Red Hat 

Red Hat launched an open source community initiative to collaborate and deepen engagement with OpenShift, Red Hat’s open source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, and the open source technologies that OpenShift is built upon. OpenShift Commons extends and facilitates network effect by empowering direct connections.

OpenShift Commons builds connections and collaboration across OpenShift communities, projects and stakeholders, while getting clients, users, partners, and contributors to work together. The community wants to bring together OpenShift’s diverse groups of customers, contributors, operators, cloud providers and partners directly with each other, and with open source technology initiatives incorporated in OpenShift.

At launch, the list of OpenShift Commons participants include over 30 member companies and spans multiple industries, technologies, and geographies including organizations such as Accenture, Amadeus, AppDirect, Dell, Docker, FICO, GetUp Cloud, T-systems and Shippable.

OpenShift Commons enables participants to collaborate, through special interest groups on various areas of PaaS innovation, such as containers, OpenShift 3 and PaaS operations. It also uses Commons Briefings led by participant organizations and OpenShift team members on a number of topics including DevOps best practices, containerization, PaaS operations, container networking and storage, OpenShift on OpenStack and big data. It also uses Commons mailing lists on several topics, encouraging participants to join the conversation.

OpenShift by Red Hat incorporates several open source technologies, including OpenShift Origin, Docker, Kubernetes, Project Atomic, and more. OpenShift Commons integrates these communities and is designed to facilitate sharing of knowledge, feedback and insights into best practices across the OpenShift ecosystem, and enable collaboration on the dependencies that can helped advance open source PaaS.

Participants in the OpenShift Commons program can deepen their knowledge through collaboration while enabling the success of OpenShift and its various stakeholders. Unlike the foundation approach, OpenShift Commons does not require a Contribution License Agreement (CLA) or large donation to join; it is a fellowship without any barriers to entry other than a willingness to engage.

OpenShift Commons operates under a shared goal to move conversations beyond code contribution and explore best practices, use cases, and patterns that work in continuous delivery and agile software environments. For companies not yet deploying OpenShift, OpenShift Commons can help connect them to large scale delivery experts in the context of other common open source projects, including Docker, Kubernetes and Project Atomic.

There is no Contributor License Agreement, code contribution requirement or fees to join, just a commitment to collaborate on the new PaaS stack.

“We want to extend collaboration beyond code development and foster a community of users, customers, partners, operators, service providers, contributors and others with an interest in OpenShift and help them share their experiences, best practices and knowledge related to PaaS,” wrote Ashesh Badani, a Red Hat executive in a blog post. “Having the source code available in the open is critical, but establishing and facilitating connections across the diverse communities that can help users, organizations, partners and other stakeholders be successful is very important and critical to support innovation and PaaS adoption.”

Open Interconnect Consortium 

The Open Interconnect Consortium entered into a liaison agreement with the Industrial Internet Consortium to share information aimed at restructuring interoperability for the Internet of Things (IoT). This technical collaborative between the IoT consortiums will help to accelerate the delivery of an industrial grade IoT architectural framework.

Through this formal liaison, the Industrial Internet Consortium will share its use cases and architectural requirements focused on the industrial market. In turn, OIC will ensure that its specification and associated open source project (IoTivity) will deliver the necessary features in an IoT communications framework to meet the requirements and make the use cases not just real, but also easy to implement.

The IoTivity project was created to bring together the open source community to accelerate the development of the framework and services required to connect these billions of devices. Sponsored by the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), the IoTivity will deliver an open source reference implementation of the OIC standard specifications, yet will not be limited to those requirements.

With 4.9 billion connected devices to be in use in 2015, the need to create industry standardizations in IoT is increasing rapidly.

OIC is working towards defining a connectivity framework that abstracts complexity. This standard will be an open specification that anyone can implement and is easy for developers to use, while including IP protection and branding for certified devices (via compliance testing) and service-level interoperability. There will also be an open source implementation of the standard. This open source implementation will be designed to enable application developers and device manufacturers to deliver interoperable products across various platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and Tizen.

