Clearing Things up in the Cloud – a PCI Tale

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: Tim Sedlack, Dell Software

Back in mid-February, the people who help control security of credit card data, the PCI Standards Console, did us all a favor. They clarified something that technically, should make handling credit cards in, around and through “the cloud” more secure. They released the document called, “PCI Cloud Computing Guidelines.” Certainly, clarification was required. Before this document, if you used a Cloud Service Provider (CSP), you couldn’t be sure whether you had to have a separate audit for them, or if your audits covered everything. It was nebulous, to say the least. 

The Cloud Special Interest Group (SIG) and the PCI Standards Council got together and agreed that you own the security of the data you handle, regardless of where it’s stored, processed or otherwise transmitted. That’s right ─ it’s incumbent upon you, as a certified credit card processor (you do take credit cards, don’t you?), to ensure the safety and proper handling of customer credit cards in accordance with PCI-DSS standards. I know that’s not going to be a very popular stance for vendors – to tell them that they are the responsible party ─ but, honestly, not knowing would have had me walking on eggshells wondering whether we’d lose certification if our CSP failed an audit! Who wants to live like that?

The Cloud Has Transformed IT—Here's Why It Will Never Be the Same

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: Jared Jacobs, Dell Software

The industry shift to cloud computing has meant more than just a shift in services for users. IT professionals are asking themselves why they should deal with services that could be outsourced to larger cloud providers, and then reposition themselves to take care of the mission-critical technologies that their businesses really want.

This is the main drive behind IT managers pushing their firms to adopt cloud-based solutions. They're looking to free up their in-house resources for more strategic applications and specialized infrastructure.

How the Mobile Cloud is Changing ERP

When it comes to streamlining operations, ensuring accountability and providing in-depth information to those who need it, few things are as important as a solid ERP platform. As the post-PC era takes shape, cloud and mobile computing will change the way that ERP solutions are planned and implemented in many ways.
Gartner recently predicted that by 2016, cloud services will grow to a global market size of approximately $206 billion. From NetSuite integration to in-house mobile ERP platforms, transitioning and integrating existing technologies to a mobile, cloud-friendly platform is shifting from cutting-edge to necessary at rapid pace. However, planning and proper implementation are essential parts of the ERP migration process.

Big Data in the Cloud

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: Alexey Korotich, Dell Software

It is hard to say which of the two buzzwords tops IT news today: Big Data or Cloud. It's much easier to see how these two can play nicely together.

Big data symbolizes the explosion of computer generated data, which is said to double every year and outgrowing the capacity of IT data centers. In trying to cope with ever-increasing data volumes and make sense of the data, companies find themselves in desperate need of high scale data aggregation, processing and analysis tools.

I won't dare give another definition to such a multi-faceted thing as Cloud. Instead, let me summarize a few of its inherent capabilities, representing different levels of the cloud stack:

The Growing Importance of SaaS as an Application Deployment Platform

Grazed from CloudCow - Contributed.   Author: Dick Csaplar, Senior Research Analyst, Aberdeen Group.

In January 2013, Aberdeen surveyed 123 organizations to learn how they use the Public Cloud as part of their IT infrastructure as well as the use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This Blog will focus on Software-as-a-Service as a platform for enterprise applications and the growing importance it plays as an application deployment method. Companies now have an alternative to purchasing a software license when they decide to use a commercially available application. Aberdeen research shows wide use of Cloud-based SaaS applications in many different parts of today’s enterprises. The full report can be found here.

Cloud SaaS Offerings

Most software vendors now offer a SaaS deployment of their application. Users are likely familiar with, Google Apps, and Microsoft Office 365 as the most widely used of these applications, however there are now SaaS offerings for almost every aspect of business management. The technology can be used for departmental apps (such as customer relationship management (CRM), product lifecycle management (PLM), and business intelligence (BI) or by function (email, database, and ecommerce)...

Latest Trends on Cloud Computing Takes Your Business One Stage Further

Contributed Article.  Author: Deney Dentel, CEO of Nordisk Systems, Inc.

