News briefs: Amazon Storage Gateway to run in Hyper-V, Moonshot launch

This week, Amazon's Storage Gateway expands to support Hyper-V, HP launches Moonshot and Rackspace launches OpenStack package for service providers.

Amazon Storage Gateway to support Hyper-V

VMware might be the market leader in hypervisors, but it's no longer the only game in town. In a nod to Microsoft's growing installed base, Amazon Web Services recently announced Hyper-V support for its Amazon Storage Gateway service. The cloud storage gateway, previously supported only on VMware's ESXi hypervisor, is a customer premises-based software appliance that eases data transfers between Amazon's S3 cloud storage and customers' environments for file sharing, backup and disaster recovery. Amazon's latest move falls into line with the company's recent trajectory of investing more in higher-level services, such as cloud database services and Platform as a Service, according to The Register.

Rackspace takes on patent trolls

Just two weeks after winning an early dismissal of a lawsuit filed by notorious patent troll Uniloc, Rackspace announced last week that it's challenging the validity of a patent on the screen rotation technology now ubiquitous in mobile devices. The Texas-based company Rotatable Technologies holds a patent that it "claims covers the screen rotation technology standard in just about every smartphone," wrote Alan Schoenbaum, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at Rackspace, in a recent blog post. Rackspace uses the screen-rotation technology in one of its mobile cloud applications. Rotatable Technologies has filed more than a dozen cases of patent infringement in the past year, according to an IDG News Service report. The targets of the suits range from Apple to Netflix to Whole Foods, all of whom will be winners if Rackspace is successful. It's likely the legal fight will cost Rackspace much more than Rotatable's proposed $75,000 settlement, but Rackspace decided to counterstrike to stand up not only for itself, but for the open source community and mobile developers, Schoenbaum wrote. This isn't the first time a large company has taken a financial hit defending its right to use a technology, as GigaOM noted.

Rackspace offering OpenStack to service providers

On the heels of the news it will wage an expensive patent battle to the benefit of developers at large, Rackspace also announced last week it's expanding beyond its OpenStack-based cloud services for business customers to offer OpenStack deployments for service providers. According to a press release, Rackspace plans to offer telecommunications companies and other large service providers a fully managed package of OpenStack-powered hardware and software infrastructure with carrier-grade service-level agreements and support. Customers are likely to find an approach like Rackspace's "compelling," said Gary Chen, a research manager at IDC, who noted that it could lead to a global network of federated, interoperable clouds that makes multi-provider hybrid cloud deployments feasible.

HP Moonshot launches, catches Savvis' eye

In its latest shot at producing lower-power servers to support greater server densities in data centers, HP announced in a webcast last week the launch of the second generation of Project Moonshot, which uses the Centerton chip based on Intel's Atom mobile processor, as Wired reported. Heralded by HP as the first "software-defined server," the machine will consume 89% less energy, use 80% less space and cost 77% less than traditional servers. HP plans to roll out Moonshot servers based on ARM chips as well, heightening the competition between the chipmakers as tech companies zero in on managing the growing storage, networking and processor demands brought on by cloud computing. Savvis could be the first big cloud provider to deploy the servers, which it is currently testing and plans to deploy to support a big data service launching later this year, Virtualization Review reported.

Access networks bear the blame for dirty cloud

Data centers get a bad rap for energy consumption, but a report from the Center for Energy-Efficient Communications (CEET) at the University of Melbourne revealed that wireless access networks account for 90% of the energy consumed in cloud computing. While not dismissing the substantial amount of energy that data centers consume, researchers called for a shift in focus to the amount allocated to the network and specifically the final connection between the telecommunications infrastructure and the user device. CEET predicts a 460% increase in wireless cloud energy consumption between 2012 and 2015, advising that "there needs to be a focus on making access technologies more efficient and potentially a reworking of how the industry manages data and designs the entire global network."

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