The OIC aims at connecting the next 25 billion devices for the Internet of Things through a secure and reliable device discovery and connectivity across multiple OSs and platforms. OIC has over 50 members that include Dell, HP, Siemens, and Honeywell, among others, while the Industrial Internet Consortium supports a diverse public-private ecosystem of 141 member companies in 20 countries.

Founded in March last year, the IIC aims to drive innovation through the creation of new industry use cases and testbeds for real-world applications; define and develop the reference architecture and frameworks necessary for interoperability; influence the global development standards process for internet and industrial systems; facilitate open forums to share and exchange real-world ideas, practices, lessons and insights; and build poise around new approaches to security.

“This liaison was developed as a result of both consortiums’ desire for interoperability in the industrial IoT,” said Richard Soley, executive director, Industrial Internet Consortium. “OIC’s focus on developing standards through an open source project makes it an ideal partner for the Industrial Internet Consortium. By sharing use cases with the OIC, we will identify new scenarios that will ultimately result in systematic interoperability between devices.”

“This strategic liaison between the OIC and IIC is extremely complementary and a huge win for the industry,” said Imad Sousou, vice president and general manager, Intel Open Source Technology Center and vice president of the board at the OIC. “By ensuring the standards and associated open source software from the OIC support the use cases and requirements defined by the IIC, we can accelerate the delivery of an industrial grade communications framework for the IoT.”

altby Michael Gold

I’m obsessed with cloud apps. But it’s not any one app that interests me. Nor is it any particular category of apps. With thousands of SMB-focused apps in the world, I’m obsessed with the one point where all these apps potentially intersect: your business.

In its 2014 SMB Cloud Landscape Report, Intermedia and Osterman Research found that the average business now runs over 14 apps (and growing). This typically includes email, phones, file sharing, CRM, email marketing software, finance tools, social media accounts, and others.

The overhead required to manage any one of these apps isn’t terribly significant. But when you add 14 apps together, your overhead increases exponentially.

(more…)

NetApp 

NetApp added new software and solutions for hybrid IT deployments that improve data backup and recovery times, and give users more control over how, when and where they store their data throughout its lifecycle.

Customers can leverage the flexibility of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to address their backup, recovery and archive challenges. NetApp is also adding support for Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as a storage tier to StorageGRID Webscale for long-term archives. The company also released updates to its OnCommand Cloud Manager, OnCommand Insight software and Cloud ONTAP software subscription, enabling new abilities to speed business innovation and IT responsiveness.

NetApp also unveiled three new models of SteelStore cloud-native backup solution as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to offer a secure approach to back up cloud-based workload. Customers can also choose on-premises SteelStore physical appliances for seamless, secure data protection to the cloud.

StorageGRID Webscale 10.1 comes with the tools to securely store data in the right place, at the right time. Fully supported by a dynamic policy engine, StorageGRID Webscale leverages Amazon S3 to store data on AWS. Geo-distributed erasure coding reduces on-premises costs and increases security. The StorageGRID Webscale object storage solution is available in appliance and software delivery models, and both types can be mixed in the same grid.

NetApp also added three new models of its SteelStore cloud-native backup solution as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) to offer an efficient and secure approach to backing up cloud-based workloads. Customers can also choose on-premises SteelStore physical appliances for seamless, secure data protection in the cloud.

NetApp OnCommand Insight 7.1 software delivers Storage Resource Management (SRM) for hybrid environments. Clients can ensure service level agreements are met through performance monitoring, capacity management, identifying reclamation opportunities and greater awareness of IT costs. The new software includes enhanced features for brokering and monitoring hybrid storage deployments as well as innovations that reduce storage OPEX and CAPEX costs and improve capacity planning.

NetApp also boosted usability through advanced data visualization features such as new widgets, dashboards, and additional data points.

Customers can now utilize Cloud Manager software and Cloud ONTAP software subscription to manage NetApp’s customer data replication to the cloud with a single application. In addition, customers can now simplify deployment of Cloud ONTAP software subscription and OnCommand Cloud Manager and automate NetApp service and support registration.

