October 2014

Softmart Unlocks the Mysteries of Cloud Computing in Three-part Webinar Series

Grazed from PRNewsWire.  Author: PR Announcement.

Softmart's Microsoft Strategy Director, Gina Montgomery, will be presenting a webinar series on the Microsoft Cloud. This three-part series will inform and educate all levels, from thought-leaders to technical experts to users, on Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and the new Enterprise Mobility Suite. Gina is a seasoned speaker at SharePoint Saturdays and conferences throughout the U.S. She provides expertise in helping organizations maximize their IT investments by focusing on strategy, project planning, analysis, and implementing successful business solutions.

The first webinar is a thought-leadership series and will occur on Thursday, October 2nd. The talk will focus on trends that are driving organizations to consider a shift to the cloud. This session will be beneficial for anyone who has been encouraged to have their business switch to the cloud, but may be unsure of how to navigate this change...

Going Global With The Cloud: Anywhere, Anytime Access - Infographic

Grazed from CloudTweaks.  Author: Jon Roskill.

Let's cut right to the chase... Lots of companies have offered 24/7 availability of systems and data to their customers and employees for years. What else is new? What’s new is that a cloud computing environment can make 24/7 availability possible for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). (Infographic Source:Towergate)

Previously, only organizations with robust IT infrastructure (in terms of servers, communications networks, and the staff to maintain them) could offer global access to internally hosted software applications and databases. Now SMEs can offer customer ordering and account self-service applications hosted in a public cloud. The same public cloud can provide 24/7 availability of applications and data to employees, thereby improving productivity or supporting more flexible working arrangements...

Cloud Computing: Auth0's security tools open doors to clients

Grazed from USA Today.  Author: Laura Baverman.

For consumers, Auth0's technology ensures their identity will be protected when they log in. For developers, it's a simple and fast way to authenticate users and ensure websites and mobile applications are secure.  And for venture capitalists, the Seattle start-up's technology — along with a slew of other new tools for developers — represents dollar signs.

Auth0 CEO Jon Gelsey says his company is riding the "developers-are-the-new-CIOs" wave. Because cloud computing is replacing traditional software, and the complexity of application development has increased, developers now decide the infrastructure and tools used by even the largest corporations in the world. That's opened up a market for entrepreneurs who want to make developers' lives easier and software better...

How cloud companies are engaging in price wars

Grazed from ComputerWeekly.  Author: Clive Longbottom.

As cloud computing becomes more pervasive, the cost seems to be tumbling. This is great news to organisation taking their first steps into using public cloud services – or is it?  In many ways, yes it is. Hardware costs are coming down, and modern tools are enabling more cloud functions to be automated, eliminating costs in physically managing the cloud with error-prone humans.

Software to layer on top of the infrastructure is either open source, where only support costs need to be covered, or commercial, where suppliers are finally figuring out that new, more flexible pricing models are required.   So, as the cost of the platform itself falls, it is only to be expected that a massively competitive market, such as the cloud, passes on some of those savings to its prospective customers...

Cloud Computing: Q&A - Meet Microsoft's new Azure CTO, Mark Russinovich

Grazed from PCWorld.  Author: Joab Jackson.

Earlier this month, Microsoft quietly appointed software architect Mark Russinovich as chief technology officer for its Azure cloud computing platform, formalizing a role he’s been executing for the past several years.  It was a smart appointment not the least because it may help ease any remaining concerns of system administrators reluctant to take on Microsoft’s cloud platform as part of their job duties. Among the Microsoft faithful, Russinovich has serious geek credibility. If Russinovich is behind the gears at Azure, it must be O.K.

Russinovich has long been one of the most popular speakers at Microsoft’s Build and TechEd technical conferences, thanks to his clear, cogent explanations of the company’s technologies. Russinovich joined the company in 2006, after Microsoft purchased his enterprise software company, Winternals Software, which offered a line of Windows repair tools that many found superior to Microsoft’s own...

The key to becoming indispensable to your CIO in the cloud era? Curiosity

Grazed from Computing.co.uk.  Author: Sooraj Shah.

"Curiosity" and a willingness to learn new skills will be key for IT staff who want to remain in demand as organisations make the leap to cloud services.  That is according to a number of IT decision makers, who were speaking on Computing's Question Time, a live set of webinars focusing on how the role of the CIO is changing as cloud services become more widely adopted.

One of the supposed reasons why many IT teams have been slow to embrace cloud services is that they feel they might be signing their own redundancy notices. Tony Morgan, executive architect at IBM, believes that those managing the service desk will be most at risk.  But he urged IT employees to become more flexible, building up their business-facing skills, in particular, in order to reduce the risk of facing the axe...

SherWeb Launches High Performance Cloud Servers - Benchmark testing shows new pay-as-you-go cloud server outperforms competitors

Grazed from NewsWire.  Author: PR Announcement.

