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5 top tips for businesses in data backup and recovery – Tom’s Guide

Hacks and malware are increasingly targeting companies of all sizes. So, its critical that you take charge of establishing a data backup and recovery plan for your business. Data security can go a long way towards keeping your systems safe, but a single mistake should never mean that you lose years worth of digital work forever.

These days, most businesses backup plans revolve around cloud storage. However, theres more to backup and recovery than just choosing the best cloud storage platform. In this guide, well offer five tips to help you ensure your data is well-protected and available in case you need it.

Although having a single, complete backup of your businesss files and computing network is better than nothing, its still not all that secure. Both you and your cloud storage provider could be affected by the same piece of malware. Or a regional disaster like an earthquake could destroy digital infrastructure both at your offices and at your cloud data center.

So, its essential that your backup and recovery strategy includes multiple backups. Ideally, your data should be mirrored at multiple data centers that are thousands of miles apart. Even better, store your data with two different cloud vendors so that your files live on multiple, disconnected networks.

If you have to remember to backup your files to the cloud, theres a chance that sooner or later youre going to forget to do it. If that happens, your business could potentially lose days or even weeks worth of critical data in the event of a breach.

Thankfully, you can rely on automation. Most business cloud storage providers offer software that helps you designate files for backup and then keeps them synced to the cloud. Look for the option to run incremental backups, which can help reduce the amount of bandwidth your backup regime requires.

Occasionally, youll also want to run large backups that include your network applications and company databases. Try scheduling these to upload overnight so they dont suck up network resources during the workday.

Most businesses need to backup at least some sensitive data, such as customer information, billing details, or employee records. Even if your data isnt necessarily sensitive, you dont want all of your companys files to leak out in the event that your network or cloud provider are hacked.

Thats why encryption is so important when it comes to backing up data to the cloud. Your cloud provider should offer end-to-end encryption so that data is encrypted before it ever leaves your computer. Even if a hacker is able to steal files from your backup, the files cannot be decrypted without your companys key.

Your businesss obligation to follow privacy laws like HIPAA and GDPR doesnt end when you send your data to the cloud. In fact, its up to you to make sure that your data will be stored in compliance with all applicable regulations. Be sure to ask your cloud storage provider about what steps they take to achieve compliance.

Another thing to consider is whether your data will be stored in the same country as your business. Storing data internationally can sometimes cause regulatory headaches, especially if youre backing up sensitive customer data. In addition, some countries have stronger data privacy laws than others. Always know where your data will be stored and how it could affect your data privacy.

When your business network goes down, every second of the recovery process matters. For most companies, a day without data means a day without revenue.

Downloading terabytes of application data, databases, and files from the cloud can take weeks. But many cloud providers will put a complete copy of your business backup on a hard drive and mail it to your business overnight. This type of courier service can enable your business to get back up in running within a day or two.

Backing up your data to the cloud is an essential part of protecting your business against hacks and system failures. But signing up for a storage platform isnt on its own a reliable backup and recovery solution. You need to establish a robust plan that considers elements like data security, redundancy, and recovery time. With all those pieces in place, you can feel assured that your business is ready to bounce back from any data loss event.

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Unified file and object storage: The best of both worlds? – ComputerWeekly.com

Enterprise IT architects constantly have to balance conflicting demands for data storage: performance, cost, resilience and scalability.

Theresult is a mixed ecosystem. We get object storage for large data sets and archives, file system-based NAS storage for unstructured data, and high performance arrays that use block for structured data in enterprise applications.

But with ever growing volumes of unstructured data, there are drivers towards blendingthe scale of the cloud and the application compatibility of files to produce unified file and object storage.

A single applicationcould then access its data using either file or object, with optimisation according tohow the dataisused. That could mean file for local frequently-accessed records, and object for longer-term warm or cold storage.Multiple applicationscould also share storage even if they use different protocols.

IBM, for example, points to long-term bulk storage on object systemsthat sit alongsidethe use of file for analytics applications andshares to end users. Also, legacy systemscoulduse file protocols to access modern, object storage.

The result is that vendors are starting to combine file and object into a single architecture, especially for high-performance applications.

But the technology is still in its early days, even if analysts describe it as evolutionary rather than as a whole new market.

