February 2015

Cloud Computing: What Burglars Can Teach Us about Network Security

Grazed from TechCocktail.  Author: Santosh Satya.

A little more than a decade ago, three famous paintings were on display at the Whitworth Gallery, an art museum in Manchester, England. Since the works of Gauguin, Picasso, and Van Gogh were valued at about $8 million, they were heavily protected by security guards and electronic systems. Guards patrolled the gallery. Alarms were set in place. And closed-circuit television scanned the paintings.

Still, none of this was enough. Burglars broke into the Whitworth Gallery in late April, 2003 and stole the three paintings. A few days later, the expensive masterpieces were found in a public restroom near the art museum. A note attached to the masterpieces dismissed the episode as a caper designed to test the woeful security measures. This bold art burglary is a lesson for network administrators who guard information systems...

Microsoft Azure vs. Amazon Web Services: Cloud Comparison

Grazed from Tom's IT PRo.  Author: William Van Winkle.

Operating officially since 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is closing in on its 10-year anniversary. Some might call that old, while others would say that Amazon has merely had that much more time to build an incredible head start over its competition. One of those competitors, Microsoft Azure, entered the market in 2010. But by this time had Amazon already sprinted ahead to an insurmountable lead?

Microsoft doesn't think so, clearly, and has been building its infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering out from AWS' shadow ever since.  Of course, insurmountable leads and shadows are largely irrelevant to your own enterprise. These companies are both global titans with the resources to make their respective cloud services as robust and expansive as they want...

The Top Two Cloud Computing Security Concerns of 2015

Grazed from CloudWedge.  Author: Sean Shado.

The most cited barrier to entry for cloud into the enterprise continues to be the security concerns involved with an infrastructure overhaul. Many IT decision makers are hesitating on making the switch to cloud as far as mission critical apps are concerned because of the unknown variables posed by cloud security risks. A KPMG report mentions that cloud security is still a top concern as IT executives look for ways to reduce costs.

The report mentions that 45% of respondents said data loss and data privacy were their top hesitations in regards to cloud implementations. What exactly are the biggest cloud computing security risks that will emerge in 2015?...

NEC aims at Big Data 'sweet spot' with new SAP Hana tool

Grazed from ComputerWorld.  Author: Katherine Noyes.

Focusing in particular on users of the Amazon Web Services cloud, the new tool takes advantage of NEC's ExpressCluster software. The tool can automatically detect system faults as SAP Hana runs on AWS and switch over to a standby server when problems arise. The result, NEC said, is to shorten downtime and improve both availability and operational efficiency.

The tool is aimed both at companies using SAP Hana for high-speed Big Data analyses and those using it for core business-critical systems, the company said.  Eventually, NEC plans to make the software available for other cloud-based services as well.  The new offering fills a distinct need at the intersection of the four key technologies involved, said Kirk Borne, a data scientist and professor at George Mason University...

BYOD: BeYond Outright Disaster

Grazed from WilmingtonBizInsights.  Author: Shaun Olsen.

You love your technology. In fact, it’s with you more often than your spouse – and may actually know you better, given both Android and Siri’s propensity to find you/follow you/anticipate your next move.  You’re committed to your platform, in part because it has made you more productive. But start a new job, and you’re likely to find that they use a different platform, and you’re stuck learning a new skillset just to get started.

A movement to allow you to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work began in 2009, and despite significant push-back from corporate IT departments, it has continued to grow. If the data included in recent reports from analyst firm Ovum are true, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is “here to stay.”...

Cloud Computing: Alibaba to Launch Fund for Hong Kong Startups

Grazed from WSJ. Author: Juro Osawa.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur in Hong Kong, there’s a new fund that may give you financial support – as long as you are setting up your business on Alibaba Group Holding’s platforms. The Chinese e-commerce giant said in a statement over the weekend that it is spending 1 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$129 million) to create the Alibaba Hong Kong Young Enterpreneurs Foundation, which provides select Hong Kong startups with funding, technical assistance and training to help them build up businesses through Alibaba platforms.

The venture investment program will likely start in the second half of this year, Alibaba said. In the long run, the nonprofit foundation could help Alibaba increase its presence outside mainland China by turning young entrepreneurs in Hong Kong into loyal Alibaba customers...

Cloud Computing: EMC unspecified number of staff face the chop

Grazed from Computing. Author: Sooraj Shah.

Technology giant EMC is to cut jobs after it forecast a lower-than-expected profit for the year, but CEO Joe Tucci said that he expects the launch of six new products to bring in more than $1bn (£663m) in revenues in the next few years.  Although Tucci did not divulge what the new products would be, he said that they would be focused on cloud, mobile, social and big data.

But EMC staff will be more concerned about the firm's plans to axe a number of employees. "EMC management approved a restructuring plan," the company said in an SEC filing. "The plan consists of a reduction in force which will be substantially completed by the end of the first quarter of 2015 and fully completed by the end of 2015," EMC added...

