Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Cloud Infographic: Security And The Cloud 2012

Cloud Infographic: Security And The Cloud 2012

Cloud Infographic: Security And The Cloud 2012

When it comes to cloud computing, security is top-of-mind for each institution, public and private. In a recent study, defense contractor Lockheed Martin and its Cyber Security Alliance partners acquired feedback from government agencies in an effort to measure attitudes around cloud computing and cybersecurity. 85% of government technology decision makers cite cybersecurity as a high priority, with at least one or more related initiatives underway.

Continue Reading: Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and the Cloud

Cloud Security Infographic

Infographic Source: CloudPassage.com

Major Cloud Outages Of 2012 To Learn From

Major Cloud Outages of 2012 to Learn From

According to a recent report by the International Working Group on Cloud Computing Resiliency, each year a cloud computing service is usually down for an average of 7.5 hours.  Companies who use the cloud for running their operations totally or partially were severely affected this year. So, let’s see some of the biggest outages suffered by cloud users in 2012:

Microsoft Windows Azure

Microsoft Windows Azure suffered an extensive, worldwide outage in February that wasn’t fully addressed for more than 24 hours. The Azure cloud service outage impacted more geographic regions in Western Europe, Northern Europe, East Asia, and in the U.S. Microsoft said the outage was caused by a software bug related to a “time calculation that was incorrect for the leap year.” The outage drew angry reaction from customers, who expected more communication about the issue on behalf of Microsoft.” In July, Windows Azure cloud computing service went down again in Western Europe for about 2.5 hours. The incident was caused by a “misconfigured network device” and the interruption resulted in connectivity issues for their customers.  As recently as this fall another outage with office365 left millions of outsourced mailboxes without service.

Amazon Web Services

An Amazon Web Services power outage cut services to customers for about six hours, in June. The Amazon services affected included Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon Relational Database Service and AWS Elastic Beanstalk, which are run from Amazon’s U.S. East region datacenters in Virginia. Among those affected were cloud managed services and platform providers, including Stratalux, Digitaria; and Heroku, the cloud platform-as-a-service provider owned by Salesforce.com. Well-known sites such as Netflix, Pinterest, Reddit, Forsquare, and Instagram were also among those affected. In less than a month, a second outage affected Amazon Web Services. One of their clients has publicly announced that they will cease using Amazon’s cloud services and switch to an alternative provider instead.

Apple iCloud

In September, a number of users of Apple’s iCloud service found they could not access their e-mail. Due to the fact that there was a problem with the central iCloud service, users experienced problems on their Macs, iOS devices, and with Apple’s Webmail interface on iCloud.com.

Google Gmail

Google Gmail suffered more outages this year. The first outage happened in April and lasted for one hour. The bug affected less than 10% of Gmail users and the root cause was a misconfiguration that occurred during a routine upgrade. The second outage happened in June and affected less than 1.50% of its users.

Despite many precautions taken by cloud service providers, outages happen on a regularly basis due to different factors like human errors, technical glitches or natural disasters. These factors can be controlled by developing a comprehensive disaster recovery and failover plan.  Follow my future articles as I share best practices on building the 100% SLA.

By Rick Blaisdell

Open Data Center Alliance Publishes Big Data Consumer Guide

Open Data Center Alliance Publishes Big Data Consumer Guide

Document Promotes Big Data and Outlines a Plan to Provide Concrete Recommendations and Insight to Benefit both Big Data solution providers and Enterprise Consumers

PORTLAND, Ore., December 19, 2012The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) today announced that it has published a new document, titled Open Data Center Alliance: Big Data Consumer Guide to help address the quickly growing need to address big data and associated solutions. A recent report from the states that 15 out of 17 U.S. business sectors have more data stored per company than the U.S. Library of Congress. And by some estimations, 90% of that data has been created in the last two years.

The Big Data Consumer Guide provides an introduction and overview of Big Data, and establishes a common language and definitions that enterprises can use when working with Big Data vendors. The Big Data Consumer Guide was created to allow Enterprises to better understand Big Data and achieve a balance between existing investments and new ones that best address the exponentially increasing volume, velocity, and variety of enterprise data.

