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Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing – The Basics – Finextra

Posted: September 30, 2019 at 9:45 am

Cloud computing is undoubtly the promise of having a modern and state-of-the-art IT infrastructure without the need for substantial capital investments and personnel increases.

The possibility of improving your business is something which is appealing to every decision maker across the globe. The year 2000 will always be remembered as the milenium of the more and more oustanding pace of technological progress. New and old technologies are as close together as never before. The almost uncontrollable increase in human knowledge leads to endless incremental innovations. The hunt for the next big thing seems to be never ending.

Even though cloud computing still plays that role, one might think that it is being pushed aside by the likes of artificial intelligence and blockchain. But wait most new technologies are distinguished by a huge number of data and intelligence. In other words, the many disparate servers which are part of cloud technology hold the data which an AI can access and use to make decisions and learn things like how to hold a conversation. But as the AI learns this, it can impart this new data back to the cloud, which can thus help other AIs learn as well as noticed Gary Eastwood from the IDG Contributor Network. Same goes for blockchain and other data intensive technology.Cloud computing is not only the digitization tool par excellence, it is omnipresent and plays undoubtedly a key role in todays technological progress.

Providing IT resources and on-demand applications over the Internet at usage-based prices

Simply put,cloud computing is the delivery of computing services servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more over the Internet (the cloud).Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage, similar to how you are billed for water or electricity at home. (Microsoft Azure)

Whether you run apps that share photos with millions of mobile users or support critical business operations in your organization, the cloud is a technology providing quick access to flexible and cost-effective IT resources.When it comes to cloud computing, you do not have to invest in hardware in advance or spend a lot of time managing it. Instead, you can provide the exact type and size of computing resources you need to implement your latest breakthrough idea or operate your IT department. You can access as many resources as you need almost immediately by paying only for what you use.Cloud computing provides an easy way to access servers, storage, databases and a full range of application services over the Internet.Cloud providers operate and manage the network-attached hardware needed for these application services, providing and using the resources you need through a web application.

Advantages of cloud computing

The cloud has become a technology that influences everyones daily life. The adoption of solutions and services in the cloud present a number of advantages and benefits, among others:

Types of cloud services: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS

Cloud computing consists of three main types, commonly referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Choosing the right cloud computing type consists in knowing your needs to achieve an optimal level of control with worrying about unnecessary tasks. Microsoft defines these types as follows:

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS):The most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Platform as a service (PaaS):Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.

Software as a service (SaaS):Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet or PC.

Cloud deployments: public, private, hybrid

There are three different ways to deploy cloud computing resources. These are public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud.

Public cloudsare owned and operated by a third-partycloud service provider, and deliver computing resources like servers and storage over the Internet using a web browser. Todays leading cloud providers Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure are examples of a public cloud.

Aprivate or on-prem cloudrefers to cloud computing resources used in-house and exclusively by a single business or organisation. The particularity here is that a private cloud can be physically located on the companys on-site datacenter.

A combination of both public and private clouds leads to what we callhybrid cloud. The advantage here is that a hybrid cloud allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, customers enjoy greater flexibility and more deployment options.

After which criteria do customers decide for a cloud provider?

Simply put, customers do not decide for one single cloud provider. Many companies pursue a multi cloud strategy to maintain the ability and flexibility to select different cloud services from different providers.

However,the cloud has always been accompanied by data privacy concerns. Customizable and real-time encryption can separate security and network functions. As a result, an extra layer of data protection is added. On the other hand, private cloud solutions can enhance the security of company specific applications by implementing cloud technology within the companys corporate datacenter. What is important to note is thatthere is no one-size-fits-all solution for cloud security. Hence, customization of the most effective solutions are the best possible solutions to meet specific needs.

Summa summarum, the clouds success is nowadays more and more influenced on the macro level for example with GDPR and CLOUD Act. Governments, regulators, policymakers and standards setting organizations have a big influence especially on standards for cyber security at the micro-level. For the cloud, this meansmore regulation but also more adoption opportunities through new customers who had data privacy concerns towards cloud based solutions. In other words, there is no end to the clouds explosive growth.

What abouta new way of innovative differentiation?

Nowadays we notice more and more a change in cloud competition. Microsoft Azure has surpassed Amazon AWS in terms of annual revenues. The cloud industry with its huge potential seems to undergo a change in competition which can be explained by a few notable trends that are emerging:

Considering these three trends, the cloud market does not appear to be changing any time soon. An innovation-driven sector as the cloud represents is taking a risky step in falling into commodity. An increasingly strong price competition shows how difficult it has become to compete on features.The question therefore is which trends begin to emerge and express exactly what todays customers look for?