IBM announces new cloud-based identity protection

Grazed from BetaNews. Author: Editorial Staff.

Many of the things we do online require an ID and password, but typically whilst this makes things easier for the site it doesn't always do a lot to protect the user, who may be revealing more information than they need. For example you may have to reveal your full date of birth and address to a video streaming service in order to verify your age and region, running a risk that the information may fall into the wrong hands.

Now researchers at IBM have announced plans for a new cloud-based technology to help consumers guard their personal data. The technology, called Identity Mixer, uses a cryptographic algorithm to encrypt the identity attributes of a user, such as their age, nationality, address and credit card number in a way that allows the user to reveal only selected pieces to third parties...

Cisco's cloud networking play targets hybrid cloud shops

Grazed from TechTarget. Author: Trevor Jones.

Cisco has struggled to make inroads in public or private cloud, so the vendor is banking on its networking experience to play a key role in enterprises' hybrid cloud deployments. The San Jose, Calif.-based company's cloud strategy relies on shifting its networking focus from hardware to software. Cisco made a splashy roll out of its cloud intentions last year that hasn’t translated into much yet, but its latest efforts around a unified cloud networking platform and subscription models could change that -- at least with its existing customers.

"They're going out with their strength, which is connectivity between all these clouds rather than differentiating with one cloud itself," said Dave Bartoletti, principal analyst with Forrester Research, Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass. "Cisco wants to be the glue that connects all your clouds together and not battle it out with commodity vendors for cloud servers."...

Cloud Computing: Space, the Final Startup

Grazed from NewsWeek. Author: Kevin Maney.

No venture capitalist is crazier about outer space than Steve Jurvetson, who has been listening to unrealistic space company pitches for two decades. In the early 2000s, he helped back SpaceX. But mostly he’s impatiently waited for space to turn into Silicon Valley’s next playground—the kind of pulse-quickening, virgin land of hope and opportunity that the Internet once was.

Well, this is space’s Netscape moment, Jurvetson tells me. As often happens in technology, a bunch of advances in different fields are converging to make space less the final frontier and more like the next startup garage. In 1995, Netscape’s explosive IPO signaled that several technologies—the PC, software, the clunky government-run Internet, Tim Berners-Lee’s hyperlinking and Netscape’s graphical browser—had come together to create a world-changing new platform...

Hybrid Cloud - From Survey Darling To Real Business Benefit?

Grazed from TechWeekEurope. Author: Ben Sullivan.

Hybrid cloud seems to be the darling child of the IT media at the moment. Vendors have jumped on the fact that almost every end-user survey is claiming that organisations will be looking to deploy hybrid solutions, as opposed to cloud-only solutions, in near future. But does this herald the backing by the end user community of hybrid cloud or just a reluctance to fully embrace the cloud?

Part of the reticence to move to a full cloud solution appears to be that, in the minds of some individuals, hybrid cloud delivers a convenient halfway house – an opportunity to try out the cloud, without diving fully in. But in reality this facet is highlighting the biggest issue with hybrid cloud – the majority of these solutions focus on on-premise and/or cloud-based access, with just a fraction of content or functions available...

Introducing VMware vSphere 6 - The Foundation for Hybrid Cloud

Grazed from CNNMoney. Author: PR Announcement.

VMware, Inc. today announced VMware vSphere® 6, the newest edition of the industry-defining virtualization solution for the hybrid cloud and foundation for the software-defined data center. With more than 650 new features and innovations, VMware vSphere 6 will provide customers with a highly available, resilient, on-demand cloud infrastructure to run, protect and manage any application. VMware vSphere 6 will be complemented by the newest releases of VMware vCloud® Suite 6, VMware vSphere with Operations Management™ 6, and VMware Virtual SAN™ 6.

VMware today also re-enforced its support of open frameworks for building and managing clouds with its new VMware Integrated OpenStack distribution. This first-ever OpenStack distribution from VMware will empower IT to provide developers with open API access to enterprise-class VMware infrastructure...

Cloud Computing: How Are Feds Handling Data Center Defense?

Grazed from Talkincloud. Author: Dan Kobialka.

A new MeriTalk survey of 300 U.S. federal IT decision-makers showed that the number of reported breaches on U.S. federal computer networks has nearly doubled since 2009. The majority of these professionals are concerned about cybersecurity as they update their data centers as well.

The survey, underwritten by Palo Alto Networks (PANW), revealed 67 percent of U.S. Feds are concerned with cybersecurity as they modernize their data centers. Also, 49 percent said they believed that the data center modernization process makes cybersecurity more challenging...

Read more from the source @ http://talkincloud.com/cloud-computing-research/02032015/how-are-feds-handling-data-center-defense

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Grazed from CloudTweaks. Author: Editorial Staff.