The paper will ensure that all parties utilizing and offering big solutions are able to communicate using common terms to help make the process easier and more transparent. The paper also provides insight into potential Big Data use cases.

The ODCA also hope to lay the foundation for a set of future work by the ODCA Data Services Working Group (DSWG). ODCA’s DSWG was established in 2012 to bring solution providers and big data consumers (enterprises) together to help drive the creation of Big Data technologies that are open and standards-based, with a greater degree of interoperability and cost effectiveness for large enterprises in line with the overall mission of the Alliance.

To download the Open Data Center Alliance: Gig Data Consumer Guide and to find out more about the ODCA Data Services Working Group, please visit www.opendatacenteralliance.org.

About The Open Data Center Alliance

The Open Data Center Alliance℠ is an independent IT consortium comprised of global IT leaders who have come together to provide a unified customer vision for long-term data center requirements. The Alliance is led by a twelve member steering committee which includes IT leaders BMW, Capgemini, China Unicom, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Inc., National Australia Bank, T-Systems, Terremark, Disney Technology Solutions and Services, and UBS. Intel serves as technical advisor to the Alliance.

In support of its mission, the Alliance has delivered the first customer requirements for cloud computing documented in Open Data Center Usage Models which identify member prioritized requirements to resolve the most pressing challenges facing cloud adoption.

Find out more at www.opendatacenteralliance.org.

Cloud Infographic: The Rise Of Cloud Gaming

Cloud Infographic: The Rise Of Cloud Gaming

Cloud Infographic: The Rise Of Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming is a service that uses a high speed Internet connection to stream games to a subscriber’s technology device of choice. For many gamers, gaming depends on a specific console device, such as a Wii or an Xbox, and the only possibility for playing games at another location involves packing up the console and setting it up elsewhere.

Gaikai, a cloud gaming company, which was purchased by Sony Entertainment, offered the streaming model that allowed subscribers to stream games to their computers, smart digital televisions and tablets. The games were run inside of web browsers, using Java or Adobe Flash. With the purchase by Sony, there are rumours that the next itineration of the PlayStation might be totally cloud-streaming based.

Continue Reading…

cloud-gaming-static-640

Infographic Source: BigFishGames

Benefits Of Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery

Benefits of Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery

Developing a proper disaster recovery plan is quite a challenging task for any type of organization, especially small and medium business segments. When a disaster strikes your business, restoring it can be a really arduous task. Many companies are implementing cloud computing services for their disaster recovery plan. Cloud-based disaster recovery can be described as a component of a disaster recovery plan that involves maintaining copies of enterprise data in a cloud storage environment as a security measure.

Continuous data availability is an absolute essential at times of a disaster. With this wonderful plan, business continuity planning has become cost effective. The cloud’s pay pricing model is quite less, as it follows the principle of shared resources. Cloud storage facilities also manage and maintain the DR servers thereby reducing the impact of failures at the disaster site.

Let’s now have a look at the benefits which a company can gain by using cloud-based disaster recovery solutions.

Disaster recovery in the cloud:

Cloud-based disaster recovery is gaining a more prominent place in the whole disaster recovery world. It is streamlined, convenient, and successful in delivering a novel, continually evolving and improving solution for full-on data storage and recovery. Furthermore, this relatively new technological concept allows you to design your disaster recovery solution according to your users and business requirements. You are allowed to specify the data files and applications you require for various business departments, locations, RTO and RPO. As you make modifications in your business requirements, you can change these settings as well.

Cloud backup and recovery:

Cloud-based disaster recovery ensures that your data is recoverable and secured. As the cloud is easily scalable, you can instantly replicate your data on multiple cloud servers in multiple locations. By replicating the entire server and network configuration between data centers, the time consuming process of recovering data into the cold site environment is now replaced with just a few clicks. Many cloud storage service providers give customers an option to duplicate the cloud backup of data to any geographically diverse data center. An option to archive tape copies of select data is also provided.