File storage has been the bedrock of computing systems from the outset, with files ordered into a directory structure accessible directly by the operating system and applications. File storageprovides good read-writeperformance, but becomes hard to manage at scale.

Object storage, meanwhile, uses rich metadata to organise objects. Object storage systems work independently of location and hardware, and can scale without limit. As a consequence, object is the main building block for cloud storage and is finding its way into large-scale on-premises data projects in the enterprise too.

The difference is between accessing unstructured data over the statelessinternetin the form of objects, versus accessing structured file data over Ethernet, says Alex McDonald,EMEAchair of the Storage Network Industry Association.

But as McDonald notes, the underlying physical storage does not change according to the access protocols. It still comprises bytes on a drive.So, if vendors can expose a pool of storage to multiple access protocols, enterprises will gain flexibility in how they store data and how they design applications.

Much of the vendor work in the space aims at combining the benefits of file and object and overcoming the limitations of each.

File systems are a key part of all computing systems, and remain the most common way that applications and operating systems store data, says Steven Hill, senior analyst for applied infrastructure and storagetechnologies, at 451 Research.

File provides a simple, tree-based directory model. However, the filename, directory tree and the few limited attributes offered by file systems dont really provide much insight into the datas contents.Object storage provides a different abstraction model for data that supports a broad range of customisable metadata.

Hill notes that this powerful metadata provides: Granular automation of security, protection and lifecycle management of unstructured data. But object storage is notdirectlyaccessible to conventional applications.

Enterprises either need to re-factor applications to work with object storage, or use a gateway that translates between file and object, and which creates a potential bottleneck.

Combining file and object protocols into one storage system offers the benefits ofefficiency,scale and hardware independence that come from object storage with the operating system, application and device compatibility of file access.

Could unified file and object storageusher in a new age of flexible, scalable and high performance universal storage?

Theres really nothing that goes against the idea, says SNIAsMcDonald.In my opinion blocks, files and objects have been a fairly artificial, if useful, way of thinking about streams and accessing data. Were getting more accomplished at moving away from how its stored blocks on disk for instance towards what we might want to do with the data.

Enterprises, though, will make their own decisions about the speed of adoption. Systems that combine file and object storage are likely to be more expensive and complex than either cloud storage or simple NAS architectures alone.

Unified file and object storage is nowhere near becoming a universal storage format, however.

Although it is possible to run object, file and block on one system the performance penalties aretoo great, especially for applications such as databases and enterprise systemsthat need high-speed block-levelaccess.

Instead, the market is likely to settle around file and object for scalability and flexible data access,and file and blockat the array levelfor performance.

For now, vendors that combine file and object storage target specific use cases.

Pure Storage, for example, aims its unified file and object storage at artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as data analysis and high-performance computing. The technology could also be used where data needs to move between formats, perhaps using object to support cloud-native applications.

IBM, with its Spectrum Scale system, sees unified file and object storage as a time-saving device. It removes the need to port data from an object store to a file system so analytics applications can read it. The same data can be read as an object, or a file.

Evolution not revolution

However,industry watchers expect unified file and object to be less of a market segment than an evolution of existing technology. Ideally, vendors will hide the complexity of how data is stored from the end user, with intelligent technology making the decisions about how and where it resides.

I dont know if its a market segment as much as an evolutionary process, says 451s Hill. A majority of the data in the cloud today resides on object storage, so now its about the need to better leverage the capabilities of both platforms to provide global data management, automate data lifecycles and insure data security that spans all forms of enterprise storage.

SNIAs McDonald agrees, and sees the cloud driving the move to unified storage. Cloud providers now have file and object offerings that are, apart from the protocol used to access the data, built on the same stuff and very often allow file andobject access to the same data, he says.

The question is how quickly, and how effectively,the technology will expand to cover the rest of an enterprises storage needs.

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Unified file and object storage: The best of both worlds? - ComputerWeekly.com

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Business Cloud Storage market will continue to boom says analyst – Eurowire

The Business Cloud Storage Market Research Report aims to provide insights that strongly demonstrate the market structure, scope, history, potential, and development perspective. By crossing through the historical and present market status, the Business Cloud Storage market report provides authentic and reliable estimates for the forecast period. The Best part of this report is, this analyses the current state where all are fighting with the COVID-19, The report also provides the market impact and new opportunities created due to the Covid19 catastrophe.