Award-winning cloud services provider SherWeb today announced the highly anticipated official launch of its Performance Cloud, which has been available on a limited basis since May. Included in this announcement is SherWeb's most recent industry benchmarking data comparing SherWeb's public cloud solution with that of Google, Amazon and Rackspace. SherWeb's UnixBench score of 2178 versus Amazon's 1444 for overall server performance makes SherWeb's on-demand cloud servers by far the fastest among market leaders.

The long-time hosting provider says its new Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution fills a major void in the market and that channel demand has been particularly strong. Unlike competing offers, SherWeb's Performance Cloud Servers do not make enterprise or SMB end-user organizations compromise performance for cost, or vice versa...

The cloud, not Windows 10, is key to Microsoft's growth

Grazed from Fortune.  Author: Michal Lev-Ram.

In the wake of the announcement of Windows 10, we talk to Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group.

Much has already been written about Microsoft’s new Windows 10 and the reintroduction of its long-lost Start button after the company unveiled its updated flagship operating system on Tuesday morning. The new OS may provide a much-needed advance over its predecessor, Windows 8, but it is unlikely to restore Microsoft  MSFT -0.52%  to its former glory as the operating system of choice for computing devices—certainly not in an era where tablets and smartphones have largely supplanted the PC in terms of attention...

Google Slashing Cloud Computing Prices Again Is A Clear Negative For Amazon.com

Grazed from Seeking Alpha.  Author: Paulo Santos.

Usually, this would mostly go unnoticed. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) has slashed cloud computing prices yet again, by a further 10%. However, this time there will be an impact - on Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN). The AWS economicsare turning into a large problem for Amazon.com.

The reason is simple. A large part of Amazon.com's horrid Q3 2014 guidance, where the company recognized it might face an operating loss of $400 million to $800 million, was due to the price war AWS was facing. Indeed, Amazon.com had earlier recognized that its customers would be saving "hundreds of millions of dollars" due to the latest round in cloud computing price drops, also initiated by Google and matched by Amazon.com. The move also had an impact on Amazon.com's revenue growth rate, with the "Other" category where AWS is included seeing a large drop in its year-on-year growth rate...

Cloud Computing Security: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Grazed from Midsize Insider.  Author: Kelley Katsanos.

Before midsize businesses reconsider using cloud services due to cloud computing security risks, they should assess security vulnerabilities and pinpoint core business activities potentially affected by cloud computing implementation. This will help determine if a move to the cloud is a step in the right direction, especially for those firms delaying cloud adoption due to security concerns.

Avoiding the Cloud

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute featured on Netskope indicates that 53 percent of European IT professionals feel that the chances of a data breach increase with the use of the cloud. A data breach can be costly, especially for midsize companies with limited budgets, and it may threaten a company's competitive position and damage its reputation. Therefore, businesses need to ensure that proper security measures are in place in order to mitigate security risks...

Security In Hybrid Clouds: A Cloud Security Infographic From AlgoSec

Grazed from Cloud Computing.  Author: Editorial Staff.

The “Security Policy Management in Hybrid Cloud Environments” survey reveals the key network security management challenges organizations face when deploying business applications across hybrid on-premise/public cloud environments.

Key findings of the survey highlight the need for IT professionals to increase visibility across both on-premise and cloud platforms, create new workflows, reconsider team responsibilities and reexamine compliance processes so that they can continue to protect enterprise and ensure network security...

To view infographic and read more from the source, visit http://www.algosec.com/en/resources/security_policy_management_in_hybrid_cloud_environments_2014

Interop: The Future Of Cloud Computing

Grazed from InformationWeek.  Author: Charles Babcock.

Cloud computing is beginning to transform the way enterprises buy and use technology resources, and that was evident at the Interop 2014 conference and exhibition in New York this week. Cloud experts and practitioners of all stripes were in attendance and provided some insights -- positive and negative -- on where this trend is heading.

In a workshop on Designing Infrastructure for Private Clouds, Ivan Pepelnjak, the network architect for UpSpace.net AG, a consulting company in Slovenia, hit upon one of the defining characteristics of cloud computing. "Cloud is all about self-service. … You need to be able to allow your [internal] customer to change the rules on the load balancer and firewall. When someone says, 'This will never fly in my organization,' just tell them, 'Your developers are already using Amazon.'"...

AT&T Partners with Amazon Web Services on Cloud Solutions

Grazed from TopTechNews.  Author: Jennifer LeClaire.

Telecom giant AT&T and Amazon are finding common ground in the cloud services arena. AT&T has teamed up with the e-commerce company to extend NetBond, its network-enabled cloud technology, to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

AT&T’s NetBond adjusts the size of the pathway to the cloud to accommodate changing data needs on the fly. That effectively gives customers control of the network. With the Amazon partnership, AT&T customers can scale their networks at the same rates as their enterprise-class apps running on the AWS cloud...

Netuitive Secures $6.5M for Cloud-based IT Analytics Platform

Grazed from TalkinCloud.  Author: Editorial Staff.

