March 2014

Why is 'bring your own encryption' (BYOE) important?

Grazed from TechTarget.  Author: James Staten.

BYOE, or bring your own encryption, is a cloud computing security model that allows cloud services customers to use their own encryption software and manage their own encryption keys. It works by allowing customers to deploy a virtualized instance of their own encryption software alongside the business application they are hosting in the cloud. The business application is configured so that all its data is processed by the encryption application, which then writes the ciphertext version of the data to the cloud service provider's physical data store

In this Ask the Expert, James Staten, an analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., discusses with SearchCIO Senior Features Writer Karen Goulart why this model is important for enterprises today, the skills required to employ BYOE and when the trend will peak...

3 ways to fix cloud computing weaknesses

Grazed from TechPageOne.  Author: Dennis Smith.

The cloud is fast and secure. It’s wildly flexible, and it offers true mobility without compromising on productivity. These are the reasons most companies make the shift to cloud computing. But sometimes, the cloud experience doesn’t come as advertised. Some businesses, to their dismay, find the cloud to be sluggish, moody or altogether absent. Some find it costlier than physical data centers.

Disaster constantly looms over organizations in cloudland, silent but ready to strike. The signs are usually there; seemingly insignificant but providing advance warning. Here are some tips to help businesses stop their cloud honeymoons from turning into nightmares...

Cloud Database Startup NuoDB Gets $14.2 Million Investment

Grazed from eWeek.  Author: Chris Preimesberger.

NuoDB, Inc., a cloud-based database startup based in Cambridge, Mass., on Feb. 28 announced that it has secured a $14.2 million investment led by European-based 3D software maker Dassault Systemes.  Also participating in the round are NuoDB's existing investors, which include Morgenthaler Ventures, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, and Longworth Venture Partners.

NuoDB claims to provide scale-out performance, continuous availability and geo-distributed data management. This is a single, logical database that can be deployed via the cloud in multiple locations simultaneously...

Cloud Computing: Huawei to boost network function virtualization

Grazed from EETimes. Author: Editorial Staff.

During a seminar held in conjunction with Mobile World Congress 2014, Huawei has announced its vision of an open, cloud-based communications network. The attendees gained knowledge on how to bring advancements in cloud technologies into communication networks to boost resource sharing and efficiency.

Highlighting the possibilities of this transformation, Huawei and Telefonica signed an MOU on advancing the UNICA infrastructure architecture, software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). This strategic cooperation will provide a foundation for Telefonica's network transformation...

Cloud Computing: Is the dedicated server dead?

Grazed from TechRadar. Author: Editorial Staff.

Virtualisation and cloud computing technologies deliver services that perform exactly like a dedicated server; but are more reliable, flexible, scalable, offer more management features and simply cost less. As more web services and applications move over to cloud-based virtual servers, you have to wonder if this spells the end of the traditional dedicated server.

Flexibility and scalability

Dedicated servers do not scale the way a virtual machine on a good cloud platform can; they are designed to provide a set amount of resources and the only realistic way of scaling their computing power is to add additional servers and balance the load across multiple servers (which usually requires some changes to your application) or to increase the resources on the dedicated server (which will involve downtime while the physical components are changed). In contrast, scaling is what cloud hosting does best. Adding more CPU, RAM or storage can be done with zero downtime and through your own control panel. Similarly, adding additional virtual servers is also at the click of a button...

GridGain's Open Source In-Memory Computing Strategy Sets Stage for Unprecedented Advances

Grazed from PRNewsWire. Author: PR Announcement.

Today GridGain (www.gridgain.com) officially released its industry leading In-Memory Computing Platform through an Apache 2.0 open source license, offering the world access to its technology for a broad range of real-time data processing applications. GridGain's open source software provides immediate, unhindered freedom to develop with the most mature, complete and tested in-memory computing platform on the market, enabling computation and transactions orders of magnitude faster than traditional technologies allow.

"The promised advances of big data combined with internet scale simply can't happen without a transformative change in computing performance," said Abe Kleinfeld, CEO of GridGain. "In-memory computing is enabling this change by offering a major leap forward in computing power, opening doors to a new era of innovation."...

9 Worst Cloud Security Threats

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Charles Babcock.

Shadow IT is a great thing until it runs into the security of cloud computing. All too often line-of-business users are establishing applications and moving data into the cloud without understanding all the security implications. The Cloud Security Alliance has put together a list of the nine most prevalent and serious security threats in cloud computing. Many of them relate in one way or another to the weaknesses implicit in Shadow IT.

The alliance bills its list as the "Notorious Nine: Cloud Computing Threats in 2013." The CSA itself was formed in 2008 on the heels of the Information Systems Security Association CISO Forum in Las Vegas. Jim Reavis, a well-known security researcher and author, issued a call for action to secure the cloud at the event, leading to the founding of the organization...

