Cloud News: ING, VirtualSharp, Cisco

Global financial firm ING bets big on cloud computing, VirtualSharp unveils updated disaster recovery tool, Cisco and O4IT offer virtual desktops in Latin America.

John Rath

December 2, 2011

3 Min Read
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Here’s a roundup of some of this week’s headlines from the cloud computing sector:

ING Bets big on the Cloud.  Bank Technology News reports that global financial giant ING is developing a hybrid cloud that combines features of public clouds and private data centers. The hybrid IT infrastructure will achieve the variable costs, scalability, flexibility, and on-demand availability offered by public cloud computing in a way that addresses the security, compliance and performance requirements banks adhere to in their internal clouds. "One issue a lot of financial companies have today is we all carry a lot of legacy in our environments, which means we can't move quickly and respond to demands the way we'd like to," Tony Kerrison, CTO of ING, told BTN. "Technologies like cloud will help us to be more agile and adapt to the demands of our clients in a much better way. Cloud computing has given us the opportunity to have some standards we work to and think about different ways of providing our services than just the traditional way of running everything ourselves."  While only 5 percent of ING applications are run in a private cloud, but plans call for rapid expansion, including the ability to have all desktop apps stream from the cloud, use software as a service, and experiment with a cloud-based database as a service.

VirtualSharp unveils ReliableDR 3.0.  At CloudBeat 2011 VirtualSharp Software announced the newest release of its flagship product, ReliableDR 3.0.  The new version brings significant enhancements that reflect continued execution on the company's vision as well as the feedback from its already significant customer base. As an elite-level VMware Technology Alliance Partner VirtualSharp developed a way to address disaster recovery through process orchestration across data centers. "In the context of Disaster Recovery assurance, VirtualSharp has no direct rivals, and Disaster Recovery testing is becoming more and more critical as IT organizations move the virtualization efforts into mission-critical production applications," said Dave Simpson, Senior Analyst at The 451 Group. "As virtualization expands into tier one applications, the need for automated Disaster Recovery testing and certification will become much more critical." New features in version 3 include multitenancy, application-specific SLAs, role-based access control, Web Oriented Architecture (WOA), and an embeddable dashboard. ReliableDR 3.0 will be available in the first quarter of 2012.

Cisco and O4IT offer South America Virtual Desktops in the Cloud. Service provider O4IT announced it will implement the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) to offer virtual desktops in the cloud. The implementation is designed to provide mobility, flexibility, a high level of security and cost reduction to O4IT's customers under a low-redundant infrastructure. Under the name CloudDesktopNow O4IT will service the market with an integrated service including thin terminals, firewalls, connectivity, a data center and software licensing.  The desktop virtualization runs on Citrix, where the roles of the perimeter and security devices like NetScaler, the Web servers published in the applications, the licensing servers and the databases are configured to support multiple customers, leaving the application servers running in the virtual desktop. "The desktop virtualization offered as a service through O4IT is an example of the perfect value that an end-to-end virtualized architecture can offer: any device, anywhere, anytime and for any kind of information," said Fernando Rodriguez, Virtualization and Cloud Computing Development Manager at Cisco Latin America.  "This is the real meaning of virtualization we are working for within Cisco, and we want to build it with innovation and together with customers like O4IT. In this case, Cisco UCS server platforms allow us to make that virtualization real, thanks to the convergence starting within the data center and extending directly towards the preferred device of each user along the network."

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