability to control the placement of their data and get consistent performance without worrying about the financial stability of the service provider. IBM aims to overcome customers’ concerns about a shared public cloud by offering the flexibility to host a completely dedicated private cloud in an IBM data center.
 
To accelerate the adoption of IBM’s cloud, the company should use an integrated end-to-end solution for business stakeholders and drive business growth by focusing on satisfying its existing enterprise customers.
 
To see Forrester’s recommendations, check out the full report.

Meghraj, India's Government Cloud Infrastructure, Goes Live

India's government cloud infrastructure, Meghraj, goes live today. The government cloud (g-cloud) now offers infrastructure-, platform-, storage-, and software-as-a-service for the Indian public sector.
 
A fortnight ago, my colleague Manish Bahl and I published a report that highlighted the opportunities and challenges of cloud adoption in the public sector. Three-quarters of the Indian public sector organizations we interviewed indicated that addressing the rising expectations of citizens and ensuring that they are satisfied is their top business priority. Over the next decade, the Indian government’s g-cloud approach will drive major changes in the types of services it delivers — not just to citizens but also to employees and businesses by 1) rolling out services faster and reaping the desired benefits earlier, 2) optimizing the use of infrastructure while reducing management overhead, and 3) reducing bureaucracy and increasing transparency.
 
While the government’s efforts to centralize services via the g-cloud is commendable, we believe that the initiative will be successful if the government can overcome three fundamental challenges:

  • A lack of common policies will challenge application reuse.  The problem is significant in India due to the diversity of the federal structure and the disjointed, disparate IT initiatives of the central and state governments. The government will face challenges in getting the various departments to use common policies and a shared g-cloud infrastructure.
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Case Study: News UK Transformed Its Data Center To Become More Agile

Data center procurement approaches have significantly changed in the past five years. While many CIOs are following a cloud-first approach to commissioning new services, most enterprises struggle to move the majority of their infrastructure to public clouds due to application interdependencies and legacy infrastructure silos.

As profiled in my recently published case study, in 2008 News UK was one of a few news media companies embarking on infrastructure transformation. The firm’s data center transformation delivered a modern, agile, lean, and resilient infrastructure in a colocated data center with automated disaster recovery and business continuity. The case study highlights the significance of migration and consolidation as a step towards collocating your data center or migrating services to the cloud. Below are some highlights from the report:

  • Transformation areas: virtualization, compute, storage, and network. News UK had an aggressive timetable to review public cloud offerings and make strategic investments to help it smoothly transition to delivering IT infrastructure via the public cloud. The firm considered all aspects of IT infrastructure delivery and implemented the latest technologies to achieve its transformation goals. Key areas of focus included virtualization, compute and operating systems, and storage and networking.
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India Technology Market 2014 Predictions

By Sudhanshu Bhandari and Manish Bahl

India is going through a tough time: Poor policy, delayed reforms, the free fall of the rupee against major currencies, multibillion-dollar scams, and political gridlock are all negatively affecting the country’s growth. However, we anticipate the Indian economy will start picking up — albeit at a slower rate — in 2014, mainly due to good monsoons, improving exports, and huge infrastructure projects that should launch once a new central government is in place.

Forrester’s Asia Pacific (AP) analyst team has just published its 2014 technology predictions report. What top trends will be critical to the Indian market?

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Revive Your Oracle Database Consolidation Program

Oracle launched the new Oracle Database 12c in July of this year. This release is intended to address the needs of infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals for faster infrastructure provisioning and higher consolidation densities to lower overall support costs. In the past, Oracle Database consolidation initiatives were hindered by product limitations in areas like data isolation, privileges, resource allocation, and naming conventions. However, with Oracle Database 12c, enterprises can consolidate databases more efficiently, without the need to worry about data isolation or application code changes.

Based on Oracle’s published pricing sheet, we estimate that existing Oracle Database customers can potentially save up to $27,500 per year on Oracle support fees and free up licenses worth an additional $125,000 by consolidating four Oracle databases (for a single processor license). We did not include Oracle’s Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) or any discount in this calculation.

The potential cost savings are clearly compelling to many I&O professionals across Asia Pacific. However, before deciding whether Oracle Database 12c is right for your organization, consider some key recommendations:

  • Take another look at your database consolidation opportunities. Do this before purchasing new Oracle Database licenses or renewing the annual support contract with Oracle. The best place to start is by consolidating databases hosted on the same server. Consolidate these databases before buying a new Oracle Database license, as there are additional license and annual support fees associated with enabling the multitenancy feature within 12c. Your annual support fees will keep increasing if you do not act.
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What APAC Infrastructure & Operations professionals should learn from recent natural disasters

The recent flooding in Uttarakhand, India reminded me of last November 2012, when I was in Boston during hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the US East Coast. There’s a lot of similarity I can draw between New York and Mumbai - both have a large number of key data centers in close proximity to business centers, both are quite vulnerable to floods, and both have a history of terrorist attacks.

Regardless of continent and country, the number of natural disasters is increasing. As stated by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Head for Asia Pacific, extreme weather events are likely to become both more frequent and severe in the future. Asia Pacific (AP) in particular is the world's most disaster prone area. Apart from Uttarakhand there have been a number of natural disasters in the last decade, including the Tsunami and Earthquakes in Japan, Floods in Thailand, and the Mumbai Floods in 2005. Floods are the most common natural disaster, followed by extreme storms and earthquakes. In the case of hurricane Sandy, dozens of data centers in the New York City metropolitan area were impacted.

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