Author Archives: CloudTweaks

How BYOD Affects Security In The Cloud

How BYOD Affects Security In The Cloud

Since bringing your own device – also known as BYOD – is starting to become widely adopted by companies of all sizes, a lot of contradictory discussions have appeared around this topic. Eliminating hardware purchasing and maintenance is a great advantage for reducing company costs. Employees also benefit from this new trend the most because they are free to choose what device to use to fit their personal and business needs.

However, the main challenge with BYOD is securing a wide variety of devices. Therefore, enterprises have turned to SaaS, solutions because they can make data more secure and reducing the likelihood of user error. Google Apps allows users to use documents or emails, but none of this data is stored on the hardware device, so risks to physical data loss decrease significantly.

Another important aspect to consider is user error. Taking into account that 63% of users losing data is attributed to user error. If the employee has the chance to use the device they feel more comfortable and familiar with, it would most likely lead to less mistakes.

To make sure that cloud computing and BYOD successfully co-exist in enterprises, support processes have been defined by many organizations. These help employees to work from a mobile device within the corporate network securely.

Here are the main topics you should consider so BYOD will not affect security in the cloud:

– create rules for accessing corporate applications
– address use policies that are acknowledged by all employees
– develop policies that apply in the situation when a employee changes its job and the company needs to have access to the data
– implement tools to identify and reduce breaches from being introduced into the organization

Employees appreciate the chance to choose the device they’ll work from. This gives them more freedom, more control and their motivation will increase considerably, which is an added benefit for the company. Before adopting BYOD policies within your company, make sure you understand both the benefits and the shortcomings of this trend and take the most appropriate decisions according to your business needs.

By Rick Blaisdell / RicksCloud

Red Hat Cloud Services And Training

Red Hat Cloud Services And Training

Red Hat Cloud Services And Training


Red Hat Services offers a complete spectrum of cloud services solutions built to accelerate your journey to cloud computing. Our portfolio of consulting and training services provides you with the expertise to help you quickly ramp up Red Hat® CloudForms deployments while establishing the foundation for intelligent, open hybrid cloud infrastructures.

Pathway to Open Cloud

Navigate your way to a cloud environment based on open architectures and standards. This strategic consulting service assesses technical and organizational readiness and current-state architecture to design and deliver an actionable, strategic roadmap for cloud adoption.

The strategic service includes:

•  Risk assessment and mitigation for your organizational and technical readiness Development of a foundational business case, including key performance metrics
•  Demonstration and pilot projects for a prototype open hybrid cloud solution, using Red Hat CloudForms
•  Creation of a strategic roadmap/plan for cloud adoption, including cloud architecture, governance, workload migration, development, and implementation

Cloud Solution Architecture Service

Accelerate your organization’s transition to an open hybrid cloud. This engagement includes the solution definition, installation, configuration, and acclimation of CloudForms, allowing your organization to be positioned for success from day one.

The implementation service includes:

•  Define: Architectural design to meet requirements and verify core use case
•  Installation: Installation and configuration of Red Hat CloudForms for up to three (3) supported resource provider(s), creation of a prototypical application workload definition, and workload management and deployment to the selected resource provider(s) via Red Hat CloudForms
•  Acclimation: Documentation of your installation and configuration, guidance on best practices for ongoing management of your cloud solution, and incidental observations on additional performance opportunities.

These Red Hat services enable you to build a functional, enterprise-ready cloud in a reasonable timeframe so that you can quickly begin delivering the associated services and benefits to your organization.

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Cloud Infographic: Is Your Head In The Cloud?

Cloud Infographic: Is Your Head In The Cloud?

Cloud Infographic: Is Your Head In The Cloud?

The concept of cloud computing will be familiar to everyone working within the IT industry, but it appears the general public still have a limited understanding of what the phrase means. From self-confessed ignorance, to a lack of knowledge about what actually constitutes a cloud service, it seems the tech world may have to drop one of its favorite buzzwords for the sake of consumers.

