Of all that has been written about cloud computing, precious little attention has been paid to authentication in the cloud.
Before we get to that, let’s review how authentication works on a private network.
When you log on to your machine and then try to access a resource, say a file server or database, something needs to assure that your username and password are valid. If you’re logging onto a Windows machine, this authentication is performed by a component called the "Local Security Authority Subsystem Service".
Once upon a time it was nice and simple. If you were in charge of corporate IT, you bought Microsoft. Serious quantities of computing power required a different solution, but for everything from mid-level enterprise down to desktops, Microsoft did the job. When it came to smartphones, Microsoft’s products have never been great but always integrated neatly and were favoured by some although not all organisations.
Zoho has added a customer support management application to its web-hosted collaboration, communication, business and office productivity suite for small and medium-size businesses.
Zoho Support is designed to help companies capture, process and manage support tickets and includes features to prioritise and sort through requests, apply service level agreements, generate statistics and reports and archive and publish common solutions. "The application streamlines the customer support model for any organisation," said Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist.
Microsoft seems to be planning robust integrations between its online services and Windows 8, possibly including a cloud-based backup service, according to Microsoft job postings.
One job posting for a Windows Server position — which is no longer available but was quoted by the unofficial Windows8beta blog — states: "We are currently working on a Windows Azure-based service and integrating with certain Microsoft online services and Windows 8 client backup."
If the public cloud is in your future, there will be no getting around the fact that application performance will very much depend on your ability to negotiate public networks.
That problem is that once your data has left the confines of your internal infrastructure, you are at the mercy of whatever traffic conditions happen to be in place at any given time. For many organizations, that leaves too much to chance, which is why interest in cloud-ready optimization technologies is at fever pitch.
All that buzz about the move to cloud computing at times becomes just a dull roar as all those words fly over our heads. So we’re told that the cloud will be huge within the next five years, but what does that mean for jobs in IT?
Effective master data management processes can lead to improvements in the accuracy of analytics work, it has been suggested.
This is the view of Sandy Kemsley, an independent analyst and systems architect, who told IT Business Edge that connecting master data management projects with business process management programmes can have considerable advantages for organisations.
"You can get better analytics if you have consistent data models and those consistent data models are going to be helped by master data management, that’s one of the key business benefits," she pointed out.
Start-up CloudBees has bought the brains behind the Hudson open-source continuous build system, as part of its effort to fluff Java development in the clouds.
CloudBees has bought InfraDNA – a start-up providing software support and services for Hudson – along with InfraDNA’s founder and Hudson creator Kohsuke Kawaguchi. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Surprisingly, a couple years after "the cloud" first arrived on the IT scene I am still hearing IT leaders speak about it with breathless reverence. Even non-IT executives will proudly announce "Oh, we’ll just put that in the cloud" when any technology-related topic appears in a staff meeting.
The fact of the matter is that the cloud is just another boring make vs. buy decision, and the sooner those in IT management realize this, the less likely they are to build potentially career-ending plans based on clouds and rainbows.