New versions of OnCommand Cloud Manager and Cloud ONTAP software subscription and NetApp’s three new models of SteelStore Amazon Machine Image (AMI) software subscription are currently available on AWS Marketplace. StorageGRID Webscale 10.1 and the StorageGRID Webscale appliance are planned to be available in April, while NetApp OnCommand Insight 7.1 software will be available next month.

NetApp’s new data lifecycle solutions allow users to control, integrate, move, secure and consistently manage it, while benefitting from the company’s investments and expertise in building enterprise-class hybrid deployments that are designed to evolve as customer needs change. More than 275 service provider partners are contributing to the development of the data fabric, enabled by NetApp technology.

The enhanced NetApp SteelStore and StorageGRID Webscale solutions provide the flexibility of Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier for long-term archiving. Customers gain an additional secure physical location to address single-site or local-site risks as well as tape risks. This addition to the NetApp portfolio creates ideal solutions designed to help customers integrate their storage with AWS resources.

NetApp offers Private Storage for AWS to give users the benefits of cloud elasticity and savings with the performance, availability and control of dedicated enterprise storage. NetApp Cloud ONTAP software subscription, an instance of NetApp’s storage OS running as a software subscription on AWS Marketplace, offers a cost-effective option for cloud bursting and disaster recovery.

Dell 

Dell unveiled the second wave of Dell XC Series of web-scale converged appliances to help streamline data centers and provide over 50 percent storage capacity and up to twice the rack density to support customers deploying a range of workloads, including virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI), private cloud and big data.

Dell XC line of web-scale converged appliances offer higher performance servers and additional drives options (flash and hard disk) support more demanding workloads in VDI, private cloud and big data initiatives. It also doubles density to 16 terabytes per rack unit, supports the same amount of data in half the rack space, benefiting all types of customers, and especially managed service providers and those in co-located data centers.

The Dell XC Series, version 2.0, will be available in North America, South America, Europe, Middle-East and Africa on March 3, and elsewhere worldwide later this March.

Dell XC Series integrate the company’s proven x86 server platform and Nutanix web-scale software to provide enterprise-class, hyper-converged appliances for virtualized environments. Backed by Dell’s Global Service and Support organization, these 1U and 2U appliances consolidate compute and storage into a single platform enabling application and virtualization teams to quickly and simply deploy new workloads. This solution enables data center capacity and performance to be expanded — one node at a time — delivering linear and predictable scale-out expansion with pay-as-you-grow flexibility.

XC Series appliances include advanced software technologies that power web-scale and cloud infrastructures such as Amazon, Google and Facebook, but are engineered for all enterprises, regardless of size. It offers a hyper-converged offering to seamlessly integrates server and storage resources in a self-healing system, delivers all services through software using proven Dell hardware, enables data, meta data and operations are distributed across the entire cluster, while increasing performance linearly by adding capacity one node at a time, and providing automation and analytics to offer system-wide monitoring.

XC Series appliances simplify the deployment of virtual machines in any environment. The Nutanix Distributed File System (NDFS) runs in a Controller VM (CVM) on each node, aggregating direct-attached storage resources (hard disk drives and flash storage) across all nodes. This pooled storage is made available to all hosts through a fault-tolerant architecture. With the ability to run VMs out of the box, XC Series appliances deliver an easy, modular approach to building modern data centers.

XC Series appliances are ideal for workloads running in virtual environments. Preconfigured appliance options with flexible ratios of compute and storage capacity coupled with support for VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V, make them ideal for running different workloads in a unified Dell XC cluster. They can be integrated into any data center in less than 30 minutes, and can support multiple virtualized, business-critical workloads including VDI, private cloud, database, OLTP and data warehouse as well as virtualized big data deployments.

IT and storage administrators no longer have to manage LUNs, volumes or RAID groups. Instead, they can manage their virtual environments at a VM level using policies based on the needs of each workload.

The Nutanix Prism management framework provides a highly intuitive, easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI). All information is organized and presented through elegant touch points to facilitate easy consumption of operational data. Prism provides the ability to define and manage a complete hyper-converged infrastructure from nearly any device and includes REST APIs for integration with third-party cloud management systems.

