Public or Private Cloud: What About Hybrid?

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: Eric Silver, senior contributor for Online Backup Magazine.

Public or private? Cloud industry experts have been going back and forth on this issue since the establishment of cloud computing. This has left individuals and businesses alike stranded and frequently questioning their choice, even after a decision is made. Even after a decade of data, you will find analysts who support both sides of the spectrum. Let’s put this debate to rest once and for all.

Security at a Risk

Public cloud companies quite literally shove the ‘128-bit SSL’ or ‘256-bit SSL’ encryption notion down potential customers’ throats. Fortunately for them, the overwhelming majority of clients do not understand encryption protocols. While your data is secure once it reaches the public cloud company’s data center(s), it is extremely vulnerable during the actual transfer process and at the pre-transfer process as well. On the other hand, private clouds can be set up and implemented within a corporation’s firewall allowing for optimal security. Additionally, you operate a personal data center within a private cloud setting thus eliminating the potential threat of another client accessing your information...

The Latest IT Service Skills You Should Be Working on Now

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: Ilan Hertz, VP of Marketing at SysAid Technologies

IT Service skills are in higher demand than ever, as the four highly influential, and valuable, forces of cloud computing, big data, social media and mobility merge into everyday IT, they bring with them innovation, ideas, and progress.
Enterprises, governments and organizations, now demand strategic technology and an advanced programmable infrastructure that can perform at web-scale. They also demand the skilled professionals needed to manage it.
In a recent report by Gartner, “strategic technology” is defined as that with the potential for “significant impact” on organizations in the coming years.

Software Mega Trends Increasing License Management Challenges

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: Stuart Dicken, Head of Software Asset Management, Certero

Where once software applications were purchased and installed on a single device, now they can be run in virtual environments or accessed on a pay-as-you-go basis. The proliferation of mobile devices highlighted this problem with people accessing applications from airport lounges, on planes, trains and even in the back of taxis. Software now can literally be accessed and used from just about anywhere.

Due to the increasingly complex vendor licensing rules and models for delivery such as Virtualisation, Cloud and SaaS, organisations are seeking solutions which simplify the management of software from purchase to retirement. Yet most ITAM tools lack the critical functionality needed for license management. So why is it that these traditional tools are failing to protect organisations from unexpected liabilities?


3 Things You Might Not Know About the Cloud

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: Timothy Wightman, CEO/President of Effective Data.

These days, it's nearly impossible to discuss computing without someone mentioning "the cloud." But while the cloud encompasses much of what we do, there are still a large number of people who don't fully understand the implications of cloud computing. What can be done in the cloud, and how does one use it? Heck, what is the cloud?

Regardless of what it is that you think you do or don't know about the cloud, there's always more to learn. Because you're probably already using the cloud each day, it's important that you have a working knowledge of what this type of computing is, and how it affects you. In this post we will find out what the cloud is, and dive deeper into its capabilities. You may be surprised by what you learn.

Patch Management No Longer Has to Be an IT Headache: Cloud Computing to the Rescue

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: Sergio Galindo, head of Global Product Management at GFI Software.

Stress is a feeling that IT administrators, especially at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), know all too well. In fact, an independent survey conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software earlier this year, which polled 207 IT administrators in U.S. organizations with more than 10 employees, found that 57 percent of respondents admit they’ve considered leaving their job due to workplace stress.

The reality is that IT admins are often challenged with supporting their company’s IT efforts with limited resources and budget. And they are forced to wear many different hats each day. They are tasked with keeping network infrastructure operational and secure, battling unauthorized access and intruders, and defining and enforcing corporate policies, among a laundry list of other critical tasks. On top of that, they shoulder the responsibility of supporting the needs of end users who sometimes seem to go out of their way to create the most bizarre IT issues imaginable...

How Secure is Data in the Cloud?

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: Bob Spiegel, COO at

For private consumers and companies investing in Cloud solutions, study after study has revealed their number one concern of moving to the Cloud is security. The vast majority of concerns take shape in the form of data security, i.e. how secure is data stored in a server housed in a data center the world away and data accessibility, i.e. strong data encryption matched with even stronger access keys.

But, if you drill into the Cloud security issues data more, you begin to see one pattern emerge time and time again. That pattern: internal security leaks vs. external security hacks. Time and time again, studies reveal the largest concerns of IT professionals and COO's moving their company to the Cloud isn't external data hacks; it's actually internal data leaks.

But why is this? Why are more and more security professionals and CEO's concerned with internal Cloud security issues over external Cloud security risks? The answer is found in the corporate Internal Cloud infrastructure.

Tape vs. disk vs. cloud: A comparison of data backup options

CloudCow contributed article.  Author: Tom Kirk, Business Development Representative, Xtium.

Business continuity plans are a must in today's environment, where even a few hours of downtime could be very costly in lost revenue. Data backup procedures are a critical part of these business continuity plans. But as the menu of backup options increases with the introduction of new technologies it can be difficult to pick criteria around which to base your data backup decisions.

Whether you are looking to replace aging infrastructure, have suffered from faulty or incomplete backups, or are just planning for the future, here is a comparison of the three most common options—tape, disk and cloud backup—along with criteria of price, labor, efficiency and longevity.

Who is the New Infrastructure Administrator?

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: John McNelly, Product Senior Advisor for Performance Monitoring, Dell Software

Traditional IT roles are beginning to converge as organizations leverage more and more innovative technologies to modernize the data center. Technicians are expanding their responsibilities into new domains, which means that yesterday’s “silo” administrator is quickly becoming today’s “infrastructure administrator.” As part server administrator, virtual environment manager, network engineer, and storage architect, this next generation role requires a broad spectrum of knowledge across all of these multiple domains. Today’s infrastructure administrators need the skills to build, maintain and manage high performing data center infrastructure solutions, with the end goal of producing a flexible infrastructure where capacity can be scaled up or down as business requirements change, while simultaneously focusing on data center cost optimization.

Preparing for Disaster: Everything You Need To Know About DR Tests

Grazed from Xtium.  Author: Shawn Fichter.

Stress, hassle, time. These are all words typically associated with disaster recovery tests. In the past 15 years I’ve spent working in the business continuity space, I’ve seen DR tests be a burden. However if done correctly and properly documented, they don’t have to be. So what do you need to do to ensure you’re prepared for the inevitable? Here are the common questions I’ve heard from customers about DR tests over the years.

What is a disaster recovery test?

A DR test is a process to evaluate the procedures that an organization has in place for ensuring business continuity in the event of a major service interruption or catastrophic event. Tests allow service providers and their customers to ensure the integrity of protected data as well as execute and refine processes for making that data available in the event of a declared disaster...

Extending Privileged Identity Management To The Cloud

CloudCow Contributed Article.  Author: Dale R. Gardner, Director of Product Marketing, Xceedium

In working with customers and prospects moving to the cloud, Xceedium finds approximately 80 percent of organizations attempting to re-use privileged identity management solutions from their existing physical environments encounter problems. They quickly learn these solutions-designed for relatively static data center environments-lack the complete set of controls needed to manage privileged users in the cloud, as well as the flexible, scalable architecture the cloud demands.

Efforts to simply migrate existing privileged identity management offerings to hybrid-cloud environments result in a number of issues. These traditional solutions aren't built to gracefully adapt to the dynamic nature of the cloud-and as a consequence, slow administration and management efforts. That imposes an unacceptable drag on operations-minimizing, if not outright eliminating, one of the principal benefits of the cloud. The lack of appropriate and complete controls leave sensitive cloud-based applications and systems open to compromise and misuse. And inflexible deployment options increase costs and constrain security architectures.