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The report moreover presents a comprehensive representation of Business Cloud Storage manufacturers and companies who have been attempting to pose their dominance in the market in terms of sales, revenue, and growth. The report traverses their applications such as product research, development, innovation, and technology appropriation which supports them to deliver more efficient product lineup in the industry. Profitable business plans, including acquiring, mergers, ventures, amalgamations, as well as product launches, and brand promotions are also elucidating in the report.

Comprehensive analysis of Business Cloud Storage market segment Type, Application:

Furthermore, it explores various requisite segments of the global Business Cloud Storage market such as types, applications, regions, and technologies. The report grants a comprehensive analysis of each market acknowledging market acceptance, attractiveness, demand, production, and predicted sales revenue by Type(Less than 100GB, 100GB to 1TB, 1TB to 5TB, More than 5TB) and by Application(Primary Storage Solution, Backup Storage Solution, Cloud Storage Gateway Solution, Data Movement And Access Solution). The segmentation analysis helps consumers to select suitable segments for their Business Cloud Storage business and specifically target the wants and needs of their existing and potential customer base.

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The report focuses on regional coverage across the globe principally with respect to x-x Units, revenue (Million USD), market share and growth rate variable within each region depending upon its capacity. Regions that have been covered for this market included North America Country (United States, Canada), South America, Asia Country (China, Japan, India, Korea), Europe Country (Germany, UK, France, Italy), Other Country (Middle East, Africa, GCC)

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Veeam Enhances Offerings To Be A ‘Perfect’ Fit For MSPs – CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution providers

Data protection and management software firm Veeam is continuing to expand its efforts to make its offerings and programs an ideal fit for MSPs, as the company continues to seek to displace legacy backup offerings that are slow, clunky and costly, a Veeam representative said Thursday.

The Baar, Switzerland-based software vendor has made a number of recent moves to make its offerings and programs an even better match for MSPs, said Evan Dressler, an inside sales representative with the Veeam Cloud and Service Provider (VCSP) program. For instance, Veeam has launched special hosting rental licenses that are geared toward MSPs, he said.

[Related: Veeam Extends Data Protection To All NAS, Enhances Instant Recovery]

To facilitate the licenses, Veeam has created a self-service portal where VCSPs who have signed a volume rental agreement with us can create and download Veeam keys in a matter of moments, Dressler said. This allows you to stay away from a lengthy quote process. And with this, you own and manage these keys and have the ability to resell them to your customer however you see fit. We understand that as an MSP, you package your products and services in different ways, and our hosting rental licenses accommodate this perfectly.

Dressler offered the remarks Thursday during a session at the NexGen+ 2020 Virtual Experience, which is being presented by CRN parent The Channel Company.

Veeam has made some major strides with MSPs over the past year or two, and the improvements are being rolled out on a continuous basis, said Travis Adair, principal partner and vice president at InfiniTech Consulting, an MSP and Veeam partner based in Columbia, Mo.

It seems like each quarter a new piece of the puzzle gets filled in, Adair said. Theyve been making a lot of strides for the small businessfor our managed services clientele. At this point were pushing Veeam out to almost all of our managed services customers, just as part of our package.

He noted that his companys revenue associated with Veeam offerings has surged about 40 percent so far this year compared with the same period last year.

Veeams MSP-friendly moves have included recent updates that have driven our efficiencies internally, Adair said. Those have included improvements in the past year with the Veeam Availability Console, which lets MSPs manage many customer deployments from a centralized place, he said.

It used to be that we still had to log in to individual servers to perform some of the updates. But now, all updating has been centralized, and the reporting capabilities have been improved, Adair said.

Veeam is also catering to the needs of MSPs and their smaller customers in terms of the ways that backups can be deployed, said Brandon McCoy, senior system engineer at Veeam, during the NexGen+ session.

You may want to set up a customer that only does local backups. So youll still connect them to your Cloud Connect environment. But you dont have to give them any cloud-based storage, McCoy said. So this is perfect for an MSP who doesnt want to offer off-site backupsthey dont have their own data centerbut they do want to be able to log in to a Windows machine that they have and get visibility into all their clients.

