SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Analysis: How Seattle became “Cloud City”

 Seattle is a great investment! Why? Because this city consistently reinvents itself. Follow the dots: timber to gold to aerospace to tech to cloud. I’ve enjoyed living here nearly 30 years and confirm that every time I land after a trip, realizing I’m home!
 
So what is Seattle’s secret sauce in becoming Cloud City? I’d offer competition. Both AWS and Azure were invented here. Hell even competitors like Google are now moving north to drink the water. I have a question for you before we discuss
 
the Seattle Time’s analysis.  Would you like a fall collaborative, Azure Nation, where we meet in Seattle for a multi-day event and discover what Azure is and is not. Would you like to see a shoot-out between Azure and AWS? Please join the conversation on our Facebook page so I can crowd source your interest level.
 
The Seattle Time’s article is an overview of the cloud computing sector and the customers (such as Boeing) that use cloud services. One takeaway is that Jeff Bzos, CEO of Amazon, proclaims “We got a seven-year runway. That’s almost unheard of. For years, we were kind of left alone.” True that but I’d offer he shouldn’t give up his day job as Microsoft is roaring back big time. And you know how Microsoft likes to start late and dominate even later.
 
Read the article here
 
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GoDaddy launches AWS-style servers and apps to build, test and scale cloud services

GoDaddy, the web hosting and domain registration company that went public last year, is adding new cloud services to grow the revenues it makes from the 14 million small businesses that make up the majority of its customer base. Today it’s taking the wraps off Cloud Servers and Cloud Applications — Amazon-style features that will let companies build, test and scale cloud solutions on GoDaddy’s infrastructure. Mountians

Jeff King, SVP and GM of Hosting and Security, says GoDaddy is entering the market aiming not at high-end app makers but smaller businesses that are making the move to cloud services. Pricing is built around a “pay as you go” model, and it starts at $5/month the 20GB option (working out to $0.01/hour), for 512MB of memory, 1 core processor, 20MB SSD disk and 1TB of transfer, through to the 80GB option, which is capped at $80/month (or $0.12/hour) for 8GB of memory, 4 core processor, 80GB SSD disk and 8TB of transfers.

It’s important to note that while these features are “Amazon-style”, GoDaddy believes it’s filling a niche that AWS is not actually serving that well right now: smaller businesses that need cloud services that complement a wider business that may not be in the cloud.

“It’s a long way to get to that,” King said of the scale and audience that AWS largely addresses. “We’re really about enabling small business to get started and grow. You have a long way to go on GoDaddy’s before you consider bringing your business into a dedicated data center.”

It’s not coming out of the blue for GoDaddy. The company has been building up its holdings in cloud services for a while now, most recently acquiring the public cloud customer division of Apptix for $22.5 million. And last year, it launched GoDaddy Pro — a portal that also gives customers the option of using GoDaddy for various SaaS activities like WordPress hosting, running virtual private services — and now added to that cloud servers and apps.

GoDaddy’s move to launch cloud servers and apps comes at an interesting time of increased competition among Amazon and other providers.

On a high level, Amazon’s AWS business has largely dominated the market for companies that are building and deploying apps in the cloud, nabbing some of the world’s biggest online companies as customers. More recently, there have been some high-profile movements, such as Dropbox taking more control of some of its own services; Spotify teaming with Google, and Apple reportedly also diversifying the third parties it works with in the cloud.

By many estimates, changes like these are unlikely to have a lasting impact on AWS’s bottom line, but they underscore the competitiveness in the market and how a business intent on winning more business in this area can find windows of opportunity.

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Breaking News – 2016 Readership Results!

Thank you for participating in our 2016 Readership Survey – it’s good for us and good for you. Here are the results:

Nearly 2/3 of you defined yourself as MSPs at 62.84%. The remaining responses included break-fix, consultant, system integrator, business consultant and ISV.

Technical content areas you are interested in, in order of strength, are: Office 365, Windows 10, and Windows Server. As you can see in the figure, AWS, Azure and Skype are less popular topics for you.

Not surprisingly, with respect to segments, you want coverage on the small and medium business (SMB) area. You are not interested in government and education. Enterprise, home and consumer were all tied for a distant second.

In terms of general areas, you were very interested in more coverage of SECURITY! Second was legacy technologies and third was cloud. Losers included Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) with both topics tied for last.

Your interests in “styles” was won by the “How To…Business” category followed by a tie with “How To…Technical” and stories on products and services. The notion of “Best of” contests finished a distant last.

When it came to social topics, you want more coverage on Start-ups, Shutdowns and Start-overs. The good news is that we’re closely listening to you and intend to make these area(s) pillars of our coverage in 2016! Tied for second was industry hiring and firings and gossip (lawsuits, etc.). Last place goes to political coverage. I thought political coverage might be a bit higher with the 2016 election year in the US.

Finally, a couple of standout comments included desire for an improvement in our newsletter being displayed on mobile devices, Hybrid Exchange/O365 articles and more technical content. There was also a shout-out to SharePoint. One person shared that “I expect this to provide content related to my work and revenue streams.”

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Trend Micro supports hybrid architectures

Security software provider Trend Micro continues to work to protect small business and enterprise from data vulnerabilities in hybrid cloud infrastructures. trendmicro

“A hybrid strategy helps many companies maximize existing infrastructure investments while successfully migrating to the cloud,” said Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president, cloud research, Trend Micro. “Even during an ‘all-in’ migration, there is a transition period where organizations have to manage IT assets across multiple environments. Security that can bridge both is a critical component in keeping corporate data safe and meeting compliance requirements. Our Deep Security platform allows users to pursue a hybrid strategy with confidence.”