Prism Central gives administrators a bird’s eye view of resources across multiple clusters running different hypervisors and enables them to manage individual clusters using the GUI or a Windows PowerShell command-line interface. The GUI simplifies configuration and management of replication, DR and compression policies, which can be applied to individual VMs. Compute and storage scaling and maintenance are automated through a simple, one-click add-node feature, auto-discovery protocols, and a non-disruptive, one-click upgrade of the Nutanix CVM and host hypervisor.

Cluster Health provides comprehensive monitoring of VMs, nodes and disks in the cluster. It proactively flags potential issues in the hyper-converged infrastructure stack and provides the ability to visually navigate issues by grouping and filtering resources at VM, host and disk levels.

Scale Computing 

Scale Computing added built-in virtual machine level remote replication and debuted a new, streamlined user interface to make its HC3 platform ideal for small- and medium-sized businesses and enterprise departments looking to overcome the barriers of implementing virtualization and fast recovery from IT disasters.

The company’s newest release expands on the feature set first introduced in HyperCore v5 to further overcome barriers of virtualization adoption at smaller companies or departmental organizations. Scale Computing’s HC3 virtualization platform is a complete ‘data center in a box’ with server, storage and virtualization integrated into a single appliance to deliver simplicity, availability and scalability at a fraction of the cost of similar solutions.

Scale Computing’s 6.0 release is available with HC1000, HC2000 and HC4000 purchases or as an upgrade to existing installations.

Instead of considering storage, servers, virtualization and management as different data center silos, HC3 products combines them in a comprehensive system and automates overall management. This allows IT to focus on managing applications, not infrastructure. With no virtualization software to license and no external storage to buy, HC3 products lower out-of-pocket costs and radically simplify the infrastructure needed to keep applications running. HC3 products make the deployment and management of a highly available and scalable infrastructure as easy to manage as a single server.

As data requirements at organizations of every size continue to require more storage assets and additional compute power, virtualization becomes a more-attractive option. For IT staffs at smaller organizations, the introduction of a virtualization layer can add complexity and management issues beyond what they are often prepared to handle. 

Addressing disaster recovery is often out of reach due to increased cost and complexity of point solutions. Scale Computing’s HC3 products give users server hardware, virtualization software and storage capabilities needed in a hyperconverged platform that can be managed from a single, unified interface to streamline data center management, and comes with the same simplicity to extend to remote disaster recovery.

Scale Computing’s latest release features built-in remote disaster recovery to allow users to set up continuous replication on a VM by VM basis between two HC3 clusters with space-efficient snapshot technology replicating to a secondary site, tracking only the blocks unique to each manual or automatic snapshot and sending the changed blocks. Testing a DR infrastructure plan is now as simple as cloning a snapshot on the target cluster and starting a VM with no disruption to ongoing replication.

In case of disaster, users can simply “clone” a snapshot on the target cluster for the manual failover of a VM that is immediately bootable or simply replicate changed data at a DR site back to the primary site for simple failback. This capability is built in at no additional charge and is available as a non-disruptive “rolling upgrade” for users of HC3 HyperCore version 5.

The HC3 platform is an all-in-one appliance which can be installed in less than an hour, used to deploy new VMs in minutes, and comes with a built-in browser-based management system. It comes fully integrated, cluster-wide resource utilization and alerts, without storage provisioning or management (LUNs, targets, data stores) abilities. Its single vendor support experience allows no disparate systems to integrate.

Scale Computing’s HC3 and the HyperCore architecture were designed to provide highly available, scalable compute and storage services, while maintaining operational simplicity through software automation and architecture simplification. HyperCore puts intelligence and automation in the software layer and was designed to take advantage of low cost, replaceable and upgradable “commodity” hardware components including the virtualization capabilities built into modern CPU architectures.

By clustering these components together into a single unified and redundant system, these attributes combine to create a flexible and complete “data center in a box” that operates as a redundant and elastic “private cloud” with additional nodes being automatically “incorporated” into the cluster and failed hardware being expected, and replaced with minimal effort or disruption.

