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Rackspace Adds Network Training to Open Cloud Academy

The new network operations class reflects growing interest within the channel as a whole in tighter network security

Rackspace continues to expand its educational initiatives around the open cloud. This week, it launches a new network operations class as a part of the curriculum at the Open Cloud Academy, a key part of the company's efforts to train the next generation of IT professionals for the cloud.

The class is an eight-week training program that grants certifications for network administrators, network operators and network engineers. It's the newest addition to the lineup of professional training options available at the Open Cloud Academy, which also offers instruction in Linux system administration, software development and cyber security, according to an article on TheVarGuy.com.

The new network operations class reflects growing interest within the channel as a whole in tighter network security and enhanced network efficiency around cloud computing. It's also evidence of Rackspace's interest in creating a well-rounded workforce of programmers, administrators and technicians who can build and maintain the virtual servers and cloud computing infrastructure that constitute the bread and butter of Rackspace's business.

While traditional educational routes through third-party technical schools and non-profit educational insitutions can supply some of that IT talent, Rackspace clearly believes they won't suffice on their own. Instead, the company is seeking to build its own base of professionals close to home, and hopes to do so by appealing not only to traditional IT students but also military veterans, college graduates, people changing careers and technicians with some certifications and would like to gain more. The Open Cloud Academy singles out all of these groups on its website as ideal candidates for its programs.

Why Washington Post Sale Is Big News for IT
There's no doubt Jeff Bezos made a significant move when the Amazon founder decided to ink a deal for The Washington Post.

How, exactly, his role as Amazon's head will play out as he now calls himself the owner of D.C.'s storied paper is uncertain.

But it will have some impact, according to an article on eWEEK.com.

For example, will the Post continue to cover important Internet-related stories objectively - especially those that impact Amazon.com directly? Examples include net neutrality, government using cloud services for domestic spying, cloud security, Internet governance, federal and state taxation on Internet sales and others. Readers will find out soon enough.

This is not just about the sale of a longtime business owned by one family - the Grahams, who owned the Post for more than 40 years - to another businessman. This is also the latest indicator that IT business leadership is now truly making a significant impact on the rest of the world. A lot of folks who made their fortunes in the IT business are now paying back some of their wealth into various communities, and this is a welcome trend.

Take into account, for example, the billions of dollars the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation s - the roots of which are tied to Microsoft's longtime success - have given to education and many other worthy causes over the last decade. Marc Benioff, CEO and founder of Salesforce, wrote a multimillion-dollar check a couple of years ago that started a new, state-of-the-art children's hospital being built for the University of California, San Francisco. It will be completed in 2015.

Larry Ellison, CEO and co-founder of Oracle Corp., personally has helped rebuild several local schools in Silicon Valley, has been a champion of the America's Cup organization, and helps numerous other organizations on an anonymous basis, we're told.

Makes for quite the story.

How Computer Clouds Helps Fight Cancer
Cloud has been called many things by many people. But now it looks like it's being called a godsend for researchers taking on the cause of curing cancer.

The National Cancer Institute plans to sponsor three pilot computer clouds filled with genomic cancer information that researchers across the country will be able to access remotely and mine for information.

The program is based on a simple revelation, said George Komatsoulis, interim director and chief information officer of the National Cancer Institute's Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology, according to an article on Nextgov. It turns out the gross physiological characteristics we typically use to describe cancer - a tumor's size and its location in the body - often say less about the disease's true character and the best course of treatment than genomic data buried deep in the cancer's DNA.

The largest barrier to gaining that information isn't medical but technical, said Komatsoulis who's leading the cancer institute's cloud initiative. The National Cancer Institute is part of the National Institutes of Health.

The largest source of data about cancer genetics, the cancer institute's Cancer Genome Atlas, contains half a petabyte of information now, he said, or the equivalent of about 5 billion pages of text. Only a handful of research institutions can afford to store that amount of information on their servers let alone manipulate and analyze it.

That's where computer clouds - the massive banks of computer servers that can pack information more tightly than most conventional data centers and make it available remotely over the Internet - come in. If the genomic information contained inside the atlas could be stored inside a cloud, he said, researchers across the world would be able to access and study it from the comfort of their offices. That would provide significant cost savings for researchers. More importantly, he said, it would democratize cancer genomics.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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