GoCloud’s Weekly Hosted Desktop News Roundup: #7

IBM & Polycom in Video Conferencing alliance, HP & Microsoft collaborate on private cloud, Personal cloud expected to hit half billion subscriptions this year

IBM and Polycom have teamed up in an effort to bring video conferencing to the cloud to provide Video-as-a-Service (VaaS). Polycom currently already have a video platform of their own, ‘Polycom RealPresence’, which IBM are now helping to put through a testing program.

This will ensure that the product abides by security and performance standards when deploying such services to the cloud. Once this testing process has been completed, it’s hoped that the two companies can provide a way for businesses to take advantage of VaaS, without the need for additional office equipment to be installed.

“Together with Polycom, we can help customers prepare for the future of this industry, whether they choose premises-based video solutions or private, public, or hybrid cloud delivery models,” said Ken King, vice-president of business development for IBM Research.

“Ultimately, it’s about helping Polycom develop new, innovative video products on a cloud computing platform that creates systems across various industry verticals. By co-developing with Polycom, we can help customers collaborate and make decisions more quickly.”

Whilst no information has yet been released as to when the system may be available, it will be marketed as a Polycom product and both companies hope that the technology will appeal to enterprises and service providers alike.

HP & Microsoft collaborate on private cloud

Technology big boys HP & Microsoft are to join forces again in order “to expand HP's Converged Cloud portfolio with a joint service aimed at simplifying and enhancing a customer's private cloud”.

The “Joint Private Cloud” initiative combines elements from the technologies of both companies and is made up of three main elements, with HP acting as the single point of contact for Windows Server 2012 and System Centre 2012 SP1.

Both companies have also integrated their respective management systems to enable HP Insight to work with MS System Centre software, with HP supplying their ProLiant servers. The collaboration will allow for live migration so that businesses can "move virtual machines between sites up to 100 kilometres (sic) apart without disrupting end users," according to the announcement made by HP.

"Through this relationship with Microsoft, we're providing customers with a trusted, single-source experience to provide them an easy on-ramp to cloud," HP Enterprise Group senior vice president Stephen DeWitt said.

Personal cloud expected to hit half a billion users

Analysts at IHS have predicted that personal cloud users will hit half a billion subscriptions by the end of 2012, with further growth expected for the next five years minimum. It’s also estimated that there could 1.3bn personal subscribers by 2017, with many consumers opting to use cloud offerings such as Amazon Cloud Drive, iCloud and Google Drive.

The analysts believe that this will mean bad news for services such as Dropbox, as those that offer storage-only solutions will decline. This is due to the large part that IHS believes mobile network operators will play in offering cloud storage services to existing customers.

"Wireless operators are uniquely positioned to provide such a digital vault -- or trusted hub -- for digital media assets," the firm said in a recent report. "Unlike Google and Facebook, wireless operators and carriers do not need to mine the data for marketing purposes.”

Both consumer and enterprise spending in the public cloud is expected to rise from $23bn in 2010 to $110bn by 2015, representing a 52% increase in cloud subscription services within that time period.

“Cloud computing is a convenient, on-demand service over the Internet, through which users can pay for applications or storage space provided by a third party based only on the amount used,” said Jagdish Rebello, Ph.D., senior director and principal analyst for communications and consumer electronics at IHS.

He went on to explain that due to the elasticity of the cloud, providers have the ability to allow for increasing demand without the need to heavily invest in new hardware and storage capacity.

“Cloud computing, while still having to address issues of compliance and security among others, is a game changer and a really positive paradigm shift from the perspective of any user,” Rebello added.

“Imagine not having to commit ahead of time for such things as software expenses, storage capacity or application licenses—and instead paying for only what you use and dynamically updating the use of whatever you need.”