Meanwhile, if youre one of those MSPs who doesnt have any kind of infrastructureyou dont have a place to set this console up, you dont want to run this Windows machinewe have a plethora of cloud service providers who offer these services and white-label it, McCoy said. Theyve got the Cloud Connect, theyve got the service provider console. And you, as an MSP, have the ability to add your clients under their console.

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Cloud Storage Gateway Market Globally Expected to Drive Growth through 2026 – KYT24

Cloud Storage Gateway Market research report explores the current outlook in global and key regions from the perspective of players, countries, product types and end industries. This report analyzes top players in the global market, and divides the Global Cloud Storage Gateway Market into several parameters.

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What is the Impact of Covid-19 Outbreak on the Cloud Storage Gateway?

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Microsoft And SpaceX: The Final Frontier For Cloud Computing – Forbes

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the 14th batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites launches from ... [+] pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on October 18, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. After launch, the first stage booster rocket was recovered by SpaceX on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In about 20 years or so, cloud computing has become one of the most important technologies on the planet.But in the years ahead, the cloud may venture into outer space.

This week Microsoft and SpaceX announced a new partnership called Azure Space.It will be a highly sophisticated Internet system based on network of thousands of satellites. To pull this off, Microsoft has created the Azure Modular Datacenter, which can move around and operate in harsh environments.So far, the Azure Space platform is in the testing phase.

Yet SpaceX is not the only partner.Microsoft has also entered an agreement with SES, which is a European satellite firm.It is the developer of the 03b system, which is larger than SpaceXs and travels farther from the earth.

The recent interest in space-based communications comes on the heels of several LEO-based (Low Earth Orbit) SATCOM (Satellite Communications) efforts from the likes of SpaceX, OneWeb and Kuiper, said Jim Poole, who is the Equinix Vice President of Business Development.For decades, most SATCOM services were GEO-based (Geosynchronous) systems, orbiting ~35,000km above the Earth.GEO SATCOMs were preferred because one satellite can cover most of a continent and the orbits are perpetual as their is no decay.But the downside of GEO SATCOMs is high latency, relatively low throughput and a dependency on very large ground antenna.By comparison, the LEO-based satellites orbit only 500K-2,000km from the Earth, enabling lower latency, higher throughput and small, easily sited antenna.Operators must compensate for coverage by deploying more satellites, but technological improvements have lowered the cost to build and deploy satellites making LEO-based SATCOMs affordable for mass market applications, such as for Internet access.LEO SATCOMs have the advantage of ubiquitous coverage, with less dependency on a dense ground network at the point of consumption.The applications are all the same ones you might consume in a large metropolitan area, with fiber to the home and high-bandwidth access to clouds and content, but delivered anywhere in the world.Analysts estimate that roughly 59% of the global population has access to the Internet.LEO SATCOMs can effectively bring that coverage to near 100%.

But of course, there is considerable risk to the space business.The riskiest part of the business is the cost to build and operate a large fleet of satellites, said Poole.LEO-based orbits decay over time, meaning the satellites reenter the atmosphere and burn up on reentry, requiring constant replacement every 5 years or so.One company, LeoSat has already gone out of business and OneWeb just went through Ch.11 reorganization.

Then there are the issues with hacking and cybercrimes, which could be particularly troubling.

Cybercriminals will most certainly target data with the intent to hold organizations to ransom or sell data analytics intellectual property to competitors, said Eoin Carroll, who is the Principal Engineer at McAfees Advanced Threat Research.McAfees Supernova cloud report shows that data is exploding out of the enterprise into the cloud and we look to see the same explosion of data from space to the cloud. Therefore, we expect Space 4.0 to become the next battle ground in the defense against cybercriminals with this New Big Data. Satellites will become another device connected to the cloud and if such a device can be compromised in space remotely or through the supply chain, then it opens a whole new attack class of space to cloud.

The digital space race is certainly heating up.The other main player is Jeff Bezos, who is building a cloud system based on AWS.Note that he has been able to land deals with companies like Maxar Technologies and Capella Space.

Cloud computing offers opportunities to automate and scale satellite operations, including satellite command and control as well as data analysis and delivery, said Payam Banazadeh, who is the CEO of Capella Space.For instance, as part of our partnership with AWS, Capella Space is able to offer an easy and cost-effective way for customers to control satellites and download satellite data directly and within minutes of its capture.

