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» VIEW ALL POSTS Nov 15 2011   12:58PM GMT

Cloud news roundup: Salesforce makes mobile/social play, Nirvanix scores its biggest deployment this year



Posted by: Jessica Scarpati
Tags:
cloud credentials
cloud partners
cloud storage
CompTIA
M&A
mobile cloud
Model Metrics
Nirvanix
private cloud
Salesforce
Salesforce.com
social cloud

Is there such a thing as a quiet news week for cloud providers? No, we didn’t think so either. Here are a few things worth watching from the past week:

  • Salesforce.com acquires Model Metrics: What do pigs, rabbits and polar bears have in common with Salesforce.com? They’re all now on the list of animals known to eat their young. The cloud CRM powerhouse acquired one of its own partners, cloud integrator and consulting shop Model Metrics, for an undisclosed sum. Salesforce.com execs, including new COO George Hu and EVP Maria Martinez, said in prepared statements on Monday that Model Metrics‘ success in mobile and social cloud services will help Salesforce further “empower” its partners. Talkin’ Cloud‘s blog had some interesting ideas about how this deal may play out for cloud partners:

    “Model Metrics, in its previous life a Salesforce partner with more than 1,000 deployments under its belt, specialized in developing mobile applications that bridged the gap between a customer’s smartphone or tablet and their cloud data according to their specific needs. If Model Metrics can teach that strategy to Salesforce’s partners — maybe even helping resellers become mobile ISVs — it could boost business all around.”

  • Nirvanix finds recurring revenue in private cloud: Cloud storage provider Nirvanix announced that it has inked its biggest deployment this year: eight petabytes of unstructured data in a private cloud built for the University of Southern California school system. Note the key words there: private cloud. Large enterprises (and, yes, universities) are highly unlikely to put all or perhaps even most of their storage in the public cloud (at this point in the game, at least). But on-premises private cloud? That sounds less scary to them. It also sounds, at first blush perhaps, like a vanilla software sale for the provider — except for the fact that this will be fully managed as a service for USC (the “recurring revenue stream” alarm bells should be going off now). And this is how cloud providers will compete and stay afloat in the market. Nirvanix describes its private cloud storage as “a local instance of a cloud storage node in your organization’s data center premises while you only pay for storage that you actually consume.” And in case anyone wanted to take a page from its playbook, here’s what Nirvanix had to say about the USC deal specifically:

    Deployed within USC’s central data center, the Nirvanix Private Cloud Storage solution will enable the university and its clients to upload digital content from any location and ensure that it is available anywhere around the world by virtue of Nirvanix’s Cloud File System software. Additionally, any changes made to files stored in the Nirvanix Private Cloud will be immediately reflected across the whole cloud, ensuring that multiple users collaborating and accessing the same file always have the latest version. This level of data consistency is critical for such a massive amount of unstructured data and is not available from any other cloud storage service or storage system vendor.

    “How many conventional storage devices can even handle eight Petabytes distributed around the world?” said Paul Froutan, former head of Google data center operations and current Nirvanix CTO. “The answer: none. This is why companies are shifting to the consumption economics and business flexibility inherent in cloud storage services.”

  • CompTIA launches cloud credentials: Fellow TechTarget blogger and veteran tech writer Ed Tittel blogged about this last week, but we thought it was worth highlighting here, too, in case you missed it. Nonprofit trade association and IT certification giant CompTIA announced it will launch a cloud computing credential and exam in December 2011 for enterprises and cloud providers, CompTIA Cloud Essentials: 50 questions, 60 minutes, 720 minimum passing score (meaning 72%, or 36 out of 50 correct answers). The exam will cover: configuration of networks, including archive, backup and restoration technologies; business continuity and storage administration; system integration and application workload; and basic troubleshooting and connectivity. CompTIA consulted a variety of large, established cloud providers — including Amazon, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Rackspace and VMware — to develop the exam’s content. In the standard-less Wild West of the cloud market, something like this could be good news for MSPs and resellers that want to give customers an industry stamp of approval and/or become more knowledgeable and confidant about the technology itself. Tittel notes that CompTIA has not released any pricing information, but speculates that the exam will “probably be between $180 and $250 in keeping with other typical CompTIA exam price points.”

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