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Cloud Computing - The Basics - Finextra

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The global cloud computing market at a CAGR of over 16% during the forecast period Global Cloud Computing Market: About this market – PRNewswire

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NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This cloud computing market analysis considers sales from SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS services. Our analysis also considers the sales of cloud computing in APAC, Europe, North America, South America, and MEA. In 2018, the SaaS segment had a significant market share, and this trend is expected to continue over the forecast period. The use of SaaS eliminates the expenses and complexities associated with purchasing, configuring, and managing hardware products. This will play a significant role in the SaaS segment to maintain its market position. Also, our global cloud computing market report looks at factors such as the increased inclination toward cloud computing for cost-cutting, control of data backup and recovery, and increased use of containers boosting cloud adoption. However, system integration issues, network connectivity issues and latency, and problems associated with vendor lack-in may hamper the growth of the cloud computing industry over the forecast period.

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Global Cloud Computing Market: Overview

Increased inclination toward cloud computing for cost-cutting

Enterprises are increasingly adopting cloud services for their computing needs as it helps them in minimizing their overall CAPEX. Similarly, organizations are utilizing public cloud resources and setting up the infrastructure on-premises or in private cloud through the deployment of hybrid cloud. Hybrid cloud solutions leverage the cost benefits and allow portability of the applications between different clouds. Furthermore, SMEs and large-scale organizations are increasingly adopting cloud solutions as they provide security, reliability, and result in optimum utilization of resources.?Owing to the cost-saving benefits offered, the demand for cloud computing is expected to rise which will lead to the expansion of the global cloud computing market at a CAGR of over 16% during the forecast period.

Rise in edge computing and shift toward serverless computing

Edge computing improves the server response time and ensures reduced latency. This network architecture is being implemented by large-scale enterprises with the advent of IoT devices and growing demand for the management of data generated by these devices. There is an increase in the demand for technologically advanced edge platforms due to growth in the velocity of data generation in the energy and telecommunication industries. The trend of edge data center deployments is expected to have a positive impact on the overall market growth.

Competitive Landscape

With the presence of a few major players, the global cloud computing market is moderately concentrated. This robust vendor analysis is designed to help clients improve their market position, and in line with this, this report provides a detailed analysis of few leading cloud computing manufacturers, that include Adobe Inc., Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services Inc., Google LLC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Development LP, IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., Inc., and SAP SE.

Also, the cloud computing market analysis report includes information on upcoming trends and challenges that will influence market growth. This is to help companies strategize and leverage on all forthcoming growth opportunities.

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Thousands of Cloud Computing Servers Could Be Owned With ‘Very Simple’ Attack, Researchers Say – VICE

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Cloud computing is often touted for its security benefits: its assumed that a company that hosts hundreds of servers for customers has superior skills and resources to secure data on those servers than the individual owners of that data. When a security breach happens in cloud computing, its usually the fault of the data owner who misconfigured their leased cloud server and not the cloud provider.

But researchers in Australia recently found a vulnerability in a cloud-management system used by thousands of cloud-service providers that potentially opened thousands of servers to attack through no fault of customers or their cloud-service provider.

The critical vulnerabilityin OnApp, one of the top cloud-computing management platforms used by thousands of cloud-hosting services around the worldwould allow an attacker to seize control of all servers managed by a cloud provider if he or she has access to just one of those serversfor example, by simply renting space on a server from the same provider, according to the Australian security firm Skylight Cyber, which discovered the issue. The vulnerability would let an attacker steal, corrupt, or delete data belonging to other customers, or encrypt the data to prevent owners of the data from accessing it, all while hiding the identity of the attacker.

Thats because the vulnerability allows the attacker to gain access to those servers using the top-level administrative credentials and privileges of the cloud provider.

This is not just a data leak, CEO of Skylight Cyber Adi Ashkenazy said. You have root access to those servers, so you could install malware, run ransomware, whatever you would like.... Its a horrific mistake. I shouldn't be able to use their authentication.

If data on the servers has been encrypted by the owners of that data, an attacker would at the very least be able to encrypt the data again with the hackers own key, preventing the owner from accessing the data on that server.