The new user interface deployed in Scale Computing’s version 6 upgrade features an intuitive design with almost no learning curve that allows administrators to employ a “set it and forget it” mentality where they only need to periodically log in to make changes to the system. The intelligence of Scale Computing’s patented HyperCore software handles the heavy lifting of VM failover and data redundancy. Pop-up notifications display in-process user actions, alerts and processes to present users with relevant information about active events on the system.

Scale Computing’s built-in browser-based management console streamlines workflows for administrators with a 60 percent reduction in clicks during the VM creation workflow and quicker access to VM consoles directly from its Heads-Up Display (HUD). Users can now combine VMs into logical groups via tagging and set multiple tags for easy filtering through spotlight search functionality that matches names and descriptions for quick access in larger environments. Snapshot, cloning and replication functionality are now integrated into the card view of each VM for easy administration.

Last October, Scale Computing released its patented Ultra-Easy HyperCore Software system, which enlarged capabilities of its HC3 family to provide greater scalability and storage computing power. HyperCore integrates storage, servers and virtualization software into an all-in-one appliance based system that is scalable, self-healing and as easy to manage as a single server.

HyperCore continuously monitors all virtual machines, software and hardware components to detect and automatically respond to common infrastructure events, maintain application availability and simplify data center management.

HyperCore v5 comes with non-disruptive / rolling updates so that workloads are automatically live-migrated across the HC3 appliance to allow for node upgrades, even if such an upgrade requires a node-reboot. Workloads are then returned to the node after the upgrade is complete. It also features near-instant VM-level snapshots, Scale Computing’s proprietary Allocate-on-Write technology allows for no disruption at the time of the snapshot, no duplication of data, and no performance degradation even with thousands of snapshots per VM.

HyperCore was optimized to support new HC3 nodes with twice the virtual machine density by doubling I/O performance, CPU and memory resources per node. All HC3 systems are highly available and include built-in unified management. The result is a data center solution designed to help mid-to-large size companies seamlessly scale their infrastructure simply and cost-effectively.

Imation 

Imation introduced Tuesday Nexsan NST2000, its ultra-efficient hybrid storage appliance purpose-built for media and entertainment and data protection workloads that will deliver Fibre Channel connectivity, apart from providing hybrid storage to mid-sized organizations

NST2000 expands the Nexsan NST family’s unified block and file sharing capabilities by adding Fibre Channel connectivity for those small and medium-sized organizations that prefer it for their applications. This gives organizations the ability to take advantage of the benefits of NST’s hybrid storage using a full range of unified storage protocols, including iSCSI, NFS, CIFS, FTP and now Fibre Channel.

For applications with stringent workload requirements like cloud computing, server virtualization, desktop virtualization (VDI) and databases, the NST2000 delivers performance to ensure application demands never outpace available I/O again. Applications will have never performed faster on a system operating at the economics of spinning disk storage.

“With the introduction of the NST2000, organizations have an entirely new set of options for storing, managing and protecting the high-value data they create in situations like digital asset management in media and entertainment workflows,” said Mike Stolz, vice president of marketing and technical support for Imation’s Nexsan solutions. “They can deploy hybrid storage, realize new levels of performance, scale their data centers to new levels of capacity and much more – all at a price point that was previously inaccessible to them given their limited budgets and resources. We’re excited to help these organizations operate more efficiently and generate more ROI from their storage investment – and to add the NST2000 to help address a full range of application requirements.”

The NST2000 comes fully featured with snapshots, replication, thin provisioning, replication and compression, a GUI (graphical user interface) and scriptable CLI streamline setup and management for the time-constrained IT administrator. As with all Imation storage, the Nexsan NST2000 no single point-of-failure architecture boosts reliability, so that enterprises are offered the best performance and functionality without the enterprise-class price.

NST2000 storage systems utilize SSD, NL-SAS or SAS drives; two redundant, high performance, multi-core Xeon-based storage controllers; high speed I/O subsystems and a fully redundant architecture. All active components are hot-swappable, including power supplies, disks and controllers.