Netuitive this week said it has secured an additional $6.5 million in equity financing to accelerate the go-to-market strategy for its cloud-based IT analytics platform.

The Reston, Virginia-based technology provider that assists enterprises with managing the performance of critical business services and apps said its new product platform enables the cloud delivery of its behavior learning technology for both enterprise IT operations and the growing DevOps community...

DoD hesitant on cloud despite AWS security certifications

Grazed from TechTarget.  Author: Editorial Staff.

Government bureaucracy remains slow-moving despite AWS security certifications that allow the cloud provider to host sensitive data.  Amazon Web Services (AWS) was the first public cloud to receive a provisional authorization from the Department of Defense (DoD) under the Defense Information Systems Agency's Cloud Security Model to host Level 3-5 workloads, in late August. Levels 3-5 refer to unclassified, but highly sensitive data. Level 6, which is still excluded from the provisional authorization, pertains to classified data.

Meanwhile, the DoD is methodical in deploying new technologies, said U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Steve Spano, who now works as Amazon's general manager for defense and national security, in a keynote here this week during the Cloud Computing Association's Cloud Developers Summit and Expo 2014...

Cisco bulks up branch routers for cloud

Grazed from Network World.  Author: Jim Duffy.

Cisco is fortifying its ISR branch routers to give users more options when accessing cloud services and backing up primary links.

Cisco is expanding its ISR 4000 series devices with four more modular platforms that support hybrid WAN capabilities – the ability to turn up Internet and wireless 3G/4G links as backups or ancillary connections to primary MPLS circuits. The company is working with Vodafone to enable that European carrier to offer a 4G plus wired managed service bundle based on the ISR 4000s, Cisco officials said at the Interop New York exhibition here this week...

CenturyLink expands further into Asian cloud market with Chinese managed hosting

Grazed from CloudTech.  Author:  James Bourne.

Communications provider CenturyLink has opened up a Shanghai data centre and announced the availability of its managed hosting service in China.  The latest expansion continues the telco’s aggressive move to the cloud, after a series of data openings this year including Toronto, Reading and Chicago. Back in May CenturyLink slashed prices on its cloud storage, in line with competitors, and in August they announced launch ofCenturyLink Private Cloud, which aims to combine the security of private with the agility of public cloud.

The expanse in Asia brings the total number of data centres at CenturyLink to 57.  “For multinational corporations looking to grow their customer base, entering China presents enormous opportunities and challenges,” said Gery Messer, CenturyLink Asia Pacific managing director. “CenturyLink makes it easy for businesses to host within China’s borders, offering access to the same highly secure managed services and consistent IT experience available across our global footprint.”...

Read more from the source @ http://www.cloudcomputing-news.net/news/2014/oct/03/centurylink-expands-further-asian-market-chinese-managed-hosting/

How the cloud is changing the security game

Grazed from NetworkWorld.  Author: Brandon Butler.

Cloud computing offers many advantages, but with those benefits come a new range of security concerns.  “From a security perspective, the cloud has introduced new risks,” says David Levin, director of information security at Western Union, who oversees the security of applications being used at the money transfer company.

Levin says the first step toward addressing risk is figuring out how much there is … and that first means knowing which cloud services are being used.  Levin turned to the services of Skyhigh Networks, a vendor in what Gartner calls the emerging market of Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB). Products in this market basically sit between end users and cloud services, injecting security protocols between the two. Gartner estimates that CASB will be a $3.1 billion market by 2015...

First Cryptography Advisory Board Formed for Cloud Security

Grazed from WallStreet and Tech.  Author: Becca Lipman.

Skyhigh Networks assembles a board of cryptography experts to consider a range of academically vetted cryptographic solutions that do not reduce functionality.  A group of accomplished experts in cryptography research have announced they are forming what is believed to be the first industry-focused Cryptography Advisory Board. The board will provide oversight of encryption schemes for cloud security to ease the adoption of cloud services.

Data security continues to be one of the major hurdles preventing companies from moving data to the cloud, and for good reason. Enterprises worry about cloud data breaches, NSA surveillance, and court orders that can subpoena documents holding sensitive information (with which many cloud providers willingly comply). Increasingly, firms want to secure files with encryption to hinder outside parties who access sensitive documents from being able to read them...

Cloud Computing: How Netflix survived the Amazon EC2 reboot

Grazed from ITWorld.  Author: Joab Jackson.

Sometimes the best path to success is to learn how to avoid failure.  Netflix was able to keep serving its customers while its cloud hosting provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS), rebooted servers, because it had prepared for that happening.

"When we got the news about the emergency EC2 [Elastic Cloud Compute] reboots, our jaws dropped. When we got the list of how many Cassandra nodes would be affected, I felt ill," said Christos Kalantzis, Netflix engineering manager of cloud database engineering, in a Netflix blog post discussing the outage...