Since many cloud providers offer free trial accounts that only require an email address to sign up, an attacker wouldnt have to provide any identifying details to gain access to the first server to launch an attack.

OnApp is a London-based cloud management platform for hosting providers to manage fleets of cloud servers leased by government agencies and small and large commercial companies. Its been called the most popular cloud platform youve probably never heard of, and, according to the company, at least one in three public clouds use its platform, including, which has 10,000 customers in more than 180 countries, according to its website. The researchers said they tested the vulnerability across two different cloud providers to verify that it worked, including

OnApp acknowledged the problem and has issued patches for the software, though the researchers say not all customers have applied them. OnApp declined to discuss with Motherboard how many customers hadnt patched their system yet, but in its patch notes, the company warned that There are no feasible workarounds for this vulnerability, we strongly recommend to update.

The issue, outlined in an industry security notice, affects all versions of OnApp used for managing Xen- or KVM-based virtual servers. The company told Motherboard that it did not affect other versions of OnApp. OnApp wouldnt say exactly how many cloud-service providers and their customers were using the versions of their platform that had the vulnerability.

[A]nyone using XEN or KVM hypervisors was affected, Ashkenazy said. Only OnApp know what the percentage of customers using it represent.

The researchers discovered the vulnerability by chance when they opened an account at a cloud provider and noticed an SSH connection (a type of secure, encrypted connection between two systems) to their server from the cloud provider, using the providers private keys. They wondered if the same keys were used to access every server managed by the cloud-hosting provider and in the course of investigating this discovered that they could trigger the system to initiate an SSH connection to any other server operated by the provider using the providers keyswithout ever knowing the providers keysgiving them the same root access and privileges as the provider.

Its very simple. Anyone can do it, Ashkenazy said.

The flaw exists because the OnApp platform is configured to allow so-called agent forwarding with SSH connections. The agent forwarding feature allows a private key used to connect to one system to be used to make automated and authenticated connections to other systems. This would generally be used by an administrator to write scripts to configure and manage a lot of systems simultaneously instead of having to configure each system separately.

But the way it was configured in OnApp, it also allowed the researchers to use that SSH connection to issue a command that triggers a cloud-provider's authentication system to initiate connections to other servers using the private keys stored in the providers authentication system. The researchers said they tested the vulnerability across two different cloud providers to verify that it worked, including

The way agent forwarding works is when they connect to my server [using SSH], they have an open socket that allows me to forward authentication requests to their server, Ashkenazy told Motherboard. [T]heir server, with their credentials that I never get to see, opens a channel [to other servers], and I can send whats known as a key challenge and they answer it for me, which allows me root access to any other server that accepts those credentials.

Ashkenazy said there was no reason for OnApp to have enabled agent forwarding but speculated that the company may have used it for a legitimate purpose at one point, but forgot to disable it when deploying the platform to customers.

In any case, the company was immediately responsive when Ashkenazys team contacted it.

OnApp told Motherboard that in addition to issuing patches, the company contacted all of its customers by email and other means in June and again in July to provide instructions for patching their OnApp control panels and also offered to do the update for customers free of charge. But not all customers applied the patch or took the company up on its free offer.

OnApp praised Skylight Cyber for alerting it to the issue and for withholding the technical details for exploiting the vulnerability until it could alert customers.

What we would like to emphasize, however, is the value of ethical hacking and the importance of vendors remaining vigilant to and responding swiftly to issues like this when they arise, company spokesman Steve Fenton wrote in an email. Wed like to highlight the diligence of the team at Skylight throughout the disclosure process, too: they also played an important role in mitigating this issue by testing the methodology behind the fix before patches were released to our customers.

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How Amazon is collaborating with community colleges to build Texas’ cloud computing workforce –

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Texas education leaders and Amazon Web Services last week announced the creation of degree programs aimed at preparing students for careers in cloud computing.

Dallas County Community College District is one of 22 community colleges that is developing and will offer the two-year degree as early as next spring.

DCCCD Chancellor Joe May and Ken Eisner, director of Global Education Programs for AWS, offered more details about the program and how it will work:

Two or three years down the road, how will you judge whether this partnership has been a success?

Eisner: Were going to look at a whole slew of metrics around this. The first will include the number of institutions that launch the program, the number of faculty that are trained, and the number of students that enter in, but in the end, its about matriculations into jobs. Were going to be looking at internships, apprenticeship opportunities and hires to Amazon Web Services as well as our customers and partners.