The ever-evolving world of cloud-computing technology continually revolutionizes IT (information technology) in new and exciting ways. The innovative creativity has clearly transformed how my business works at managing data and confidential information for businesses. Along with its many benefits, it eliminates the need of a physical environment, and instead, uses the virtual world full of virtualized servers to perform all of its duties.

Moving to the Cloud Is Easy

My business quickly realized how easy it was to move to the cloud. With the ability to turn over all work to the cloud, we were able to downsize our IT departments and reduce our workforce, while still producing the same work, more efficiently. When businesses migrate to the cloud, they are sometimes required to change the business' operating system to accommodate security restrictions. In the end, it provides better flexibility, and improves security.

5 Different Ways People Use Cloud Computing

Grazed from CenturyLink.  Author: Editorial Staff.

The Cloud used to be nothing more than an enigma, a buzz word. Now, the Cloud has made itself a necessity for many people in many different situations. In order to take advantage of all the great advantages of the Cloud, you first need an Internet service to rely on. View CenturyLink deals to find an affordable and fast Internet plan that you can use to access the Cloud.

Using a Cloud service is something that is universal, but also personal. Here are some of the ways that people are taking the Cloud, and using it in a way that suits their specific needs...
1.    Studying. High school students to grad students are all looking for ways to make studying easier. One of the best ways to do that is with the Cloud. Google docs, Google hangouts and platforms like Evernote make it simple for students to share ideas. The Cloud is changing not only how students study, but when.  Students don’t even need to deal with the mess of setting up specific times to meet up. Share notes, mock tests, study guides and more virtually, instead of personally. What makes the Cloud even more beneficial to students is that if you lose your notes or your computer melts down without saving, all the material you need is already stored in the Cloud waiting for you...

Cloud security: What works and what doesn’t work in cloud

Contributed Article.  Author: Charles Smith.

CloudCow Contributed ArticleThe growing rate of adoption of cloud based technology has also given rise to a growing concern about deficient security policies in its utilization. Many companies allow their employees to access data and files from their office cloud but have no definite or distinct cloud security policies. There is a nagging dearth of written down best practices for cloud utilization. The concerns are arising at multiple levels such as -

•    Compliance with government regulations
•    Exit strategies
•    Lock in periods
•    International data privacy
•    Credibility and consistency of suppliers
•    Service assurance and testing 
•    Integration between cloud and existing systems

Worried About the Cloud? Always Plan Ahead

Contributed Article.  Author: Tim Sedlack, Senior Product Manager, Quest Software (now part of Dell)
CloudCow Contributed Article

Worried About the Cloud? Always Plan Ahead

I talk to IT departments around the world about compliance and auditing. These are people who are part of large, global organizations to small 1 man IT shops. What I can tell you seems to be a universal truth today – they are all worried about the cloud. They are worried about security and the cloud, they are worried about the seemingly unending ways corporate data can get to the cloud and they are worried about engaging with auditors and having to prove control over resources that have ended up in the cloud, usually without their knowledge.

I can certainly understand the concern – it’s a big wide world and it seems like it’s all out their control. Well, for the most part, it is.

Relational database vs non-relational database: All you need to know

Contributed Article.  Author: 10gen - The MongoDB Company
CloudCow Contributed Article

Relational database vs non-relational database: All you need to know

The debate over relational databases and non-relational databases has been ongoing for quite some time. A few years ago, the argument was mostly one sided in favor of relational databases (SQL) because most of the applications developers were creating were focused on transactional data and the social and mobile explosion could be treated more like a trend than a reality.  However, as we’re beginning to see from companies such as Amazon, Netflix, and MTV Networks, modern applications need the flexibility and scalability of a non-relational database (NoSQL) that rely on bigger data and faster write performance. Modern applications with social components and product recommendations based on user data don’t fit RDBMS.
This shift has led some to question if we’re witnessing the end of relational database systems. In a world where cloud computing is really beginning to take over and blossom, NoSQL databases simply make more sense for several reasons. But is saying that relational databases are coming to an end an overstatement?