Cloud Computing Threatened in Aereo Supreme Court Case

Grazed from CDT.org. Author: David Sohn.

CDT and a group of trade association allies warned the Supreme Court today that the stakes in the Aereo case go well beyond just television. In an amicus brief, we explained to the Court that the wrong approach to this case could undermine the cloud computing industry by creating new legal risks for services that store and transmit data from remote locations. We urged the Court to avoid any such approach. In the brief, we didn’t take a position on the legality of Aereo’s particular service, which enables users to watch local broadcast programming over the Internet.

CDT believes that cloud computing plays an important role in facilitating online innovation and speech. It makes powerful computing resources once available only to large entities now broadly available via shared platforms, in a manner that is efficient, secure, flexible, and scalable...

Piston Unveils "The Last OpenStack You'll Ever Try"

Grazed from IT-TNA. Author: Steve Wexler.

Calling it the last OpenStack you’ll ever try, the new release of Piston OpenStack 3.0 has been generating a lot of controversy, if not interest. Unveiled last week, it had to compete with sub-Arctic weather, RSA security conference, Mobile World Congress, the Winter Olympics and Russian brinkmanship in the Ukraine.

Then there was the little misunderstanding that saw Piston Cloud Computing, Inc. uninvited from next month’s Red Hat Summit, and a couple of hours later re-invited again, with an apology. Apparently somebody at Red Hat was unhappy with Piston because a Fortune 100 customer decided to change vendors. It seems that enterprise customers, never mind REALLY BIG enterprise customers, are hard to come by...

IBM admits Cloud Foundry demand "in its infancy"

Grazed from CBROnline. Author: Joe Curtis.

IBM has admitted demand for the open source initiative Cloud Foundry is "in its infancy", but predicts the collaborative venture will catch and keep developers with the quality of its cloud computing technology. The firm signed up to the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) project last July, and just last week was announced as one of the founding members of a forthcoming independent organisation, the Cloud Foundry Foundation, which will oversee the neutrality of the initiative.

Cloud Foundry has emerged as the cloud computing equivalent of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) counterpart OpenStack since its creation in April 2011, and lets developers develop and deploy applications on its PaaS platform.  IBM is just one of numerous tech firms to bet on the initiative, and last week announced a $1bn investment to develop its PaaS capabilities...

Navigating the Cloud API with IT Vendors

Grazed from MidsizeInsider. Author: Daniel Cawrey.

IT solutions have always gone through some degree of customization, and the cloud application programming interface (API) is an up-to-date example of this. Software-based solutions for IT infrastructure mean that vendors must offer increased flexibility. A recent article on ZDNet notes the ease of using cloud API.

As is par for the course, technology for businesses continually changes. Cloud computing allows vendors to sell IT prepackaged services with a different type of delivery. Midsize organizations often have the upper hand with cloud vendors. Options have increased, and cloud software has become more powerful than ever before...

Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc., adds glovia OM, a Cloud Based ERP System to its Solutions Portfolio

Grazed from BusinessWire. Author: PR Announcement.

Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc. (CIIS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., announces that it now resells glovia OM, a cloud based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system built on the Salesforce1 Platform. Bringing together Canon's imaging technologies and information management expertise, CIIS provides consulting, professional services, and solutions in the areas of Business Process Automation, Sales & Marketing Automation, Records Management, Visualization & Prototyping, and Print Management.

The addition of glovia OM to the company's portfolio enables CIIS to offer Glovia's outstanding cloud order management solution, with Canon's expertise and understanding of business process. "One of the main reasons why Canon is the proven market leader in office document solutions, besides our world class imaging technology, is that we have mastered the operational excellence needed to supply office equipment and document solutions" said Satoshi Nagata, president Canon Information and Imaging Solutions...

Why Virgin Management is all in on cloud computing

Grazed from TechPageOne. Author: Dennis Smith.

In a Computer Weekly article, Archana Venkatraman discusses why Virgin Management opted for an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform. We’ve seen similar successes with other companies. There are several common threads among cloud computing adoptions that ensure successful outcomes, including cost, scalability, and capability.

As with many IT projects, simply deploying on existing infrastructure is seldom an option. Upgrades are usually needed, which can include increased server bandwidth and storage capacity, and new/additional software licenses. When a change is underway – as was the case with Virgin Management during office relocation – it becomes an opportunity for IT teams to identify new ways to optimize their resources. Cloud computing represents a significant opportunity to offload new or existing workloads...

Analyzing the Impact of Cloud Computing on the IT Department

Grazed from SysCon Media. Author: Ophir Shalitin.

Modern innovations in networking technology, virtualization, Big Data processing, storage, and analysis, along with cloud computing, are giving new shape to the information technology realm of today and the future.  Organizations have, for many years, effectively sourced a number of non-core business functions to outside service providers.