So will 2013 be the year the IT industry stops talking about the cloud and starts to focus on the benefits that cloud services bring to people? Or should the tech heads stick to their guns and seek to education consumers instead?

Cloud Infographic

Infographic source: The Webfusion VPS Server team.

Cloud Computing And Its Effects On Network Management

Cloud Computing and Its Effects on Network Management

The delivery of computing as a service, or cloud computing, over a network is becoming more and more mainstream and is allowing businesses of all sizes to get their applications up and running faster, with easier manageability and less maintenance. Cloud computing allows enterprises, and enables IT, to more rapidly adjust IT resources (apps, servers, storage, and networking) to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand.

Cloud computing forces us to change our traditional approach to application and network management. No longer do we have a fixed number of assets that must remain running 100% of the time, and performing to the best of their abilities. Instead, we have on-demand computing where resource needs, such as servers and applications, and capacity fluctuates based on demand.

Traditional Network Management vs. Cloud Network Management

In a traditional, non-cloud based, network implementation, network and application monitoring primarily focuses on the availability and performance of the network and server infrastructure. Monitoring of network devices (routers, switches, and firewalls) is usually accomplished with a network management system (NMS) that uses traditional protocols such as SNMP, ICMP, and WMI to gather performance statistics. Advanced management systems typically include network device discovery and mapping, network device performance monitoring, real-time intelligent alerting and reporting, application monitoring and many more features that assist the IT professional in monitoring and managing the performance of their network.

Once a cloud network is introduced, additional significant dependencies are added: namely the performance of your ISP (WAN performance) and the performance of your cloud provider (and their ISP). Since your WAN link is the lifeblood between you and your cloud provider, it is paramount that you monitor its performance at a minimum. Excess latency or jitter can have significant negative impact on your service availability and performance. But, it is not enough to simply monitor WAN performance; you also need to understand your network traffic (who is using it, how much they are using, and what they are using it for) to assess the impact on the performance of business critical apps and services.

Inside or Outside

In a cloud environment, you can monitor from the “inside” by setting up an NMS in your service provider’s data center, or you can monitor from the “outside” by setting up an NMS on your own network.

Watching from the outside gives you both control over your IT management software and a “truer” measurement of end user experience. However, if your network or Internet connection were to fail, so would your monitoring solution.

Watching from the inside enables you to have a network monitoring solution independent of both your network and your cloud provider’s. But there is a catch: you are now dependent on your third party cloud provider’s network and infrastructure to monitor your primary cloud provider.  You are also at the mercy of the Internet and the latency that it injects into your monitoring process that will randomly render your reporting inaccurate randomly.

The Virtual Alternative

Another alternative is to spin up a virtual machine in the cloud alongside your cloud servers. Since your NMS is right next to the servers and apps that you are monitoring, you will eliminate the effects of WAN latency and thus receive more accurate measurements. The only downside of this approach is that when your cloud provider suffers an outage (all the major providers have at some point or the other), your monitoring solution will be rendered useless.

This approach also gives you access to your traditional and familiar IT management solutions, so there is no ramp-up phase involved in learning your cloud provider’s solution; you can simply use your own.  So, in the end, your network management solution has not changed much in what it delivers and how it is used. The only thing that changes is where it lives.

By Brad Hale

Brad Hale joined SolarWinds in 2009 and is the product marketing principal for network management products, bringing over 20 years of product management, product marketing, business development and strategy experience in the software, systems, and semiconductor industries. Brad has an MBA from Butler University and a BS in Computer Engineering from Purdue University.

Cloud Adoption Statistics

Cloud Adoption Statistics

Cloud adoption decisions will be taken in the near future by employees who do not have an IT background. That’s an interesting shift in the IT world! According to a report issued by Capgemini, chief marketing officers, executive and even people from human resource departments, finance or administration departments will be making some of these cloud adoption decisions. 460 organizations globally, 50 of them in the UK were surveyed for this report.

