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Expert cloud computing advice: Top tips for providers in summer 2012

As summer 2012 ends, we review the most popular cloud computing advice and tips on Miss something? We'll catch you up.

It's hard to believe autumn is already upon us as another summer comes to a close. As the seasons transition, we here at are taking a moment to reflect on some of our most popular expert tips from summer 2012 -- giving you another chance to catch up on readers' top picks for cloud computing advice these past few months.

Expert advice on the role of open source projects, such as OpenFlow and OpenStack, and their relationships with cloud computing came out on top. Cloud federation, DevOps and data energy consumption scored spots as some of the most-read pieces this summer.

Take a look at these top five expert tips, and don't risk missing out on advice that could help clarify your cloud services strategy.

1. OpenFlow tutorial for cloud providers

Are you still a little fuzzy on the advantages of OpenFlow? In this OpenFlow tutorial, networking expert Tom Nolle shows how OpenFlow can be a competitive advantage and outlines steps for providers to test out this protocol in their networks. The summer might be slipping away, but don't let this opportunity do the same.

2. Is OpenStack architecture really the best choice to build IaaS clouds?

You've probably heard about the open source project OpenStack and how its architecture has the potential to alter the relationship between cloud computing and the network. But is this technology at risk of being overhyped? Our networking expert tackles this tough question in this must-read tip.

3. Three paths to the federated cloud: Which is right for you?

The concept of a federated cloud is still maturing. By freshening up on the topic with this three-part tip series, you can get up to speed on some of the trail-blazing players in this new ecosystem, learn about their distinct business models, understand their partnership opportunities and find out why there really is strength in numbers.

4. Selling SaaS: Evaluating DevOps tools and models for cloud providers

If you've tried to build and manage Software as a Service (SaaS) applications without using DevOps tools and principles, then you know what a daunting task this can become. Make sure you avoid this operational nightmare, as SaaS has the potential to be the most compelling and lucrative of the three major cloud business models. But to embrace DevOps, you must first evaluate all your options: scripts or containers? Objects or charms? Juju or Donabe? In yet another popular tip from our trusty networking expert Tom Nolle, learn about the different DevOps strategies and the important role they can play in selling SaaS.

5. Cloud's dirty secret: Its effects on data center energy consumption

Did you get wind of the cloud gossip this summer? The cloud has a dirty secret: Cramming scores of virtual machines (VMs) onto fewer servers has its benefits, but it's not without drawbacks -- particularly in terms of data center energy consumption. In this expert tip, analyst Amy Larsen DeCarlo explains that while it's natural to assume fewer VMs per server will result in greater energy efficiency, the reality of the situation is not quite that simple. Is energy efficiency an unobtainable goal in the cloud? Review this tip to learn the facts.

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