Are most of the jobs in Dallas-Fort Worth or Texas, or will people be trained here for jobs that arent actually here?

Eisner: Amazon already currently employs over 22,000 people across Texas. We have 15 fulfillment centers, and weve invested over $10 million in various pieces of infrastructure and research. There is a big focus in Texas, and there has been for a number of years. People who come through these programs are going to be great employees at AWS, at Lockheed, and at other customers and partners in Texas, but theyll also have skills that can translate into the global environment.

What is it about DCCCD, or Texas in general, that makes this partnership the right fit for AWS?

Eisner: Community colleges are this amazing flywheel into the educational environment. They have dual enrollment with early college (programs) with high schools. They have transfer and articulation agreements with four-year institutions and direct partnerships that go inside and outside of industry. Places like Dallas County Community College District have moved fast under great leadership, and we need people that have that bias for action. They also address this underserved environment that often doesnt matriculate into the tech industry, whether its students from low income, minority backgrounds or persons in rural communities.

RELATED:470-acre ranch and historic cattle empire near DFW slated for auction

Do you anticipate that expanding the pipeline of workers with strong cloud computing skills will translate into more Amazon operations, functions, jobs, offices or buildings here?

Eisner: Amazon has invested a significant amount into Texas, as I mentioned. Weve had a history of investing in Texas and continuing to invest more over time. So the investment into education, the investment into the workforce, is an investment into our future employees along with the future investment of customers and partners.

Whats the most important piece of this partnership?

May: A big, big part of it for us is connecting to industry. I cant talk about them now, but we will be rolling out some others with some other organizations in the very near future and starting some new ones of this type. Weve made a real commitment to connecting to industry and then to really sitting down to work collaboratively to build out curriculum.

What differentiates the partnership with AWS from similar collaborations?

May: This was a great one in that they were already thinking that way and we were already working with them on some other efforts, so it was obvious that we would come together and build off of existing relationships.

Did this in any way evolve out of the effort for an Amazon U that was part of the incentive package in the attempt to lure Amazons HQ2?

May: That was something we initially created as Amazon Institute in the DCCCD, and others working on the project expanded it. We still will build in the downtown area, and we still partner in collaborative ways with industry, so a big piece of that that was put out there, were going forward with.

How is the curriculum being created?

Eisner: Faculty at Dallas Community College and across the state are collaborating in an unprecedented way to create curriculum that can work across the institutions, that is adapted to local standards, (and) that meets the needs of the students and employer demand in Texas. The faculty and instructional designers at these schools are doing the heavy lifting because its the students in the classroom that are being impacted.

Whats the biggest challenge to creating career-connected networks?

May: The real challenge today is the speed at which business is changing and technology is changing. It makes it real easy for a college to get behind and for students not to understand what the opportunities are. When we try to do this in isolation, operating in silos, which is often the case in education, then even if we miss the mark just a little bit, we miss the mark, and it really creates a challenge for the students and the employers to come together. So we really value close relationships like we have with Amazon Web Services.

RELATED:New apartment and townhome community kicks off in Dallas Medical District

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The Top Cloud Computing Certifications for Cloud Professionals – Solutions Review

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If you want to showcase your expertise in a particular field of IT technology, you should consider studying for and earning some certifications. Certifications demonstrate that the holder has knowledge and skills for a specific tool, industry, or technology. Often, these certifications are offered by major vendors in that technology space, and that holds true for cloud computing as well. Leading cloud providers and cloud all offer their own cloud certification series to those who exhibit proficiency for their cloud environment.

For businesses, these certifications show that your company and employees are skilled in cloud computing. They can also sign up their workers for cloud certifications in order to boost their companys expertise. What are the best cloud certifications for cloud professionals to earn? We listed the top cloud computing certifications that any user of cloud solutions should consider earning.

Cost: $119 USD/$319 USD

For those who want or need to be certified on the basics of cloud computing, the CompTIA Cloud Essentials and Cloud+ certifications are the way to go. These are vendor-neutral certifications that aim to bring IT professionals up to speed on how to operate the cloud specifically, how to implement the cloud, learn cloud computing terms, and improve productivity with cloud solutions. The Cloud Essentials certification is designed for managers or support staff that arent directly involved with developing or running cloud solutions, while the Cloud+ certification is for IT professionals.