FASTier read and write cache complements 96GB DRAM to speed up IOPS and throughput. The NST2000 features 16 Xeon CPU cores, up to 168TB of capacity and up to 2TB of SSD in FASTier cache. FASTier flexible hybrid caching provides high performance where needed, while NestOS software optimizes the hybrid storage architecture and resources.

The NST2000 provides CIFS and NFS shared folders as well as fibre channel or iSCSI volumes. Snapshots do not require the pre-reservation of storage capacity, and they may be scheduled and managed from the management GUI or initiated from Windows VSS requestors.

Individual shares, LUNs, or entire storage pools may be replicated asynchronously to a second NST2000 storage system, with snapshots intact for use on the target side for backups, testing or data mining. Active Directory integration enables user identities and access rights on the NST2000 shares, while CHAP, iSNS and LUN masking protect iSCSI traffic. Quotas limit storage consumption by share, and oversubscription is permitted for thin provisioning storage, along with alarms which notify when additional storage is needed. Capacity can be expanded by adding additional storage to a running system, so future needs can be met without incurring downtime. Besides, link aggregation combines Ethernet ports for faster throughput.

“The new NST2000 is just the latest proof point that Imation has raised the bar with its Nexsan product portfolio,” said Deni Connor, founder of SSG-Now. “Now with its NST2000, mid-sized organizations can take full advantage of the benefits this product provides.”

Druva 

Druva rolled out Tuesday a set of new capabilities consisting of an inclusive data privacy framework to enable businesses to meet growing global privacy demands. The new framework takes into account growing global concern by federal governments around the world to ensure that personal information of citizens is maintained in view of new data protection regulations.

Built on Druva’s cloud security foundation, the new framework addresses often-neglected concerns about corporate and employee data misuse and emerging legal data requirements.

Druva centralizes and controls business data residing on employees’ desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones via integrated endpoint backup, data loss prevention, IT-managed file sharing, and data governance controls. Druva continually mirrors end-user data, which enables rapid data recovery for lost or stolen devices, allows remote user access to any file or folder from any device, and supports eDiscovery, compliance and forensics needs.

The components of Druva’s data privacy framework are designed to protect organizations from unauthorized data access, thwart misuse of employee data by authorized users, and ensure data integrity regarding legal or compliance initiatives. It offers support for 11 global admin selectable regions that are policy-configured to ensure data is stored to meet DPA requirements, including the newest region in Germany.

Druva’s approach to storing unique block data separated from metadata, along with its envelope key encryption model, provides users with high level of data-scrambling and obfuscation ensuring cloud data privacy — no third party, not even Druva under court order, can provide access to data. It offers regional end-to-end data management enables global organizations to meet local privacy laws while maintaining a single system of record for corporate governance.

With the new data privacy framework, corporate users can allow enterprise to identify officers who may handle sensitive materials in order to prevent their data from being visible to anyone else in the organization. It also ensures that all data access and file sharing activity is tracked with tamper-proof audit logs so that data privacy violations and interference with data integrity can be identified for forensics, regulatory, eDiscovery and compliance investigations.

The data privacy framework can be catered to meet employee based requirements based on regional requirements so that end-users can be set private by default or flag their personal data to ensure administrators do not have visibility into their data. With Druva’s mobile device containerization and exclusionary backup controls end-user personal data can be maintained separate from corporate data on both BYOD and COPE devices.

The framework can also be adapted to provide scenario-based privacy so that administrative flexibility enables organization to address specific needs around compliance and litigation. For example, an explicitly defined legal administrator can override privacy controls to enforce data governance.

The new privacy capabilities include geo-defined governance and administration features that ensure data privacy. Druva customers can also delegate storage and data administration rights to regional personnel, enabling global organizations to meet varied regional data privacy requirements within a single cloud solution. This geo-specific capability is critical for global organizations such as those with operations in Germany, whose data protection act mandates stringent employee data regulations, including a ban on data storage outside the country.

These features complement Druva’s use of Amazon Web Services, which recently opened its German region and supports data centers worldwide, as the underlying inSync cloud infrastructure. Druva now supports over 11 regions, which include Germany, GovCloud, Japan and Australia.

