Author Archives: John

Cloud Emerges As Inevitable Transformer Of Auto Exterior Design

Cloud Emerges as Inevitable Transformer of Auto Exterior Design

The basic rationale for designing a hull of a vehicle is to improve functional reliability. For this reason, the interior and exterior must be at par, with each aiding the other. To facilitate this coercion, cloud computing technology has come to the rescue with its virtual methods of building high-end vehicles within a short turnaround period. This, as the following snatches will reveal, is also impacting on the interior as well.

Designing on the Cloud

An Australian racing pair has done what many would not have thought plausible in the latter half of 2012. They have made a body shop out of software which has enabled them to make a car of a kind, a process that would have required twelve months in the usual assembly plant. Testing and experimentation with the hull, ignition, gear system and the engine all took place in a simulated setting on a computer. The end-result is a superb Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) that can compete with any other that has come out of a conventional assembly plant, thanks to the cheap technical help of the cloud.

Less Hardware Footprint in Interiors

Cloud computing is also transforming the hull while indirectly improving the interior. The minimalism that one espies in the driving seat, which ironically can now do everything with almost nothing is an example of this breakthrough. Infotainment systems, consisting of an Internet screen, radio set and multimedia player, all in one, is an example of how change can be rapid in the auto scene. It is no wonder then that auto makers are concentrating on more comfortable front seats where there is plenty of room for drivers and privileged passengers for all the multimedia is now hosted at a remote locale.

Sensors reducing space needs

Designers of hi-end motor vehicles always place a lot of attention to GPS systems and other tracking technologies with sensors. Be it because of telemetric or biometrics in a vehicle, one will always espy aerials and router boxes appearing somewhere inconvenient inside a vehicle. As cloud computing provides more storage, however, sensors will no longer need a whole set of equipment or even manual testing at select stations: they will only need a receiver in the vehicle while the rest of the load will transmit from a remote station. This will impact marginally in a more comfortable vehicle with superb sensor and tracking abilities but more room in it.

Finally, exterior and interior designs will find a tie in the elimination of basic, cumbersome equipment for Internet access. There will be no more necessity for bulky hardware but just Wi-Fi connection though cellular means which, literally, will take no space. In fact, vehicles will belie their external look to that of the interior. The way one sees the vehicle from the outside will be the same they will find in the interior unlike now when a smart car turns out to be only too much short of space in the interior due to a barrage of accessories. Furthermore, the lighter the vehicle becomes the cheaper it will be possible to avail it.

By John Omwamba

Gartner’s Projections On The Car And The Cloud Point To A Future Of Surprises

Gartner’s Projections on the Car and the Cloud Point to a Future of Surprises

Before Gartner offered its predictions for the cloud and IT sectors towards the end of 2012, the firm had already placed forecasts for the auto industry at the beginning of the same year. The most significant of these was that by December, the sales of electric vehicles across the US, would have reached a hundred thousand. The prediction would make this a potential hike from the eighteen thousand that customers purchased in the preceding year.

The most significant influences for this are twofold:

  • Emergence of competitive brands.
  • Lowering of vehicle costs and possible slicing of battery costs due to hybrid tech.

There are competitive brands that have entered with much ado into the cloud. Besides improving their models’ vehicular designs, they are also transforming their infotainment dispensations. These, luckily enough for enthusiasts, have managed to cling to the electric vehicle niche, thus helping to slash the cost. There is a car maker that began its offerings at a mere $29,120, which represented a sheer six thousand-dollar cut from what its rivals were offering at the time.

Because they come from prime assembly brands, the vehicle hybrids systems are made more intelligent by the cloud. For example, those that rely on plug-ins can always forewarn the driver and communicate with recharging terminals where and when to stop. This is deemed to prevent congestion or extinguishing of residential mains. Otherwise, they will be relying on battery backup when there is a shortage of power over the main.

Other beneficiaries are tech giants that retail batteries. Gartner did not give a guideline on whether they would slash their costs to align with reduction in vehicle prices. Be it as it may, the firm foresees a rise of these kinds of vehicles in the US, by 2015, to number a million. In china, the trend is towards what they term as eco-friendly automotives. They aim, by the help of the cloud and other technologies, to realize the goal of having five hundred thousand vehicles of such design at the same period as that of the US. Still, this might be difficult because certain urban centers are restricting the emergence of more automobiles into their jurisdictions to reduce the yearly jams on the roads. Perhaps they should tap into cloud computing to help monitor traffic situations where each driver connects to another in different streets.