The main reason for this change might be that cloud adoption and implementation into the overall strategy of an organization and in different departments influences the activity of all employees, not only of those from the IT department. Therefore, the decisions will be made by people with – different positions within a company and not necessarily by those having an IT background. SaaS based solutions for CRM, accounting and marketing solutions for example do not require hardware and software maintained by an IT department so they are able to be managed from within the individual departments.

Even though collaboration between the team members and departments inside an organization is the main purpose for business-and cloud apps, there are some critical points to consider before adopting the cloud and not including someone from the IT department.

Here are the top five concerns for organizations moving to the cloud:

  • Security
  • Privacy
  • Federated Identity / Single Sign-On
  • Interoperability and Portability
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Despite these concerns, many organizations have moved to the cloud. It appears that the main reasons they do so are:

  • to increase productivity and efficiency
  • to follow similar companies that have moved applications to the cloud
  • to meet customer requirements.

And according to the Global Cloud Networking Survey by Cisco, the most desired application for cloud migration is Storage, followed by Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications, email and collaboration solutions. However, the top three applications that have been moved or are being planned to be moved to public or private clouds in the next year are: email and Web services, storage and collaboration solutions.

Taking into consideration these facts, the next few years are to be quite challenging both for the executives and for the cloud providers. Executives will be taking charge of essential decisions that involve cloud adoption and managing these providers, therefore this is a big step for the industry.

By Rick Blaisdell

Make A New Years Resolution To Explore The Cloud For Business Telephone Services

Make A New Years Resolution To Explore The Cloud For Business Telephone Services

Business owners and managers looking to capitalize on technologies that can increase efficiencies and reduce costs should be looking closely at Cloud-based services like a Hosted PBX business telephone system.  Many might be surprised to learn that this technology is well-established  (web-based e-mail has been around for more than a decade and is an everyday example of cloud technology ) and already well-know to the businesses community.

With recent IDC research indicating the world’s mobile worker population will grow to more than 1.3 billion (more than 37 percent of the total workforce) by 2015, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) should make it a New Years resolution to start capitalizing on the benefits of being on the cloud as soon as possible.

Moving Phone Service to the Cloud

One of the strongest strategies for SMEs is moving business phone service to the cloud.  Cloud-based technology powers the Hosted PBX, a solution that allows businesses of nearly any size to have a sophisticated telephone service with minimal or no investment in equipment. The service provider “hosts” the equipment and manages the network, and thus the business does not require an on-premise PBX system.  A Hosted PBX system also provides significant, long-term savings, with an impressive set of features and greatly simplified management and configuration.

A Hosted PBX lets employees work from home, remote offices, cell phones or even overseas while still being connected to the same office telephone service. The technology allows for video conferencing, which makes remote collaboration more effective than ever.  Thanks to the virtual nature of the service, companies looking to cut down on office and vehicle costs can easily de-centralize without customers ever hearing the difference.  All employees are still connected to each other as if they were in the same physical office space.

Hosted PBX advantages

Traditional on-site PBX systems, despite their often prohibitive costs, cannot match the advanced feature set of a Hosted PBX solution.  In addition to standard features such as auto-attendants with professional greetings, voicemail to e-mail and North American long-distance calling, a Hosted PBX gives companies who use their phones intensively the ability to go deeper.  With hunt groups, find-me/follow-me capability and time-based behaviors, the Hosted PBX is highly flexible.

For call centers and contact centers, which handle high call volume, the advantages can be even greater.  Advanced call queuing and skill-based routing help managers ensure the right agent always gets the call.   Ongoing reporting and performance tracking is made vastly more efficient with detailed, granular reports that managers can export at any time.  These reports include mission-critical metrics, such as number of calls answered and unanswered, average time to answer, average hold time and much more.

Through a user-friendly web interface, users with administrative access can easily modify nearly any aspect of the service.  Modifying an on-site PBX, for comparison, is considerably more complex and typically requires a service visit from a technician.