Marketing, accounting, customer service, sales and administrative staffing are just a few examples of such outsourcing; today, organizations can also get computing services on demand in virtually any location, and tailor those services to their specific needs. Such "micro outsourcing" can apply to functions such as processing, storage, software, security, and support...

Portable, cloud-based virtual data centers? Sure, why not?

Grazed from TechTarget. Author: Keith Townsend.

I'm wondering if the battle between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud platforms is even worthy of debate. That's because it seems that the ultimate goal of any IaaS platform is to give organizations the ability to abstract the data center and run its resources from anywhere, on any service. I'm asking a larger question: What happens when you are able perform a physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion of the entire data center?

Let's fast forward the conversation around cloud computing by a few years. What happens when Moore's Law, which dictates that computing capabilities double every 18 months, catches up with cloud? There will be an unavoidable effect on cloud computing. If we draw an intersection between the virtual data center and cloud computing, we come up with a model of computing that's much more abstract than it is today...

ODCA Delivers 2.0 Usage Models For Service Orchestration And Compute IaaS

Grazed from ODCA. Author: PR Announcement.

Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) today announced it has published 2.0 versions of cloud deployment usage models in the areas of service orchestration and Compute Infrastructure as a Service (CIaaS). The alliance has also updated its conceptual model document map, which provides an overview of the organization's usage models, particularly how they fit into a larger cloud computing and next generation data center context.

The documents that have been updated include:

* Open Data Center Alliance Master Usage Model: Service Orchestration Rev. 2.0-describes the processes, interfaces and aspects to be considered when deploying services on cloud platforms. This usage model includes 19 usage scenarios of a cloud service engagement as well as the foundation for the next phase of usage development including bursting between clouds and other areas that include Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). The Service Orchestration Rev. 2.0 usage model is available for free download on the ODCA website...

The Best Cloud Computing Companies And CEOs To Work For In 2014

Grazed from Enterprise Irregulars. Author: Louis Columbus.

2014 continues to be a year marked by the accelerating hiring cycles across nearly all cloud computing companies. Signing bonuses of $3K to $5K for senior engineers and system design specialists are becoming common, and the cycles from screening to interviews to offers is shortening. The job market in the cloud computing industry is leaning in favor of applicants who have a strong IT background in systems integration, legacy IT expertise, business analysis and in many positions, programming as well.

One of the most common questions and requests I receive from readers is who the best companies are to work for. I’ve put together the following analysis based on the latest Computer Reseller News list The 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors Of 2014. Using the CRN list as a baseline to compare the Glassdoor.com scores of the (%) of employees who would recommend this company to a friend and (%) of employees who approve of the CEO, the following analysis was completed...

7 Major Current Trends in Cloud Computing

Grazed from CircleID. Author: John Grady.

Cloud computing has experienced exponential growth over the last few years. As of December 2013, almost 60 percent of current small-to-medium businesses (SMB) use cloud services, and 72 percent of these businesses virtualize substantial portions of their servers. The growth is only expected to increase over the next few years. Here are just a few of the major current trends in the industry today.

1. Hybrid clouds. There has been an ongoing debate between the merits of public and private cloud models for quite some time now. Hybrid clouds feature an infrastructure that combines private cloud security with cost-effective, powerful and scalable public cloud attributes. IT executives get more choices for personalized solutions while big data advocates and security experts are still satisfied. As hybrid models become mainstream, more companies are likely to adopt this cloud deployment model and drop the old debate...

Pivotal opens up Cloud Foundry to open-source fights

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: David Linthicum.

Pivotal spun out the Cloud Foundry Foundation last week, marking another instance where a commercial effort turns into an open source play. It'll be interesting see how this move works, given that both OpenStack and Red Hat's OpenShift PaaS platforms are aimed at the same users. There are three hurdles for the CFF to get past:

  • The PaaS market is relatively small compared to the IaaS and SaaS spaces. Having three or more open source standards may be too many for the market to support.
  • IT organizations and developers are already confused about what PaaS brings to the cloud computing table. Having three open source versions won't help clarify matters.
  • Inevitably, somebody will end up on the right side of the wrong standard, adding risk for those adopting PaaS...

VMware Pursues Federal Cloud Contracts

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Charles Babcock.

VMware is trying to convert its large presence as the virtualization supplier for federal agencies and become a supplier of public cloud services to the US government. The company on Tuesday is launching vCloud Government Service. Well, almost. Stopping just short of that, it's announced a bid to secure FedRAMP Authority to operate a hybrid cloud service for the government.

The Federal Risk and Authorization Program (FedRAMP) is a set of security and operations requirements drawn up by National Institute of Standards and Technology that must be verified as being in place at a service provider by a third-party audit. Getting FedRAMP approval "requires a lot of time and can hinder innovation and drive up costs," wrote Sean Applegate, director of federal technology strategy at Riverbed Technology, in a recent posting on InformationWeek.com...