Cloud News: Microsoft, Nimsoft, F5 Networks

Microsoft moving USDA to the cloud, Nimsoft releases monitoring tool for servers at Rackspace, F5 Networks (FFIV) enables Rackspace Cloud Connect.

Here’s a roundup of this week’s headlines from the data center and hosting industry:

Microsoft moves USDA to the cloud. Microsoft (MSFT) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is on the verge of going live with a commercial cloud service offering for its Enterprise Messaging Service (EMS), which includes e-mail, webconferencing, document collaboration and instant messaging.  In order to streamline agency messaging, reduce costs and improve efficiencies    The USDA has been working with Dell and Microsoft on a comprehensive plan to migrate 120,000-plus workers to the cloud solution.  They expect to begin moving employees within the next four weeks and has granted Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) Authorization to Operate (ATO) for the Microsoft cloud infrastructure.  “USDA’s IT modernization will allow us to streamline our operations and help us use taxpayer dollars more efficiently. With a focused cloud road map, we saw a clear opportunity to help achieve our cost savings and consolidation goals and tap into the promise of the cloud," said Chris Smith, chief information officer at USDA.

Nimsoft Cloud Monitor for Rackspace. Nimsoft announced the availability of Nimsoft Cloud Monitor, a new tool for monitoring Rackspace cloud-based servers.  Cloud Monitor compliments Nimsoft Monitoring Solution (NMS), which enables organizations to monitor and manage a widde rang e of diverse applications and services from the data center to the cloud.  Cloud Monitor has intuitive, customizable dashboards, configurable alarms, resource usage monitoring and performance monitoring. "Cloud-based hosting services are gaining increased adoption because of the cost and flexibility advantages they provide," said Dennis Callaghan, senior analyst, enterprise software at The 451 Group. "The more organizations are able to integrate performance and availability monitoring of cloud infrastructure services with monitoring of the rest of their IT environments, the better equipped they'll be to maximize the benefits-as well as the overall performance and availability-of the cloud services they use."

F5 enables Rackspace  Cloud Connect. F5 Networks (FFIV) announced that Racksapce (RAX) chose F5 BIG-IP products as the foundation for its innovative Cloud Connect service.  Rackspace offers its customers a full range of BIG-IP devices with Local Traffic Manager. An initial setup process connects the customer’s dedicated servers to its cloud account, enabling BIG-IP products to act as a strategic control point between the environments. “This solution does much more than provide a physical connection; it allows customers to take advantage of BIG-IP’s intelligent traffic management capabilities between dedicated and cloud servers. Furthermore, BIG-IP has already proven itself as a reliable and cost effective component of our infrastructure," said Toby Owen, Product Manager for Hybrid Hosting Solutions at Rackspace.

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