Getting to the Cloud

Business owners considering  a move to a Hosted PBX, option need to ensure they have the following to enable the transition:

•       Internet connection: with ample bandwidth for all staff using the phones.
•       Network equipment.  At a minimum you’ll need a business-grade router capable of serving multiple employees.  An unmanaged switch can expand the number of available ports, if required.  Most Hosted PBX providers sell or recommend appropriate network equipment.
•       Phones designed for Hosted PBX service.  Again, nearly all providers sell recommended models.
•       Power over Ethernet and battery backup: optional, but recommended for systems where constant phone connectivity is mission-critical.
•       Network/IT provider: optional.  Although not required for smaller and simpler systems, or deployments on which the customer is technically capable, an IT professional can be a powerful resource in a larger build-out.
With these relatively simple requirements, SMEs can quickly start enjoying the benefits of a sophisticated telephone system without the investment in telephone equipment.

By Adam Simpson

Adam Simpson is Founder and CEO of Established in 2005, Easy Office Phone provides Business VoIP and Hosted PBX service to companies and organizations of all sizes throughout North America.

Cloud Infographic: Big Data And The Future Of Healthcare

Cloud Infographic: Big Data And The Future Of Healthcare

Cloud Infographic: Big Data and The Future Of Healthcare

The healthcare industry has been making its move toward technology, putting iPads and tablets into the hands of healthcare professionals and now, the latest big move has been adopting the concept of cloud computing to organize, share data and protect patient information and healthcare data from being tampered with or lost. Some might be wondering why medical professionals have waited this long to “hop on the cloud.” Perhaps the healthcare industry wasn’t ready before but they are definitely ready now…Continue Reading


Infographic Source:

CloudTweaks Comics
A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks!

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks!

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks! So we are all cheering as the FCC last week made the right choice in upholding the principle of net neutrality! For the general public it is a given that an ISP should be allowed to charge for bandwidth and Internet access but never to block or somehow…

Security and the Potential of 2 Billion Device Failures

Security and the Potential of 2 Billion Device Failures

IoT Device Failures I have, over the past three years, posted a number of Internet of Things (and the broader NIST-defined Cyber Physical Systems) conversations and topics. I have talked about drones, wearables and many other aspects of the Internet of Things. One of the integration problems has been the number of protocols the various…

Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

DDoS Knocks Out Several Websites Cyber attacks targeting the internet infrastructure provider Dyn disrupted service on major sites such as Twitter and Spotify on Friday, mainly affecting users on the U.S. East Coast. It was not immediately clear who was responsible. Officials told Reuters that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation Digital transformation is the acceleration of business activities, processes, and operational models to fully embrace the changes and opportunities of digital technologies. The concept is not new; we’ve been talking about it in one way or another for decades: paperless office, BYOD, user experience, consumerization of IT – all of these were stepping…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

Selecting The Right Cloud Services Provider How to find the right partner for cloud adoption on an enterprise scale The cloud is capable of delivering many benefits, enabling greater collaboration, business agility, and speed to market. Cloud adoption in the enterprise has been growing fast. Worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a…

Micro-segmentation – Protecting Advanced Threats Within The Perimeter

Micro-segmentation – Protecting Advanced Threats Within The Perimeter

Micro-segmentation Changing with the times is frequently overlooked when it comes to data center security. The technology powering today’s networks has become increasingly dynamic, but most data center admins still employ archaic security measures to protect their network. These traditional security methods just don’t stand a chance against today’s sophisticated attacks. That hasn’t stopped organizations…

Three Ways To Secure The Enterprise Cloud

Three Ways To Secure The Enterprise Cloud

Secure The Enterprise Cloud Data is moving to the cloud. It is moving quickly and in enormous volumes. As this trend continues, more enterprise data will reside in the cloud and organizations will be faced with the challenge of entrusting even their most sensitive and critical data to a different security environment that comes with using…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…


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