While mega tech companies will be key to the development of space technology, startups will also be essential.The opportunity to further develop and commercialize existing patents and technologies that of NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Defense and others have literally sitting on their shelves has enormous potential, said Tom Zelibor, who is the CEO of Space Foundation.Entrepreneurs and innovators look at the world differently, which is exactly why giving them access to these technologies and tools allows them to go in a direction that previously was unimageable.

Just in terms of the cloud, the revenue could hit $15 billion by the end of this decade.But there are other opportunities like space tourism, which companies like Virgin Galactic are pursuing.

In the meantime, the U.S. government has been ramping its investments with space technology.This is especially the case with the Pentagon.Military planners believe that smaller satellites are better for surveillance and defense purposes.

Theres never been a better time to be a part of the space economy, said Zelibor.As Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond said in a recent webinar, Our reliance on space is at an all-time high.

Tom (@ttaulli) is an advisor/board member to startups and the author of Artificial Intelligence Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction and The Robotic Process Automation Handbook: A Guide to Implementing RPA Systems. He also has developed various online courses, such as for the COBOL and Python programming languages.

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Microsoft And SpaceX: The Final Frontier For Cloud Computing - Forbes

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Cloud computing will power pandemic recovery in 2021 – ZDNet

Looking at the public clouds developed in the last 15 years, it almost seems like they were designed to handle the global demand shock caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only did the pandemic turn millions of office workers into home and remote workers overnight, it also changed how every IT department and development shop functioned. Without public cloud apps, development services, tools and infrastructure available to every business and consumer on demand, imagine how different (and hobbled) the pandemic response would have been. In 2020, cloud proved that, indeed, one should never let a good crisis go to waste.

In 2021, cloud will power how companies adapt to the "new, unstable normal." No one knows how far into 2021 we'll continue to work from home, shop primarily online, or avoid air travel -- but it's clear that every enterprise must become more agile, responsive and adaptive than ever before. Here's how Forrester predicts cloud computing will help companies around the world accelerate pandemic recovery in 2021:

We will see the hyperscale public cloud market return to hypergrowth. After some softening in public cloud revenue growth rates in late 2019, the pandemic turbocharged the market by mid-2020, and Forrester now predicts that the global public cloud infrastructure market will grow 35% to $120 billion in 2021. Alibaba will take the number-three revenue spot globally, after AWS and Microsoft Azure. Buckle up the cloud ride is taking off...again.

Cloud-native tech demand will spike as serverless and containers heat up. Prior to the pandemic, about 20% of developers regularly used container and serverless functions to build new apps and modernize old ones. We predict 25% of developers will use serverless and nearly 30% will use containers regularly by the end of 2021, creating a spike in global demand for both multicloud container development platforms and public-cloud container/serverless services.

On-premises disaster recovery (DR) strategies will fade, with recovery bound for the cloud. COVID-19 shined a bright light on every company unprepared to recover from a data center outage and refocused enterprise IT teams on improving resiliency. Before the pandemic, few companies protected data and workloads in the public cloud. In 2021, we predict that an additional 20% of enterprises will shift DR operations to the public cloud -- and won't look back.

Those are just a few highlights of how we think cloud will accelerate recovery from the pandemic. We'll also see changes in software buying habits, with a resurgence in interest in cloud marketplaces, and watch out for new regulations that restrict how and where companies can store data in the cloud.

You can download Forrester's 2021Predictions eBookhere.

This post was written by VP and Principal Analyst Dave Bartoletti, and it originally appearedhere.

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Microsoft to Partner With SpaceX on Cloud Computing – Market Realist

Gwynne Shotwell, the president and COO of SpaceX, said in a released video, The collaboration that were announcing today will allow us to work together to deliver new offerings for both the public and the private sector to deliver connectivity through Starlink for use on Azure, according to CNBC.

Microsoft Azure is the companys cloud platform encompassing over 200 products and cloud services. The cloud services are mainly targeted towards large-scale enterprise clients. Microsoft claims that 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies entrust their business to the Azure platform.

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A few weeks ago, Microsoft unveiled its new service, Azure Orbital, which will enable satellites to connect directly to the cloud. Microsoft data centers, including its Azure Modular Data Center, will be connected to Starlinks satellite network.

Azure data centers are unique physical buildings located worldwide. They house a group of networked computer servers. CNBC noted that the company envisions the product helping to provide solutions for military needs, humanitarian efforts, mobile command centers, mining, and more.