Cost: $150 USD/$300 USD

If your IT department builds and deploys solutions in AWS, then the AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification is for you. This certification shows that the recipient is able to successfully construct a tech solution using the AWS architecture and maintain it throughout its entire lifecycle. It requires hands-on experience developing and deploying solutions using AWS services, both ones that provide resources for the project and that help businesses manage and deliver them. IT professionals with more than two years of experience in developing AWS-powered solutions should also consider the Professional-grade Solutions Architect certification.

Cost: $330 USD

For business and IT professionals that build solutions that run on Azure, the Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is a must-have. This certification demonstrates the ability to design applications, data platforms, containers, etc. using the Azure platform. Workers looking to earn this certification also need to know how to deploy and configured optimized infrastructures, determine workload requirements, and design business continuity strategies.

Cost:$200 USD

For enterprises that heavily utilize Google Cloud to build solutions, the Google Professional Cloud Architect certification shows expertise in leveraging Google Cloud services. Not only does this certification indicate that the user is very familiar with the Google Cloud platform, it specifically shows that you can develop Google Cloud-driven business solutions. By earning this certification, users demonstrate that theyre able to build, secure, and manage a cloud architecture, optimize the solutions technical and business processes, and configure the solution with security features.

Cost:$599 USD

The (ISC) offers the Certified Cloud Security Professional certification shows that the recipient knows how to build and manage secure cloud solutions. The certification covers cloud security best practices, policies, and procedures established by (ISC) that demonstrates expertise in designing secure cloud solutions. While this certification requires more knowledge and experience than the other certifications on this list, its one of the most essential certifications for security professionals and cloud architects.

Running a cloud environment and need help managing the cloud services you use? Our MSP Buyers Guide contains profiles on the top cloud managed service providers for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as questions you should ask vendors and yourself before buying. We also offer an MSP Vendor Map that outlines those vendors in a Venn diagram to make it easy for you to select potential providers.

Check us out onTwitter for the latest in Enterprise Cloud news and developments!

Dan is a tech writer who writes about Enterprise Cloud Strategy and Network Monitoring for Solutions Review. He graduated from Fitchburg State University with a Bachelor's in Professional Writing. You can reach him at



The Top Cloud Computing Certifications for Cloud Professionals - Solutions Review

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Amazon Partners with Texas Schools to Offer Cloud Computing Degree – ConnectCRE

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September 30, 2019

Amazon Web Services will partner with community colleges and technical schools throughout Texas to develop and offer an Associate of Applied Science degree in cloud computing. Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs made the announcement, noting that the goal of the partnership is to develop a workforce that will be ready for cloud computing job positions.

Beginning in spring 2020, the states community colleges and technical schools will offer the 60-hour credit program, which will be aligned with industry needs. The program will also help meet the goals of the 60X30 Texas Higher Education Plan, which aims to see at least 60% of Texas ages 25-34 receive a certificate or degree by 2030.

In addition, primary and secondary institutions will implement AWS Educate, Amazons initiative to support cloud learning with students or faculty, and to build computer and date-related skills for K-12 curriculum throughout the state.

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In 2019, lawyers are using mobile and cloud computing more than ever – Idaho Business Review

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A little over a decade ago, the mobile revolution was launched when the iPhone was released in 2007. Just one year earlier, Amazon rolled out its first cloud computing service: Amazon EC2. Now, in 2019, many of the most popular websites, including Netflix, Pinterest and Reddit, are run on cloud servers hosted by Amazon Web Services.

Its no coincidence that mobile and cloud computing tools launched so close in time. After all, mobile and cloud computing go hand-in-hand; together they make todays computing possible. This is because mobile devices alone are limited by their memory, processing power and battery life. But when mobile phones and tablets are used with cloud computing tools, the data processing and storage needed to make mobile apps useful and functional can happen outside of mobile devices on cloud computing servers.

This combined utility has contributed to the significant rise in lawyers use of cloud and mobile computing in recent years. According to the American Bar Associations most recent Legal Technology Survey, small firm lawyers are making the move to cloud-based legal software more than ever before, with 55% of lawyers surveyed reporting that theyve used cloud computing software for law-related tasks over the past year, up from 38% in 2016.

And many more are thinking of switching to cloud-based legal software in the year to come. Small law firms were the most likely to plan to do so. The survey results showed that firms with two to 9 lawyers led the way at 15%. Next up was law firms with 10-49 lawyers at 14%, followed by firms with 50-99 lawyers at 13%.