There’s little question that the business world is a competitive place, but probably no area in business truly defines cutthroat quite like cloud computing. At the moment, we are witnessing a heated price war pitting some of the top cloud providers against each other, all in a big way to attract as many customers as possible. It hasn’t been easy, at least not at first.

Many companies have been slow to embrace cloud computing, citing unease with giving a third party access to sensitive data and other possible trade secrets. As a way to get past these fears, leading cloud vendors started slashing prices, setting off an intense race to see who can provide the lowest prices...

No, Canada! You can't keep cloud storage local

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: David Linthicum.

The Treasury Board of Canada is creating a government-wide policy on the use of cloud computing services. It has asked for input from the industry, but already this journey is taking some interesting directions. “Of particular interest are the privacy implications of using cloud computing services, particularly where the data is either hosted outside the country or by foreign-owned organizations,” writes Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa.

Indeed, proposed contractual clauses address encryption and data storage, as well as rules about where the data can reside. Per the Treasury Board's industry request: The services provider (the contractor) must not store any nonpublic, personal, or sensitive data and information outside of Canada. This includes backup data and disaster recovery locations...

Do we need new laws for the age of cloud computing?

Grazed from WorldEconomicForum. Author: Dan Jerker B. Svantesson.

Cloud computing, by its very nature, transcends location, geography and territorial boundaries. Data accessed in one country might be stored half way across the world, or even in servers in multiple countries. International law, on the other hand, sees the world through the lens of various jurisdictions, which are inherently linked to location, geography and territorial boundaries.

So when cloud computing and international law interact, sometimes the results can be highly problematic. For example, in December 2013 the US government served a search warrant on Microsoft under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. The warrant authorised the search and seizure of information associated with a specific web-based email account that is stored at Microsoft’s premises in Dublin, Ireland...

Most enterprise cloud app usage falls under shadow IT, but could this be a positive for the CIO?

Grazed from CloudComputing. Author: James Bourne.

86% of cloud apps used by enterprises fall under the category of shadow IT, while nearly three quarters aren’t ‘Safe Harbour’ approved, according to an industry report from CipherCloud. The research findings, coming amidst worries of more sophisticated mobile malware and vulnerabilities, suggest organisations need to do more to assess what’s going on in their internal IT. One major US enterprise polled estimated it had 10 to 15 file sharing applications in use; the real number was almost 70.

More than half (52%) of publishing apps were considered high risk, while 42% of social apps and 40% of career-based apps were also considered risky. Enterprises in both North America and Europe are leveraging cloud applications extensively. An average global enterprises uses more than 1000 apps, and though North American businesses (1245) predictably use more than European firms (981), the gap is closing...

VMware Bets Big On Hybrid Cloud Computing

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Mike Vizard.

When it comes to hybrid cloud computing partners of VMware (VMW) have been stuck between a proverbial rock and a hard place. In terms of applications running in a local dater center, VMware has been rock solid. But in terms of the cloud VMware is overshadowed by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and a small army of cloud service providers that rely heavily towards open source software.

VMware this week took a major step towards making things less hard for its partners in the cloud with the release of VMware vSphere 6, an upgrade that among other things adds support for the open source OpenStack cloud management framework and an implementation of VMware NSX networking software that later this year will be able to span on premise environments and the VMware vCloud Air public cloud service...

Read more from the source @ http://talkincloud.com/cloud-companies/02032015/vmware-bets-big-hybrid-cloud-computing-OpenStack

AWS, Microsoft Gain Ground In Cloud Infrastructure Services Market

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Dan Kobialka.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently achieved a five-year high in its share of the cloud infrastructure service market, a segment that includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), hybrid cloud and private cloud. Market research firm Synergy Research Group reported that AWS grabbed a 30 percent share of the cloud infrastructure service market in the final quarter of 2014.

What contributed to the success of this well-known cloud computing platform? AWS' 25 percent cloud infrastructure service revenue growth between the Q3 and Q4. AWS, Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) outperformed the total cloud infrastructure service market's growth and gained market share; Microsoft achieved the market's highest year-over-year revenue growth (96 percent), while Google recorded 81 percent year-over-year revenue growth...

Progressive aims to use cloud computing to improve its business intelligence and employee mobility

Grazed from Microsoft. Author: Editorial Staff.

Progressive is looking to expand its use of cloud computing to help it realize greater organizational efficiencies, “investing less time on infrastructure and more on providing high-value services to the business,” write two of the company’s executives in a guest post on the Office Blogs.

Office 365 “will be an important part of our cloud approach and we are now taking the first steps by setting up identity management and deploying Office 365 ProPlus, the user-based subscription version of Microsoft Office, to our more than 26,000 employees,” write Scott McPherson, manager of enterprise architecture organization and software and security group, and Matt Lynn, domain architect of unified communications and collaboration group at Progressive...