With the growing increase of data privacy concern across the world, countries like Germany, France, Russia and Singapore have taken steps to ensure the privacy of their citizens’ personal information by adopting new data protection regulations. This, along with existing regulations such as HIPAA and FINRA in the United States has had a sweeping impact on global corporations.  These businesses must now adapt their IT infrastructure to support the varied regional requirements or face potential sanctions and/or legal repercussions.

IBM 

IBM Corp. announced Monday new hybrid cloud technology and investments that will tackle the biggest challenges enterprises face as they adopt cloud and integrate existing applications, data and services across a multitude of traditional systems and clouds.

IBM will offer a range of technologies and services that will extend clients’ control, visibility, security and governance in a hybrid cloud environment similar to what clients have in their private cloud and traditional IT systems. In doing so, IBM will provide increased data portability across environments and make it easier for developers to work across cloud and non-cloud environments. 

IBM is using the capabilities of more than half its cloud development team on hybrid cloud innovations, including hundreds of developers working on open cloud standards. More than 65 percent of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud technologies before 2016, pushing the rate and pace of change in IT enterprises. Digitization is accelerating the ongoing evolution of business. Clouds – public, private, and hybrid – enable companies to extend their existing infrastructure and integrate across systems.

IBM Cloud provides the security, control and visibility they have come to expect and provides the flexibility to run critical applications and processes in an environment that mirrors existing controls. Through the SoftLayer infrastructure combined with the new services IBM is announcing, clients with now have the right tools and environment to combine all of their data no matter where it resides to respond to changing market dynamics.

According to IDC, 80 percent of new cloud applications are predicted to be big-data intensive and much of it born on the cloud, brought on by the convergence of mobile applications, e-commerce transactions and other Web applications, companies are struggling to gain value in the data being generated in digital revolution. As a result, businesses are increasingly struggling with incorporating, managing and gaining insights into processes and data.

By surfacing new services through composable API-based services in Bluemix, IBM is helping create a hybrid cloud environment that provides clients with the tools they require to extend their business to the cloud. The new portability services and open standards to move enterprise workloads across environments to bring the app closer to the data or the data closer to the app.

IBM Enterprise Containers allows clients to build and deliver applications by extending native Linux containers with Docker APIs to provide enterprise –class visibility, control and security as well as an added level of automation. Solutions developed in a cloud environment could be brought to on-premises systems for execution, allowing many of the benefits of cloud computing to be realized for data that cannot be moved to cloud for processing for reasons of data sensitivity, size or performance.

IBM DataWorks provides a new, intuitive tooling and experience to find, refine, enrich and deliver trusted data, which allows developers to subdivide and manipulate data sets from the treasure trove of public and private data. It offers enhanced visibility and control of clients’ hybrid environments with a single, end-to-end view, comes available as a service enabling management across hybrid environments that is the largest federated orchestration library, along with new security features that protect vital data and applications using analytics across the enterprise, public and private clouds and mobile devices.

New services that enable developers to securely connect apps, data and services across an open and flexible environment of traditional systems, cloud platforms and any device, seamlessly weaving data and services with APIs to compose new apps and services, including Secure Passport Gateway which enables self-service to developers to securely connect data and services to Bluemix in minutes through a simple Passport service that keeps IT in control, API Harmony which discovers an ideal API match for a client’s application, and  Bluemix Local which extends Bluemix into a company’s data center with borderless visibility and management across Bluemix environments (public, dedicated, and local).

IBM also debuted Watson Zone, a new resource center on Bluemix that brings together Watson APIs, sample code, training resources and use cases to help inspire and guide users to build a new class of hybrid cloud applications infused with cognitive computing capabilities.

IBM also announced general availability of the Watson Personality Insights service to let developers integrate capabilities to analyze trends and patterns in diverse, high volume social media and other public data streams. The commercial launch follows the addition of five new betas Watson services to Bluemix including Speech to Text, Text to Speech, Visual Recognition, Concept Insights and Tradeoff Analytics. These services are available free of charge to help developers explore potential use cases.

