• Providers share their 2012 cloud outlook

    Cloud outlook 2012: Cloud providers open up their playbooks -- Boardroom Man Clouds WindowWhat's the outlook for the cloud provider market in 2012? The simple answer: Lots of growth. But, of course, nothing about cloud computing can be stated so simply. In such a diverse and immature market, it's only natural that the cloud outlook for 2012 be as nuanced and debatable as the definition of "public cloud."

    Instead of asking cloud providers to make grandiose predictions about the general direction of the market, we asked four of them to share their own strategies for the coming year, as well as the most valuable lessons they learned in 2011. Each cloud provider profiled in this Q&A series has a unique heritage -- network operator, hosting provider, colocation provider and cloud broker -- which gives them all a slightly different cloud outlook, and gives us a broad range of perspectives on the market.

  • Tackling cloud security risks

    Security is one of the most important criteria enterprises take into account when choosing a cloud provider. Therefore, security-minded cloud providers can earn the role of trusted partners if they satisfy customers' cloud security needs. A cloud provider’s business will grow quickly if it leads in transparency and security.

    It is undeniable that enterprises hesitate to embrace cloud services because of potential security risks, posing a delicate situation for cloud providers to remediate. This learning guide will outline the major cloud security challenges providers face. It will also teach them how to put potential clients at ease and how a provider’s leadership in cloud security can heighten their status in the market.

    In this SearchCloudProvider.com guide, our contributors share their expertise on various business-related and technical cloud-security issues. This guide also includes an extensive Q&A with Bryan Doerr, chief technology officer of Savvis, who discusses in detail the cloud-computing security issues facing providers. This collection of resources arms cloud providers with valuable information about the cloud-security anxieties customers experience and what can be done to put their fears at ease -- giving cloud providers the edge they need to successfully maintain revenue and customer growth.

  • Cloud Provider IT Decision Center

    This collection of technical features mirrors the service provider purchasing process and addresses the main phases of deciding what product or service to buy and deploy:

    1. Tying business needs to technology
    2. Gathering information: The Request for Information (RFI)
    3. Questions to ask your vendors
    4. Decision time: Final differentiators to make a vendor selection

    Part one of this guide looks at taking a business need and addressing it with technology solutions. Part two looks at conducting your technology review of product features required to fit your business case and is followed in part three by a list of the 10 most important questions you should ask your final vendors so you can compare their products. And finally, part four looks beyond product feature lists to the more hidden aspects that can make all the difference -- like knowing when to trade speed for price, SLAs and global support. Start to finish, it's all here.

  • Cloud disaster recovery guide: The value of DRaaS

    No one lives in a protective bubble. So as long as there are natural disasters and technical failures, customers will continue to regard disaster recovery (DR) and cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) as valuable services. That means it's important for cloud providers to brush up on the latest DR tips, definitions and other resources to successfully enter the DRaaS provider market and remain competitive.

    We've collected our most noteworthy resources on cloud-based DR in one convenient disaster recovery guide to answer all your questions and help you decide if launching a DRaaS offering is the right move for you.

  • The future of cloud computing: 2013

    January can be a bleak month for a lot of people. You might be battling the post-holiday blues or grappling with that New Year's resolution that sounded like such a good idea at the time.

    We have something that can help lift your spirits. As 2013 begins to unfold, it's time to start looking ahead to the future of cloud computing, and our one-on-one interviews with cloud providers and expert forecasts reveal that there are new and exciting developments on the horizon for the future of the cloud. Get access here to all of our content analyzing the best of 2012 and what to expect in 2013, including Q&As with cloud market leaders and a tip that will make you believe our experts can actually see the future.

  • Go green or go home: Green cloud computing guide for service providers

    As demand for cloud services continues to increase, so too does the energy consumption of service providers' data centers and, ultimately, their negative impact on the environment. Although some providers are actively trying to reduce the irreversible damage that high-carbon emissions their facilities wreak on the environment, most providers have other prerogatives that take precedence.

    Environmental responsibility for its own sake might not be topping the priority lists of many cloud providers, but perhaps it should. Here's why: High energy consumption results in high operational costs, which eat away at overall profits.

    Going green doesn't have to be a daunting task. SearchCloudProvider.com has many resources that can help you explore ways to improve energy efficiency in your cloud services environment without hassle.

  • IPv6 basics: Your guide to living in an IPv6 world

    As Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses continue to diminish to the point of exhaustion, cloud providers and network administrators will soon be forced to start making nice with Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). IPv6 is the latest version of the IP and is essentially an IPv4 upgrade that lengthened IP addresses from 32 bits to 128 bits. Understanding the importance of IPv6 readiness and capabilities can improve your cloud offerings, but it's hard to take advantage of something you don't fully understand. The editors at SearchCloudProvider realize that it can be hard to wrap your head around all of this IPv6 chatter and hype, so we've put together all of our IPv6-related resources in one easy-to-navigate location. Take some time to explore the IPv6 basics with our tips and expert responses, brought to you by IPv6 and cloud computing expert Ciprian Popoviciu, and find out how to take full advantage of all that IPv6 has to offer.

  • Implementing a successful SaaS business model

    Software as a Service (SaaS) has huge profit potential for cloud providers, but finding success in this highly competitive market requires finesse. Are you equipped to make it in the SaaS market, or are you destined to fall short?

    Although SaaS delivers the highest value to customers, compared to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), providers can't expect to be successful in the SaaS market by going in blind. There are a lot of factors to consider when launching a SaaS portfolio -- including sales techniques, partnership opportunities, financial issues, technical considerations, customer expectations and more.

    The SaaS business model can be a key element to a cloud provider's portfolio, but it needs to be executed right. Our SaaS guide for cloud providers offers a collection of tips and best practices to help you get started in this market.

  • FAQ: Addressing cloud computing security concerns

    The confusion that surrounds cloud security can be a source of anxiety for cloud providers and potential customers -- stalling adoption and hindering confidence in the technology. That's why the ability to address cloud computing security concerns with certainty and ensure the safety of sensitive information in the cloud can be a game changer in the eyes of most customers.

    But customers aren't the only ones with questions. Providers face their own challenges in identifying cloud security issues and discussing them with customers. Get ahead of any questions or concerns that come your way with this FAQ guide for providers.