Lowers deploying comprehensive disaster recovery plan:

While traditional disaster recovery plans have been expensive, unreliable and time consuming, cloud-based disaster recovery is more reliable, fast and affordable. One big advantage of using cloud-based disaster recovery is that it lowers the bar for many more business enterprises to provide comprehensive disaster recovery plans for their entire IT infrastructure. It also ensures fast deployment in a matter of minutes with easy
installation and configuration wizards.

Cost effective:

When it comes to cost, cloud-based disaster recovery is more economical than the traditional cold site disaster recovery plan. This innovative concept does not require any capital investment in terms of procuring new servers and deploying a new disaster recovery solution. Moreover, this plan comes with a pay-per-use billing model, thereby creating a customized disaster recovery solution that caters to your specific IT requirements without actually increasing costs.

As cloud storage provides unparalleled data protection with superior encryption and security procedures, data that is backed up onto the cloud can be restored whenever a disaster occurs. A cloud-based disaster recovery plan is critical for business continuity and is perhaps a great alternative for small business organizations strapped to a large budget.

By Deney Dentel

Deney serves as CEO for Nordisk Systems, Inc. Nordisk Systems offers various IT services for your businesses on cloud compuitng, virtualization, bakup and recovery, managed services, and much more.

Cloud Infographic: Avoid Outrageous Mobile Data Expenses

Cloud Infographic: Avoid Outrageous Mobile Data Expenses

Cloud Infographic: Avoid Outrageous Mobile Data Expenses

Cloud computing has impacted the telecommunications industry across crucial fronts and now is in the process of amply changing its ecosystem. 

As telecommunication architectures move towards a more cloud-oriented structure, there will be more demand on self-services. This is even more significant in the mobile telecoms where people are now basically utilizing the cloud as the processing power unit for their mobile devices, turning them into high performance utility tools. Continue Reading

Be Careful

Avoid Outrageous International Mobile Data Rates

  •  It would cost about $250 to email a photo to 3 family members from Brazil?
  •  Streaming the Dark Knight in SD in Egypt will cost over $2,000?
  •  Many applications connect to data networks without notifying users?
  •  1 in 6 mobile device users have experienced some form of bill shock?

Infographic Source: Xigo

A Look Back At The Cloud Computing Trends Of 2012

Cloud Computing Trends Of 2012

This year, the winds of change have blown the cloud to a higher level. Studies predict that cloud computing will be on the rise for some a long period of time and that it will be a major source of revenue and employment globally by 2015. Industry experts also say that ultimately everything will be in the cloud, including migrating all physical hardware, software, platforms, services and processing.

There is no question that cloud computing evolved enormously this year.

In 2012, we’ve seen:

  • Increased confidence in cloud for mission-critical applications, according to the second annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey;
  • Cloud-based business process management (BPM) on the rise. About 40% of organizations with BPM initiatives use cloud computing to support at least 10% of the processes involved in those efforts, according to a recent research by Gartner Inc.
  • Public cloud services market growing faster than expected. IT researcher Gartner reported in September that the public cloud services market is now forecast to grow 19.6 percent in 2012 to total $109 billion worldwide.
  • Platform-as-a-Service being recognized as an enterprise-ready technology. Large enterprises are adopting the architecture due to its highly reliable and scalable qualities.
  • A leverage of cloud technologies in application development due to their speed, cost-savings, reliability and security.
  • Increased use and wider acceptance of hybrid clouds according to Delloite Tech Trends for 2012.
  • The cloud becoming one of the best alternatives when it comes to support, monitoring and data management. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is lately one of the most needed and required cloud computing categories.
  • The cloud is taking big data analysis to the next level. With unlimited resources, the cloud allows huge datasets to be created and processed quickly and easily.
  • Cloud services are mixing. Companies started mixing IaaS and PaaS solutions to take advantage of both and to decrease their overall IT spend.

There is no doubt that in the coming years, cloud computing will be one of the major players and driving force in the technology market.

By Rick Blaisdell

Cloud Infographic: 2012 Internet & Mobile Trends

Cloud Infographic: 2012 Internet & Mobile Trends

Cloud Infographic: 2012 Internet & Mobile Trends

Two major trends transforming industries today – mobile and cloud – are acting as catalysts for a renewed focus on this critical area of security.