According to the survey, the reasons for using cloud computing software are many. Ease of access from any location was the most popular reason (68%), followed by 24/7 availability (59%), and the affordability and the low cost of entry (48%). Other reasons provided by the lawyers surveyed included robust data back-up and recovery (46%), the ability to get the software up and running quickly (40%), the elimination of IT and software management requirements (34%), and last but certainly not least, better security than the firms were able to provide in-office (31%).

The top reason cited for making the switch ease of access from any location isnt surprising, since lawyers are more reliant on mobile devices in 2019 than theyve ever been. In fact, according to the survey, 95% of lawyers reported that they use their smartphones outside of the office for law-related purposes. And, nearly half of all lawyers 49% reported that they used their tablet for law-related purposes while away from the office.

The most popular type of phone used by lawyers is the iPhone, with 72% preferring it. Androids were next at 27%, followed by Blackberrys (2%) and then Windows Mobile (1%). Notably, despite the prominence of iPhone use by lawyers, 43% of lawyers surveyed reported that their firms supported multiple platforms for smartphones, rather than just one type of smartphone.

Fifty percent of lawyers have downloaded a legal-specific app to their smartphone, with legal research apps being the most popular. Similarly, 50% of lawyers have downloaded a general business app to their smartphone. Dropbox was the most popular, with 77% of lawyers reporting that theyd downloaded it. LinkedIn was next at 63%, followed by Evernote (37%), LogMeIn (15%), and DocsToGo (14%).

Do any of these statistics about how small firm lawyers are using cloud-based legal software and mobile devices surprise you? How mobile are you compared to your colleagues? And, is your firm in the cloud yet? If not, maybe its time make the switch.

Nicole Black is a director at, a cloud-based law practice management platform. She is also of counsel to Fiandach & Fiandach in Rochester and is a GigaOM Pro analyst. She is the author of the ABA book Cloud Computing for Lawyers, coauthors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise. She speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes three legal blogs and can be reached at


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Will the XaaS economy create ‘Netflix for cars’? – Gigabit Magazine – Technology News, Magazine and Website

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From enterprise cloud computing and cyber security systems to Disney movies and vegan chicken nuggets, the economy has undergone a radical shift over the last few years. The emerging trend of on-demand offerings purchasable over the internet - often as part of an ongoing subscription - is predicted to create a market that exceeds $345bn per year by 2026.

Just as companies looking to adopt a new cloud architecture or cyber security system are increasingly likely to lease the use of one from AWS, Microsoft, Salesforce - the list goes on - rather than build their own solution from scratch or buy outright something that will require updates and ongoing maintenance. Theas-a-service market is as much about purchasing expertise and peace of mind as it is about price, as owning everything from a piece of software to a Volkswagen Jetta is, as my car-driving colleagues assure me, an inexhaustible void that gobbles up time and money like a collapsing black hole.

Last year in the UK, the average driver in London spent 595 per month on owning and operating their vehicle. While London is famously more expensive than the rest of the country, in East Anglia - one of the cheapest places to own a car in the country - the average driver spent 437 per month, which represented 24% of their income. In an economy where the minimum wage has drifted further from the rate of inflation for decades, and political (potential) catastrophes like Brexit on the horizon, companies and consumers are welcoming the flexibility and peace of mind that come with an XaaS economy.

In the same way that the rise of subscription-based streaming services have reshaped the way we listen to enjoy music (in the first quarter of this year, streaming services accounted for 80% of the music industrys revenue) are we on the verge of a new age of mobility-as-a-service?

Well, maybe is the answer, as a number of early-mover vehicle subscription services have struggled to find a foothold between car ownership and the growing micro-mobility market (e-scooters and bicycle rentals that have become commonplace in urban environments that are increasingly hostile to cars) but there are a number of companies hoping that their business models will allow them to stand out enough to find a permanent niche. Gigabit Magazine explores the growing ranks of startups and corporations offering car ownership as a service around the world.

Big business?

Some of the earliest movers into the car subscription space were those with the scale and, more importantly, cars to do so. In addition to rental companies like Hertz and Enterprise, which offer subscription services in addition to their preexisting rental business options, major automaker Ford launched a subscription service in 2017. Through its subsidiary Canopy, Ford offered variable-term leases for Ford owners in San Francisco, eventually expanding to Los Angeles and Dallas. A total of 3,800 subscribers used Canvas to acquire new Ford vehicles.