To make much of this possible, many of these new services rely on open technologies. As a top contributor to a number of open foundations including Cloud Foundry and OpenStack, IBM has dedicated hundreds developers to advancing open technologies for the hybrid cloud market. This has led to using OpenStack services to provide companies with the means to deploy and manage cloud workloads, package them in Linux based Docker containers that ensure an open, extensible approach to portability.

Apcera 

Apcera announced Monday that it will showcase its hybrid cloud operating system (HCOS) with Ericsson at next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The HCOS is built on Apcera’s Continuum offering simplifies and speeds hybrid cloud deployment and management, by extending policy across all cloud environments and enabling applications to be easily and automatically shared, moved and governed from a single management platform. The platform also supports the use of multiple cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Service (AWS), Google Compute Engine (GCE) and SoftLayer, with plans to add Azure as well. Customers get immediate access to all cloud vendors in the Continuum ecosystem.

Continuum is a policy-driven platform for Dev, DevOps, Ops and IT managers to deploy diverse workloads, orchestrate them as systems, and govern them on premise and in the cloud. With a built-in and pervasive policy core, Continuum makes governance seamless by transparently injecting and instantly enforcing policies where needed.

HCOS eliminates current patchwork approach by managing both on premise and public cloud resources, giving enterprises a clear visibility into how all their IT resources are operating and allow them to control resources from a single location. With centralized management, the HCOS allows enterprises apply policy consistently and ensure that changes to apps or moves to other resources don’t compromise security.

Set to be available in the third quarter of this year, the HCOS platform enables users to operate any kind of workload, whether it’s an application, service, operating system or Docker container, and allows users to use whatever resource is best suited for each component and then enables clients to compose them together into a cohesive application. As policy is enforced across the entire infrastructure, enterprises do not need to rely on multiple firewalls placed at arbitrary borders to ensure the environments and workloads can communicate securely.

The HCOS clears the way for developers to innovate without being slowed down by typical IT concerns about security and interoperability thanks to policy being applied all the way down to the development environments. By giving visibility into how the resources are performing, an HCOS allows enterprises to anticipate issues, move workloads to other resources and scale quickly, easily and automatically as demand requires.

An HCOS is designed to eliminate the challenges of security, control and complexity with which enterprises are currently struggling, and speed innovation and time to market. With a HCOS, enterprises can rest assured that their hybrid cloud resources will be easy to deploy and manage, while maintaining policy and the highest governance standards. Most important, with a HCOS, enterprises will be able to achieve the return on investment that they expect from their hybrid cloud strategy.

Though currently deploying with select global IT enterprises, the Apcera HCOS platform is applicable for telecom service providers as well. It enables telecom service providers to manage the migration from legacy infrastructure to network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networks (SDNs), and allows them to attain quicker time-to-market for real-time voice, video and messaging apps and other critical deployments, without compromising on security requirements.

“Much like a computer’s operating system ties together all the applications we’re used to using on our laptop, the HCOS manages a workload’s access to the compute resources it needs, and not just on one server, but across a cluster of them both on premise and in public clouds,” wrote Derek Collison, an Apcera executive in a blog post.

“Our HCOS platform allows freedom of choice of all vendors in the Continuum ecosystem and enables users to securely and transparently migrate workloads — whether they’re apps, services, operating systems or Docker containers — to any private or public cloud,” said Derek Collison, founder and CEO of Apcera.

As every cloud vendor and equipment manufacturer has its own tools and processes, organizations are unable to seamlessly and automatically apply policy and business logic, or manage resources across all platforms. So, instead of simplifying their IT with the hybrid cloud, enterprises are actually adding new levels of complexity, employee headcount and additional costs.

By extending Continuum into multiple public clouds, such as AWS, GCE and SoftLayer, Apcera has developed an operating system for the hybrid cloud that manages applications’ access to the compute resources they needs, and not just on one computer, but across a cluster of them both on premise and in public clouds.

The HCOS gives enterprises improved control over resources, automates the execution of programs and turning up of resources, provides more visibility into how the resources interact and enables the application of security and policy consistently across the entire environment.