As mobile devices proliferate at a staggering pace, enterprises see a rich new channel through which to reach customers. Enterprises are also realizing that a much larger set of employees want to use mobile devices – which can enhance individual productivity as well as generate business value.

We’re in the BYOD era, where secure access to enterprise resources is key for all mobile deployments. Continue Reading

Source: BackgroundCheck.org

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Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Off Premise Corporate Data Storage Cloud storage is a broad term. It can encompass anything from on premise solutions, to file storage, disaster recovery and off premise options. To narrow the scope, I’ve dedicated the focus of today’s discussion to the more popular cloud storage services—such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive—which are also known as hosted,…

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Analytics Trends

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Analytics Trends

Big Data Analytics Trends As data information and cloud computing continues to work together, the need for data analytics continues to grow. Many tech firms predict that big data volume will grow steadily 40% per year and in 2020, will grow up to 50 times that. This growth will also bring a number of cost…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

Cloud Infographic – Interesting Big Data Facts

Cloud Infographic – Interesting Big Data Facts

Big Data Facts You Didn’t Know The term Big Data has been buzzing around tech circles for a few years now. Forrester has defined big data as “Technologies and techniques that make capturing value from data at an extreme scale economical.” The key word here is economical. If the costs of extracting, processing, and making use…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

Infographic: IoT Programming Essential Job Skills

Infographic: IoT Programming Essential Job Skills

Learning To Code As many readers may or may not know we cover a fair number of topics surrounding new technologies such as Big data, Cloud computing , IoT and one of the most critical areas at the moment – Information Security. The trends continue to dictate that there is a huge shortage of unfilled…

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Big Data To Analyze Using Big Data to Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential For those who are regularly involved with SMEs, venture capital, and company valuations, it is common knowledge that start-ups that exit for more than $1 billion dollars are extremely rare – often termed ‘unicorn’ companies. Despite their rarity, it should…

4 Different Types of Attacks – Understanding the “Insider Threat”

4 Different Types of Attacks – Understanding the “Insider Threat”

Understanding the “Insider Threat”  The revelations that last month’s Sony hack was likely caused by a disgruntled former employee have put a renewed spotlight on the insider threat. The insider threat first received attention after Edward Snowden began to release all sorts of confidential information regarding national security. While many called him a hero, what…

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement In recent years, Big Data and Cloud relations have been growing steadily. And while there have been many questions raised around how best to use the information being gathered, there is no question that there is a real future between the two. The growing importance of Big Data Scientists and the…

Cloud Computing – The Good and the Bad

Cloud Computing – The Good and the Bad

The Cloud Movement Like it or not, cloud computing permeates many aspects of our lives, and it’s going to be a big part of our future in both business and personal spheres. The current and future possibilities of global access to files and data, remote working opportunities, improved storage structures, and greater solution distribution have…

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

Enterprise File Sharing Solution Businesses have varying file sharing needs. Large, multi-regional businesses need to synchronize folders across a large number of sites, whereas small businesses may only need to support a handful of users in a single site. Construction or advertising firms require sharing and collaboration with very large (several Gigabytes) files. Financial services…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions Running a cloud server is no longer the novel trend it once was. Now, the cloud is a necessary data tier that allows employees to access vital company data and maintain productivity from anywhere in the world. But it isn’t a perfect system — security and performance issues can quickly…

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

Individuals and Password-Sharing With the 1980s came the explosion of computing. In 1980, the Commodore ushered in the advent of home computing. Time magazine declared 1982 was “The Year of the Computer.” By 1983, there were an estimated 10 million personal computers in the United States alone. As soon as computers became popular, the federal government…

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data The modern enterprise is digital. It relies on accurate and timely data to support the information and process needs of its workforce and its customers. However, data suffers from a likability crisis. It’s as essential to us as oxygen, but because we don’t see it, we take it for granted.…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Incident Response Planning – Part 1 The topic of cybersecurity has become part of the boardroom agendas in the last couple of years, and not surprisingly — these days, it’s almost impossible to read news headlines without noticing yet another story about a data breach. As cybersecurity shifts from being a strictly IT issue to…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…