This month, however, it was announced that Ford was leaving the market, only a few short years after entering it. Canopy was sold to Fair - an app based subscription provider with a 45,000 customer base operating in 30 cities - for an undisclosed amount. The fact that Ford so quickly entered and exited what initially would seem to be such a straightforward market (particularly for a company that makes and has access to a huge number of cars) is a clear demonstration that the car-as-a-service space is more complex than it appears.

"We have had to face the hard reality that despite our efforts, we underestimated the investment and resources that are truly necessary to make our service successful in these complex transportation markets amid a quickly-changing mobility landscape, read a statement from communal short term vehicle company Car2Go released this month. Since 2009, the Mercedes-Benz and BMW-backed company has provided users with hourly car rental services. Now, however, Car2Go (in the process of rebranding to Share Now) is withdrawing its services from Austin, Texas; Calgary, Alberta; Portland, Ore.; and Denver beginning Oct. 31 and Chicago starting Dec. 31.



Considering the hardships experienced by major automakers like Ford to turn a preexisting vehicle fleet into a profitable business avenue, building a new (electric) vehicle entirely from scratch and introducing it via subscription service to one of the most congested and complex road networks on the planet may seem a little, well, lets say herculean. However, its exactly what one Los Angeles-based startup is in the process of doing.

Slated to hit the streets in 2021, Canoo recently unveiled its pioneer model last week. The slightly rotund, bread-box of the future vehicle is electric, has a range of around 250 miles and seats as many people as a large SUV.

I would call it a loft on wheels, Ulrich Kranz, the co-founder of Canoo told the Los Angeles Times. It has the interior space of a large SUV and the footprint of a compact car. Predicted to have an operational lifespan of between 10 and 12 years, which is longer than the majority of electric vehicles, Canoo hopes to spread the initial production costs over a greater span of time.

Customers will pay a one-time membership fee up front, followed by a monthly charge for unlimited access to Canoos vehicle. The subscription, which will be reasonably priced, according to Kranz, will be available in Los Angeles and San Francisco (with an East Coast launch up next) and covers registration, taxes, insurance, maintenance and unlimited mileage.


Based in Munich, Germany, Cluno allows its clients to book out a variety of cars - ranging from the Opel Corsa to high-end Porsches - for a monthly fee. Clients can reportedly book a car online in as little as three minutes, for a fixed, monthly package price that includes everything except fuel.

Last week, Cluno announced that it had raised around 125mn in debt financing in order to support further growth.

Nico Polleti, Co-Founder and CEO of Cluno said, Car subscription has proved to be very successful as a mobility concept and is on the verge of entering the mass market. As an innovation driver in a fast-paced industry, we want to take our business model to the next level as quickly as possible. Our goals are scaling and, in the long run, internationalization. Both the financial resources, as well as the trust of the financial institutions, are a crucial lever.

The first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates, SelfDrive.aes new Microlease subscription service launched in the country today. A flexible and convenient on demand monthly car subscription service that offers a new alternative to owning or leasing a car with option to switch cars every month as per his (or her) requirement with no long term commitments, Microlease is predicted to tap into the growing desire for flexibility being expressed by millennials in the UAE.

The company reportedly partners with car manufacturers, dealer networks and leasing companies to offer a range of from economy, to mid size Saloons, compact SUVs, MUVs and 4x4 SUVs.

Soham Shah, Founder & Director,, said "Microlease is one of our custom designed product for the region that would offer unprecedented flexibility to customers for on demand monthly car subscription starting from 1 month going up to 36 months with monthly rates starting from $271 per month. This subscription is open to all and can join by making the first reservation online on our website or mobile interface or just by giving us a call. Microlease is a game changer for the automotive Industry and is the future of on demand car leasing for the millennials."

Yes, he did just refer to's customer base as the millennials, but otherwise its a pretty interesting idea.

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Will the XaaS economy create 'Netflix for cars'? - Gigabit Magazine - Technology News, Magazine and Website

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Alibaba is building its own AI cloud computing chip – ITProPortal

Posted: at 9:45 am

Chinese retail giant Alibaba is building its own artificial intelligence chip to power proprietary cloud offerings.

The Hanguang 800 chip is being used it for product search, automatic translation and personalisation within Alibaba itself. Further down the road, however, the chip will be used to power the companys cloud computing offerings.