Trend Micro’s integrated solution, Trend Micro Deep Security, is designed to enable compliance across workloads, giving organizations the ability to operate securely on-premises and in the cloud.

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The week that was – June 6, 2014

Your weekly roundup of IT news for the channel

LabTech creates App Exchange for RMM with open source Synergy Platform

LabTech-logoLabTech Software announced the launch of new capabilities that will allow third party developers – from software vendors and MSPS – to build onto the company’s RMM platform, customizing for the needs of their own businesses and potentially opening up new revenue streams. The Labtech Synergy Platform, which has been in beta for a year, will include fundamental APIs and an app exchange where MSPs and ISVs can sell the solutions they’ve developed to other users. “If you can imagine something in LabTech that you want to do, you can create it,” LabTech Software CEO Matt Nachtrab said at the Automation Nation 2014 conference in Orlando. “Anything you can imagine in LabTech you can turn into innovation.”

Staples takes pre-orders for new Microsoft Tablet

staples logoStaples is taking pre-orders for the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – the new 12 inch tablet that Microsoft is hoping will give a major boost its tablet business when it hits the streets June 20th. The Surface Pro 3, which will be priced in the $800-plus range, is driven by a fourth gen Intel Core processor and comes with Windows 8.1 Pro pre-loaded and includes the full Microsoft Office suite and a new Surface Pen. The target market is small businesses and students – users who might want a laptop-type experience in a more mobile form factor. According to research from research analyst firm Gartner, tablets based on the Windows operating system, make up about 2.1 percent of the global market – well behind Android (61.9 percent) and iOS (36 percent).

And in related news…

HP unveils Windows-based HP Pro x2 612 Tablet-Notebook

HP-logo2Hewlett-Packardhas announced the HP Pro x2 612, a full-featured Windows-based notebook with a detachable tablet screen. The new device, which is a major move in the fight for the notebook tablet market, features a 12.5-inch screen and comes with an HP Power Keyboard that gives the product 14 hours of battery life. The HP tablet will use Intel Core i3 and i5 processors with options for Intel Celeron and Pentium and will ship in early September. HP didn’t reveal pricing for the system however it is expected to sell for several hundred dollars less than the Surface Pro 3. While the HP product beats the Surface Pro 3 in all these areas, the biggest advantage it has in the SMB market may be the broad channel community that will be able to sell it. The Microsoft product is available only through select retailers (like Staples), from Microsoft itself and 10 Large Account Resellers.

Fonality launches New Partner Marketing Program

fonality-01Dallas, TX-based Fonality, a vendor of open-source VoIP and Unified Communications, announced Marketing 360 – a new partner marketing program that it hopes will help boost its channel business to hit 50 percent of overall revenue by the end of the year. Marketing 360 is an online resource that includes numerous new partner resources, incentives and marketing tools, including co-branded email campaign templates, monthly marketing webinars, sales presentations, and end user case studies and testimonials. This is just the latest of several changes Fonality has made to its partner program over the past few months. Other moves included a new compensation model that lets partners receive an up-front commission, in addition to monthly recurring revenue, on sales of hosted UC services so partners can pay off their salespeople quickly, and the Fonality Partner Exchange online community. Currently Fonality does about 45 percent of its business through the channel and has roughly 2,500 partners worldwide.

Amazon adds Windows Server 2012 R2 to AWS

Amazon web servicesAWS is shoring up the functionality of its cloud, this time by introducing its main rival’s own newest operating system – Windows Server 2012 R2. Offering Microsoft’s most advanced server OS eliminates a significant competitive advantage that Microsoft Azure enjoyed over AWS and levels the playing field between the two public cloud players. Windows Server 2012 R2 added new features and functionality to Microsoft’s popular server operating system including tiered storage capabilities through which the OS shuffles data between the fastest memory devices available on the system, improving overall performance. The new OS option will be available to all AWS customers, including those who fall in the Free Usage Tier, according to Amazon.

Yorktel acquires MultiSense, Expedite VCS

Logo-Yorktel-Tagline-RGB-LARGE.ashx Eatontown, NJ-based Yorktel, a global unified communications vendor, has acquired two video service providers increasing its market share in crucial industries: MultiSense Communications, a British firm with a focus on the health care vertical, and Expedite VCS, which delivers a solid public sector customer base including distance learning, corporate communications and telejustice. Yorktel’s VideoCloud delivers videoconferencing-as-a-service, with its cloud infrastructure situated mostly at Equinix data centers in the U.S., U.K. and Singapore. According to Greg Douglas, Yorktel’s executive vice president of sales, multipoint videoconferencing is a natural fit for health care and government – markets that mix demand for high quality face to face distance communications but have significant security demands. Last year Yorktel began offering channel partners white-label solutions and support, allowing them to resell videoconferencing solutions under their own brand. These new acquisitions will broaden the solutions channel partners can brand as their own, says Douglas.

WAN Op startup Aryaka expands global channel

Aryaka logoWAN optimization startup Aryaka is recruiting partners and expanding its global channel footprint while continuing to take aim squarely at chief competitor Riverbed Technology. Currently Milpitas, Calif.-based Aryaka does about 25 percent of its business through about 30 channel resellers, but the goal is to get as close to 100 percent as possible. The company also said it's received $10 million in Series D funding from existing investors InterWest Partners, Presidio Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures and Mohr Davidow Ventures, bringing total VC investments to $64 million.

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Amazon Web Services Releases New Mobile App Dev Tool

AWSAmazon Web Services, Inc. recently announced the availability of the Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) with the Mobile Push feature. This new service is designed to be a simpler cross-platform messaging process, based off of one API that will send messages to Apple iOS, Android and Kindle Fire platforms.

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