December 2011

Hackers, like security vendors, are embracing the cloud; can you?

Grazed from CSO.  Author: David Braue.

Large-volume hackers have become cloud pioneers, utilising public infrastructure to threaten companies that often effect ambitious but poorly-considered cloud-computing strategies, a security industry technologist has warned.

Noting the growing reliance on virtualisation and the increasing trend towards pushing virtual machines into public cloud services to cut infrastructure costs, Raimund Genes, global chief technology officer with security firm Trend Micro, warned that too many companies are just moving their security and reliability problems from one infrastructure to another.

Redundancy, for example, must be catered for: while cloud services from Amazon, Microsoft and others allow servers to be spread across servers in multiple geographies to minimise downtime, many companies simply move their existing systems into cloud-hosted virtual machines. This leaves them vulnerable to data and systems loss in the event of even a partial cloud collapse...

Four trends that shaped cloud computing in 2011

Grazed from CloudBeat.  Author: Luis Robles.

In a few short years, we all have witnessed cloud computing unleash a wave of innovation in IT. Enterprises are continuing to adopt cloud-based services and entrepreneurs are finding plentiful low cost and low friction compute resources to transform ideas into enduring new companies. With the year coming to a close, and VentureBeat’s CloudBeat 2011 conference just a day away, here’s a look at some of the more notable cloud trends of the past year:

1. Amazon web services hiccuped a few times but continued to set the pace for public clouds

We’re seeing a growing number of cloud offerings, but developers are doubling down on the ones that are innovating fastest — and AWS is leading the pack. Driven by a steady stream of feature enhancements, AWS continued its explosive growth in 2011, recently announcing that its S3 service was processing over 370K requests per second and had doubled in 9 months to store a staggering 566 billion objects! Most of the entrepreneurs we met in 2011 were using AWS somehow, and even Amazon is finding interesting ways to leverage its own infrastructure (such as the new AWS-powered Silk browser)...

Cloud at 'chapter zero' presents opportunities

Grazed from ZDNet.  Author: Jamie Yap.

The cloud computing market is currently "super immature" and is awaiting massive innovation. As such, Hewlett-Packard (HP) wants to be the cloud specialist providing customers the whole gamut of IT services, from traditional models to private and public cloud deployments, one executive revealed.

According to Steve Dietch, vice president of marketing for cloud solutions and infrastructure at HP, pointed out that in terms of full-scale cloud penetration beyond just virtualizing one's data center, this remains minimal among businesses currently.

"We're in chapter zero of the cloud. [Hence,] there's opportunity in front of us and the opportunity for innovation is gigantic," he told ZDNet Asia at a media briefing during the HP Discover conference on Thursday...

Cloud security to focus on technologies

Grazed from The Guardian.  Author: Mark Say.

Security around cloud computing is likely to focus on accreditation for individual technologies rather than wide ranging guidelines, according a leading official from CESG.

Chris Ulliot, deputy technical director for CESG, the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, told the Socitm conference in Birmingham that cloud services make the technical elements of information security easier to deal with, as services can be certified before they reach the market.

CESG is working on some of the relevant issues, including privileged user access to data in the cloud, the legal jurisdictions, the location of data and its aggregation, where the boundaries between different sets of data lie, and the recovery of lost data. Ulliot said the big challenges are around governance, who owns the risk, and who is going to sign off a service as reaching an appropriate standard. But there are no plans to provide official guidance for the public sector...

Cloud: We're Just Wagging the Dog

Grazed from Sys Con Media.  Author: Roger Strukhoff.

I read a nice analysis of cloud computing by Joe McKendrick this week - it's at a sort-of-competing website, so I can't link to it - that said, in essence, IT is and will be driving the cloud, rather than the other way around.

I agree. Cloud is the tail and IT is still the dog. No one should be motivated to "migrate toward the cloud" just because there were 10,000 people at the recent Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. No one should migrate toward the cloud just because every technology vendor now has either a solid cloud strategy or compelling cloudwashing strategy.

But yet, in its role as the tail, cloud computing is still part of the beast overall. The real disconnect in most enterprises remains that yawning gap between the business and IT sides. I don't know if that gap will ever be closed. There is more lip service given to "business and IT alignment" than there is to tax reform...

Technology v support: Amazon's premium challenge

Grazed from The Register.  Author: Matt Asay.

In order to compete in the public cloud with the Amazon juggernaut, rivals like Rackspace and Alcatel-Lucent are turning to value-added services to try to turn commoditised cloud computing into premium offerings.