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TechandGeek reported that data centers can be transported anywhere and provide effective service in tough environments and difficult conditions. The Azure Orbital Emulator will conduct large-scale satellite constellation simulations and generate scenarios to ensure launches proceed as planned.

Tom Keane, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Azure Global, explained that its natural for people to think of SpaceX in association with innovation and the evolution thats occurring to bring space technology into the 21st century, according to CNBC.

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The partnership may also set up Microsoft and SpaceX to be more competitive with Jeff Bezos, with similar Amazon cloud services, a Starlink rival Kuiper, and Bezos rocket builder Blue Origin.

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On Oct. 22, SpaceXs second Falcon 9 rocket launch of the week was called off just minutes before its planned 12:14 p.m. ET launch. The rocket, carrying 60 Starlink satellites, seemed to have a small-seeming issue with the loss of upper stage camera, according to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk.

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On Oct. 18, a Falcon 9 transporting 60 Starlink satellites successfully launched from Kennedy Space Centers Pad 39A. The scrubbed launch on Oct. 22 would have been the companys 15th lauch.

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Since 2019, more than 800 satellites have been launched. SpaceX is gradually working towards building a megaconstellation of 14,000 satellites to provide global broadband Internet coverage.

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Will Cloud Computing Accelerate the Economic Recovery? – ETF Trends

Cloud computing has been a boon for companies that have been able to capitalize on the increased work-from-home labor force amid the Covid-19 pandemic. As more countries continue to undergo a recovery around the globe, cloud computing will be one of those sectors that will assist recuperating economies.

Looking at the public clouds developed in the last 15 years, it almost seems like they were designed to handle the global demand shock caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, noted a ZDNet article. Not only did the pandemic turn millions of office workers into home and remote workers overnight, it also changed how every IT department and development shop functioned. Without public cloud apps, development services, tools and infrastructure available to every business and consumer on demand, imagine how different (and hobbled) the pandemic response would have been. In 2020, cloud proved that, indeed, one should never let a good crisis go to waste.

In 2021, cloud will power how companies adapt to the new, unstable normal. No one knows how far into 2021 well continue to work from home, shop primarily online, or avoid air travel but its clear that every enterprise must become more agile, responsive and adaptive than ever before, the article added.

As cloud computing continues to power through 2020 and beyond, one such fund ETF investors can consider is theGlobal X Cloud Computing ETF (Nasdaq: CLOU). Seeking to track the Indxx Global Cloud Computing Index, the fund holds a basket of companies that potentially stand to benefit from the continuing proliferation of cloud computing technology and services.

The cloud computing industry refers to companies that (i) license and deliver software over the internet on a subscription basis (SaaS), (ii) provide a platform for creating software applications which are delivered over the internet (PaaS), (iii) provide virtualized computing infrastructure over the internet (IaaS), (iv) own and manage facilities customers use to store data and servers, including data center Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), and/or (v) manufacture or distribute infrastructure and/or hardware components used in cloud and edge computing activities.

An additional fund to consider in the cloud computing space is the WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund (WCLD). The fund seeks to track the price and yield performance of the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index, which is designed to track the performance of emerging public companies primarily involved in providing cloud computing software and services to their customers.

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DDOG: 3 Cloud Computing Stocks That Will Outperform in 2021 – StockNews.com

In the last decade, cloud stocks have been some of the top-performers on the market. These stocks have also been especially strong during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cloud computing remains a promising sector in 2021 for investors given the massive transition of enterprise IT spending in the public cloud. It offers companies the opportunity to save costs as they do not have to manage their own infrastructure anymore.

According to market research company Gartner, global annual spending on public cloud is expected to grow from $250 billion in 2020 to $360 billion in 2022.

Here we look at three cloud computing companies that are well poised to outperform in 2021.

Datadog (DDOG) is a fast-growing software platform

The first stock on the list is Datadog (DDOG), a company that monitors enterprise cloud activity and mines it for business insights. Datadog provides a monitoring and analytics platform for developers, technology teams, and business users.

Its SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform integrates and automates multiple processes such as infrastructure monitoring, log management, and application performance monitoring that provides real-term data of the companys technology stack.

