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January 22, 2013

dinCloud Addresses the Benefits, Challenges of Cloud

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

In today’s economic climate, organizations all over the world are looking to reduce costs, while also improving data security, control and productivity. It’s a tall order, but very possible.

One company helping enterprises achieve these goals is dinCloud, which offers business provisioning services that include the migration of desktops, servers, storage, networking and applications to a Virtual Private Data Center. dinCloud provides subscription-based services tailored to fit a range of business models.

dinCloud’s director of Channels, Joseph Barnas will discuss some of these topics at the upcoming ITEXPO (News - Alert) 2013 session, “How to Securely Mobilize Your Workforce,” which will be held on Jan. 30 from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

TMCnet recently had the opportunity to catch up with Saad Shahzad, chief strategy officer of dinCloud, who talked about the impact cloud computing is having on businesses, adoption trends and other IT predictions for this year. First, Shahzad believes the most significant technology trend impacting the way businesses conduct operations today is cloud computing.

“Businesses are moving from an onsite-based infrastructure, which is incredibly expensive and requires a fully managed environment, to a cloud-based infrastructure, which is very flexible in terms of scale, price and managed services,” he said. “Businesses no longer have to focus on IT – they can focus on their core business and leave the IT worries to a cloud provider.”

While cloud adoption has certainly increased over the past couple of years, security concerns around cloud computing are still prevalent, however the industry is addressing this obstacle in a couple of ways, Shahzad explained.

“We see two forms of security concerns. One is the traditional concern around security of data – most service providers handle this very well in terms of data isolation and physical security in Tier 3 data centers,” he said. “The second form is actually insecurity from lack of control – because customers feel they don’t have control over their own infrastructure, they feel insecure. We believe the market is addressing this more lately by handing more control back in the hands of the customer.”

 “Customer Experience” has become a buzzword and 2013 may well become characterized as the Year of Customer Experience. As such, dinCloud is taking a number of steps to increase the customer experience, as it is the center of everything.

“The first and most important, is more communication with the customer - there is no such thing as over communication,” Shahzad explained. “Second, we are handing control of IT environments back to the customer – they can use our proprietary software to manage their environment, which might reduce the need for excessive communication and in some cases miscommunication.”The Los Angeles-based company is also adding reporting metrics that can help customers see graphical representation of their cloud environment and increase transparency.

Another buzzword we are hearing in the industry is BYOS – Bring Your Own Storage (or rather, Bring Your Own Cloud-based Storage) – and dealing with it may, in fact, now be the new major issue most enterprises and solutions providers need to deal with. But Shahzad has a different take.

“Most cloud storage solutions are seeing a lot of resistance from enterprises. These solutions are great to load photos and music in the cloud for consumers, but aren’t enterprise level solutions,” he said. “We believe companies will continue to keep storage on premise and work with cloud providers to offer second site backup in the cloud.”

Most organizations cannot afford to put a complete second date center in place for business continuity purposes as the cost and the complexity is too high, as well, Shahzad added. Cloud providers can offer second site back up at very low prices, which gives companies business continuity and disaster recovery that they could never afford before.    

Given the explosive growth of tablets, there is speculation by some analysts that we are moving further and further away from the PC. However, Shahzad believes the laptop isn’t going away any time soon.

“A tablet is a great mobile device for data consumption. While a Bluetooth keyboard connection is great, tablets are still not a true substitute for a full desktop,” he explained. “We see a shift from traditional laptops to ultrabooks as people find balance between mobility/portability and the full desktop experience.”

Looking at the impact Windows 8 had on the mobile market, Shahzad said Windows 8 will see some adoption in the mobile market, but it certainly will not displace iOS or Android (News - Alert) any time soon. 

“We believe Windows 8 will be more of a consumer play in the short term, and hence tied to the success of the Surface tablet, which is now tracking in line with Microsoft (News - Alert) projections and also other ultrabooks,” he said. “RIM has made a big play in the smartphone market with its new release, however, we believe it’s too little and too late.  Android will continue to grow with support from vendors like HTC and Samsung (News - Alert).”  

dinCloud also believes that 2013 will finally bring widespread video communications adoption.

“We think 2013 will see a significant rise in adoption for video communications. As an example, our company rolled out video phones to all executives. Video communication will really see mainstream adoption when the underlying infrastructure can support such high bandwidth applications. Today the infrastructure is just not in place to support this.”

This year, the most disruptive technology that will hit mainstream markets will be the cloud, he said.

“We have heard about this market exploding over the last many years, and while adoption has been good and certainly accelerating, it’s not mainstream today,” Shahzad said. “We believe 2013 will be year of the cloud.”

Finally, one misconception he would like to see set straight in the technology markets is the notion that cloud is not as secure as an onsite infrastructure implementation. 

“This is not correct in most cases. The cloud will actually be more secure than an on premise deployment,” Shahzad explained. “Now this may be counter-intuitive because how can an environment be more secure when it’s not in the customer’s environment?  The main reason for this is that most cloud providers spend a lot of time designing and thinking through security. This is the core competency for cloud providers and most businesses don’t have the security, audit and business continuity practices that established cloud providers will have in place.”

To find out more about Joseph Barnas, Director Channels, and dinCloud, visit the company at ITEXPO Miami 2013, taking place Jan. 29- Feb 1, in Miami, Florida. Barnas is speaking during How to Securely Mobilize Your Workforce” For more information on ITEXPO Miami 2013 click here.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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