The launch of Hanguang 800 is an important step in our pursuit of next-generation technologies, boosting computing capabilities that will drive both our current and emerging businesses while improving energy-efficiency, Alibaba CTO Jeff Zhang said in a statement.

Right now, the company isnt planning on selling the chip as a standalone commercial product. It was built by DAMO Academy, Alibabas two years old research institute, and T-Head, its semiconductor division.

Domestically, Alibaba is the king of the cloud infrastructure services market, with a 47 per cent share for the first quarter of the year. Globally, however, it is an entirely different story, as it has to compete with the likes of Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM.

According to Gartner, Amazon kept almost half (47.8 per cent) of the global IaaS public cloud services market share last year, while Alibaba was third with a total of 7.7 per cent share.

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Alibaba is building its own AI cloud computing chip - ITProPortal

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Linux Foundation exec believes edge computing will be more important than cloud computing – ZDNet

Posted: at 9:45 am

Once upon a time, back when we all had mainframes and then servers in our offices, we had edge computing. Our compute power was literally down the hall. Then, along came the cloud, and all that changed. Computers were hundreds of miles but milliseconds away. Now, with the rise of IoT, 5G, and our never-satisfied need for speed, edge computing is coming back with a vengeance. Indeed, at his keynote at Open Networking Summit in Belgium, Arpit Joshipura, The Linux Foundation's general manager of networking, said "edge computing will overtake cloud computing" by 2025.

When Joshipura is talking about edge computing, he means compute and storage resources that are five to 20 milliseconds away. He also means edge computing should be an open, interoperable framework. This framework should be independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system. Open-edge computing should also work with any edge-computing use case: Internet of Things (IoT) edge, a telecom edge, cloud edge, or enterprise edge, whatever, "Our goal here is to unify all of these."

This is being done via LF Edge. This Linux Foundation organization seeks to bring all edge computing players under one umbrella with one technology. Its purpose is to create a software stack that unifies a fragmented edge market around a common, open vision for the future of the industry.

To make this happen, Joshipura announced two more projects were being incorporated into LF Edge: Baetyl and Fledge.

Formerly known as Baidu OpenEdge, Baetyl is meant to seamlessly extend cloud computing, data, and services to edge devices, thus enabling developers to build light, secure, and scalable edge applications. Its target audience is IoT edge device developers who need cloud computing, data, and services.

Why did Baidu, China's answer to Google, contribute the code to LF Edge? Watson Yin, a Baidu VP, explained: "[Baidu] decided to donate Baetyl, the intelligent edge computing framework, to the community, hoping to reciprocate the open-source community while continuously contributing cutting-edge technologies to the global technology ecosystem."

In short, Baidu, like so many other companies, believes that open source helps its business.

Fledge, once known as FogLAMP, is an open-source framework and community for the industrial edge. Its focus is on critical operations, predictive maintenance, situational awareness, and safety. Fledge is designed to integrate Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), sensors and modern machines by sharing a common set of administration and application APIs with industrial "brown field" systems and the cloud.

Like Baidu, Flege's creator, Dianomic Systems, brought its project to LF Edge because the company believes both the program and the business will be the better for it.

Tom Arthur, Dianomic Systems' CEO and co-founder, stated: "The LF Edge's efforts for an open, interoperable framework for the edge is especially needed for the industrial factory, plant, and mine -- where almost every brown field system, piece of equipment, or sensor uses its own proprietary protocols and data definitions."

That all sounds well and good for edge computing users and companies, but why does Joshipura think that edge computing will overtake cloud computing? After all, Gartner estimatedthe total worth of the public cloud market in 2019 will be $214.3 billion, with a growth rate of 17.5%. For that, you need to take a close look at LF Edge's view of edge computing.

In it, the LF Edge sees industrial, enterprise and consumer use cases in complex environments spanning multiple edges and domains (a.k.a pretty much everywhere). Edge computing also has killer apps. These include video content delivery, autonomous vehicles' augmented and virtual reality, 5G, and gaming.

There are two reasons you haven't heard more about important edge computing is going to be. The first is that edge computing efforts have often been at cross-purposes. The LF Edge's primary reason for existence is to bring unity to edge computing. The other reason is that most of edge computing's killer apps aren't here yet.

The key word is "yet."

With more and more support for the LF Edge and its projects, and the rise of these new technologies Joshipura may yet be proven right. Stay tuned.

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Linux Foundation exec believes edge computing will be more important than cloud computing - ZDNet

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