The Datadog platform also provides network performance monitoring and products that include dashboards, advanced analytics, and collaboration tools.

In the most recent quarter, Datadog sales were up 68% year-over-year while it expects full-year revenue to increase 57% based on the companys midpoint forecast. As the company continues to scale, Datadog is also able to improve profit margins.

In the last fiscal year, Datadog reported an operating loss of $5.4 million while the company forecast to report operating income between $28 million and $34 million in 2020. In the June quarter, the number of customers that generate annual recurring revenue of over $100,000 grew 71% year-over-year.

Its customer base grew 37% as well in Q2, while its dollar-based net retention rate stood at 130%, which means customers are spending an additional 30% on the Datadog platform compared to the prior-year period.

Datadog stock is trading at $102 and has gained 180% since it went public last September. The company has a market cap of $31 billion, indicating a forward price to sales multiple of 54x and a price to earnings multiple of 851x. The stock is trading at a lofty valuation but its supported by robust earnings and revenue growth.

Splunk (SPLK) stock has returned 500% since IPO

Splunk (SPLK) develops software solutions that are used by enterprises to gain real-time operational intelligence. The company offers a variety of cloud-based products and services to enterprises.

Splunk Enterprise is a data platform that includes indexing, search, reporting, analysis, monitoring, and data management capabilities. Splunk Cloud is a cloud service for machine data while Splunk Enterprise Security addresses security threats and event management use cases.

SignalFx provides real-time troubleshooting for cloud infrastructure applications and Splunk IT Service Intelligence monitors key performance indicators of critical IT services. Further, Splunk also provides the Splunk App for Amazon Web Services that collects and analyzes data from AWS data sources.

Last year, Splunk shifted towards a SaaS-based business model which resulted in a change in revenue recognition methods. This means its revenue is now recognized over the period of the enterprise subscription contract compared to its old model where revenue was recognized upfront at the time of sale.

This meant Splunk sales were down 2% year-over-year in the first six months of fiscal 2021 at $926 million. However, if we consider the companys annual recurring revenue (ARR) metrics Splunks total sales were up 50% at $1.93 billion at the end of Q2. In the next two years, Splunk forecasts ARR to grow by an annual rate of 40% to reach $4.6 billion by 2023.

Splunk is valued at a market cap of $34 billion which means its price to sales multiple is 14.7x which is significantly lower than Datadog. Splunk stock has already gained 500% since it went public in 2012 and might continue to generate market-beating returns in the upcoming decade as well.

ServiceNow (NOW) stock is up 75% in 2020

ServiceNow (NOW) is the third and final stock on this list. It provides cloud computing solutions that manage and automate repeatable business processes. The company offers information technology service management applications and digital workflow products in customer service, risk management, human resources, and other enterprise verticals.

ServiceNow also provides a suite of IT service management products for enterprise employees, customers, and partners. It ended 2019 with a customer base of 6,200 which includes 80% of the Fortune 500 companies.

It now has 964 customers with an annual contract value of $1 million. ServiceNow has a renewal rate of 97% indicating strong customer retention. This focus on customer acquisition has allowed ServiceNow to expand revenue by 30% in the first half of 2020 while net income was up 69%. For 2020, the cloud giant has forecast subscription sales to rise by about 30%.

ServiceNow is valued at a market cap of $97 billion which means its price to sales multiple is 22x. ServiceNow stock has already gained 2,000% since it went public in 2012 and is up 75% year-to-date.

The final takeaway

We can see that the three companies are trading at high valuations. However, they have experienced stellar growth in revenue and earnings, which should continue in 2021. Growth stocks trade at a premium which means they will outpace the broader market returns in a bull run but also underperform when markets turn bearish.

These companies are part of expanding addressable markets with a subscription-based business model. This allows them to generate a predictable stream of revenue across business cycles and lower massive fluctuations in a downturn.

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DDOG shares were trading at $99.55 per share on Friday morning, up $0.61 (+0.62%). Year-to-date, DDOG has gained 163.50%, versus a 8.62% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

Aditya Raghunath is a financial journalist who writes about business, public equities, and personal finance. His work has been published on several digital platforms in the U.S. and Canada, including The Motley Fool, Finscreener, and Market Realist. More...

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DDOG: 3 Cloud Computing Stocks That Will Outperform in 2021 - StockNews.com

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