It's unclear whether this will work. Once customers get habituated to "low cost and more than good enough", it's hard to convince them to pay more, particularly when Amazon Web Services has come to be the default public cloud option.

The stakes are high enough, however, that Amazon's competitors aren't about to shirk the fight...

What is PaaS?

►  PaaS   is an acronym that stands for:   Platform as a Service

►  PaaS   is defined as:   A category of cloud computing services that provides a computing platform and a solution stack as a service. In the classic layered model of cloud computing, the PaaS layer lies between the SaaS and the IaaS layers.

source: Wikipedia

What Is IaaS?

►  IaaS   is an acronym that stands for:   Infrastructure as a Service

Cloud Computing Traffic Could Reach 1.6 Zettabytes Annually by 2015

Grazed from The Journal.  Author: Leila Meyer.

Cisco has issued its first Global Cloud Index (2010-2015), an estimate of global data center and cloud-based Internet Protocol traffic growth and trends. Based on data from the Global Cloud Index, Cisco estimated data center traffic will quadruple to reach 4.8 zettabytes annually by 2015, with cloud computing as the fastest growing component.

According to Cisco, "cloud is becoming a critical element for the future of information technology (IT) and delivery of video and content." In 2010, cloud computing traffic totaled 130 exabytes, 11 percent of data center traffic, but Cisco estimated it will reach a total of 1.6 zettabytes, more than 33 percent of all data center traffic, by 2015. For a little perspective, 1.6 zettabytes is approximately 1.7 billion terabytes, or the equivalent of 1.6 trillion hours of online high-definition video streaming.

The Cisco Global Cloud Index found that most data center traffic is the result of data backup and replication within the data centers and clouds themselves. Cisco estimated this internal data movement will represent 76 percent of data center traffic by 2015. Only 17 percent of traffic will leave the data center to be delivered to the end user, and an additional 7 percent will occur between data centers as a result of cloud-bursting, data replication, and updates...

What Is Cloud Computing?

►  Cloud Computing   is defined as:   Delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).

source: Wikipedia

Microsoft cloud to power environmental big data

Grazed from GigaOM.  Author:  Katie Fehrenbacher.

Cloud computing can be a powerful tool for scientists and researchers sharing massive amounts of environmental data. At the United Nations climate conference (COP 17) in Durban, South Africa, this week, The European Environment Agency, geospatial software company Esri and Microsoft showed off the “Eye on Earth” network. The community uses Esri’s cloud services and Microsoft Azure to create a online site and group of services for scientists, researchers, policy makers to upload, share, and analyze environmental and geospatial data.

While the Eye on Earth network has been under development since 2008, the group launched three services for different types of environmental data at COP 17, including WaterWatch, which uses the EEA’s water data; AirWatch, which uses the EEA’s air quality data; and NoiseWatch, which combines environmental data with user-generated info from citizens...

Creator of Java to Discuss Next-gen PaaS at UP2011 Cloud Computing Conference

Grazed from the Sacramento Bee.  Author: PR Announcement.

Cloudcor® today announced that CumuLogic, a premier provider of Java Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, has been named a Premier partner for UP2011, a hybrid format Cloud Computing Conference taking place December 5 – 9 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, and broadcast globally via the Internet.

CumuLogic's advisor Dr. James Gosling will be a featured panelist on the power PaaS discussion taking place December 5 at 2:30 p.m. PST. The panel session featuring top PaaS players Microsoft, IBM, and CumuLogic will look at the dramatic changes PaaS had undergone in recent months. Discussions will include a focus on multi-language support, multi-cloud deployment capabilities and common developer services as well as delving into the transformation of platform services from one of the greatest sources of cloud lock-in to one of the most open and flexible approaches to leveraging infrastructure services...

Deutsche Bank completes cloud computing overhaul

Grazed from Computer World.  Author:  Leo King.

Deutsche Bank is set to complete the first phase of a major cloud computing overhaul aimed at improving internal application development.

The German investment bank, which has a substantial presence in the City of London, has developed an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) development platform, due to go live this month.

The aim of the new platform is to enable developers to rapidly create and deploy virtual environments, running up to 2,000 VMs at any one time. These are supported by a variety of collaboration and knowledge management systems...

How Cloud Computing Is Helping Small Businesses Compete And Thrive

Grazed from North American Press Syndicate.  Author: Editorial Staff.

In today’s economic climate, small businesses need every advantage they can find to get ahead. New technologies in the form of cloud computing are helping small businesses level the playing field against bigger competitors.

Cloud computing makes it possible for companies to access powerful software applications via the Internet for a simple monthly fee. Because the applications are delivered via the Internet, every small business can get access to the same innovations and tools that bigger competitors have been using for years. For instance, Microsoft Corp. recently launched Microsoft Office 365, which brings together the company’s familiar Microsoft Office applications with its enterprise email, videoconferencing and other collaboration and communication capabilities delivered as a subscription service...

Nightmare on Cloud Street

Grazed from Sys Con Media.  Author: Robert Eve.

Cloud Computing Adoption is Accelerating
Who wouldn't be interested in extensible functionality and computing resources at an attractive, pay-as-you-go price?

The economics of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) are just too compelling to pass up.

However, because today's standalone cloud application may prove to be tomorrow's integration nightmare, banking on cloud computing is not a recipe for a good night's sleep...

Cloud Computing as a Threat to Older Tech Companies

Grazed from The New York Times.  Author: Quentin Hardy.

The International Data Corporation, whose technology analysis and predictions influence a lot of corporate purchases, foresees the creation of a new high-technology industry in the convergence of mobile devices, social networking, and cloud-based computing and data storage. As a result, the company says in a new study, many industry giants will scramble to sustain relevance, and some upstarts will achieve leadership positions or be purchased.

Frank Gens, IDC’s chief analyst, who led the study, said, “The incumbents are facing a huge transition.”

Spending on the new technologies will reach nearly $700 billion, or about 20 percent of the $3.5 trillion in hardware, software, and services spent on information technology worldwide, IDC said. As a great deal of spending in the sector goes toward maintaining older systems, such a share for relatively new technologies is surprising. Spending on the new technologies is growing six times that of traditional computer servers and personal computers, IDC said, and by 2020 will be 80 percent industry growth...

Tomorrow's cloud: How your hosted services will look in five years' time

Grazed from   Author: Jo Best.

While businesses are showing interest in embracing the cloud model, any wholesale enterprise adoption of cloud computing remains some way in the future.

For CIOs, particularly those in the public sector and heavily regulated industries such as banking, issues around data security have held back cloud uptake due to concerns that providers storing data overseas could see their customers running afoul of data protection legislation.

By the end of 2016 these fears will have been laid to rest, with more than half of Global 1000 companies storing sensitive customer data in the public cloud, according to research published today by analyst house Gartner...

Parallels Recruits Microsoft, Symantec Execs for Cloud Push

Grazed from Talkin' Cloud.  Author: Joe Panettieri.

Parallels has recruited executives from Microsoft, Itron and to accelerate the company’s cloud computing and desktop virtualization push. CTO Michael Toutonghi joins from Microsoft, CFO David Arkley joins from Itron, and VP/GM Jesper Frederiksen joins from The new recruits reinforce Parallels’ effort to chart a multi-year course from $100 million to $1 billion in annual revenues, Talkin’ Cloud believes.

Parallels is no stranger to the Microsoft campus. Parallels in 2010 hired Microsoft veteran John Zanni as VP of alliances and former Microsoft Small Business VP Birger Steen as president; Steen later ascended to the Parallels’ CEO post...

Bessemer Cloudscape: A map of the major cloud players

Grazed from GigaOM.  Author: Byron Deeter.

Even as global markets struggle beneath the weight of unemployment, government paralysis, debt crises and Occupy Wall Street, one segment of the economy enjoys explosive growth with the promise of leading the recovery, one job at a time: cloud computing.

Cloud computing is no longer at the leading edge of the software world, but rather from the perspective of a growth investor, entrepreneur, or technology buyer, cloud computing IS the modern software industry. This multi-billion dollar, high-growth segment of technology now encompasses hundreds of exciting companies, covering every major segment of the software ecosystem.  At Bessemer Venture Partners, we were unable to find a single compelling visual to track the leading companies in this revolution, so we synthesized our own based on thousands of meetings over the last decade...

ING Bets Big On The Cloud

Grazed from Information Management.  Author:  Penny Crosman.

For Tony Kerrison, the day has long passed when it made sense to question whether cloud computing had a place in financial services companies' IT plans. Kerrison has been one of the industry's cloud computing pioneers: In 2008 he helped create an internal cloud for data center servers at Merrill Lynch (back then it was referred to as "stateless infrastructure"). This year he took the helm of the Enterprise Cloud Leadership Council, a group of corporate technology buyers developing cloud standards for vendors.

From his perch in Amsterdam as chief technology officer at ING, he's at it again, and along the way he is aiming to provide a path that banks in all parts of the world can follow. ING's project involves building a large hybrid cloud that combines features of public clouds and private data centers, one it will open to other banks to use. The hybrid or shared IT infrastructure, Kerrison believes, 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...