Directly or indirectly, the cloud may have an influence on the way the world makes electric cars increase on the roads. As the research costs reduce due to available resources online, it will now be possible to purchase autos that are excessively low in the buying price in comparison with how they used to cost in years gone. The fact that a vehicle enjoying the same technology can have a six thousand-dollar deficit in retail value can only be explicable in the sense of the integration of technology to make testing and experimentation, before building a product, almost free. With more brands going into what appeared to be impossible, years ago, it is easy to say that cars are the next movers of IT-surprise analysts are watching with all eyes and arms open.

By John Omwamba

Past Predictions In The Automotive Cloud Gradually Evolving To Reality

Past Predictions In The Automotive Cloud Gradually Evolving To Reality

Past Predictions in the Automotive Cloud Gradually Evolving to Reality

Many of the predictions in the automotive sector that happened in previous years are evolving into a competitive reality. They are becoming more practical than one probably thought they could be. However, some are taking an about turn and making a leap for the better or for worse. It is the latter that will start this discussion, beginning with the emergence of the powerful brand-based cloud over that of dealers.

Dealer Cloud-into-Brand Cloud

Automotive Cloud

Some of the major predictions of past years were that the information systems that were available in dealers’ sites were limiting the sector into many private clouds. If one went to Brand A, for example, he or she would find multiple outlets and service centers, each having its own fantasy cloud. This tended to make the availability of spare parts, for example, limited to that cocoon of dealers. Technology would also suffer a slap in the face for lack of open source systems.

At least the above backlog has changed in the name of brand-centric technologies. Mercedes Benz for example fairly recently unveiled its encompassing cloud systems. This will comprise of news feeds, infotainment as well as face reading and voice detection technologies. Because the transformation will happen in all luxury models that the maker considers necessary to become virtual terminals, it will be a technology that will fulfill its mandate of curbing the infiltration of segregate dealing systems, each with its own cloud. The only shortcoming for this is that it will be like smart phones where every brand has its own app store, which gags open-ended technologies.

Cloud Applications had Biggest Impact on Cars

Analysts for 2012 had trained their binoculars on cloud applications as the biggest game changers in the car milieu. Though there are other IT systems and design features that have also come into the mix for the year, at least cloud dominance has remained largely true. The word ‘infotainment’ is a buzzword that ranks together with cloud and big data as the jargon that could not leave the tongue for the past few years. Furthermore, infotainment is synonymous with a vehicle’s cellular, telemetric and Internet integrated features.

The best illustration of the impact of this technology is the fact that two automobile giants from Japan, one from the United States and one from Germany have all launched or seek to launch their cloud offerings. Some are starting their own in-house platforms whereas others are going for classic provisioning technologies like Windows Azure.

It is not too blunt to say that most predictions make sense just because they are feasible. It is easy to foresee the twist of technology from a mile away if one uses historical analytics to know how tech changes. Of course there is a twist here and there but auto and cloud predictions never soar very far from the truth though sometimes they seem too fantastic to be real. That Google’s self-operating cars have become common in California roads, under tests, is enough evidence that the automotive industry is ‘swimming’ in exciting waters.

By John Omwamba

Actionable Analytics Emerging As A Corporate Cloud Computing Trend

Actionable Analytics Emerging As A Corporate Cloud Computing Trend

Actionable Analytics Emerging as a Corporate Cloud Computing Trend

The major premise of cloud actionable analytics is having a budget-worthy processor and dedicated staff. The agility of businesses lies in the way they analyze their operations in and out. They have to strategize on ways to improve their productivity while cutting costs. In the past, it took data outsourcing to get a candid view of where the company stood and how it was likely to perform in coming years. This was costly: besides, the equipment was not as minimalist or set for big data projects like they are now. More so, the storage expenditure was not on a pay-as-you go platform as they are now.

This kind of analytics is a significant cloud trend, because, as Gartner predicts, it will help corporate entities presage what is going to happen to them. This is unlike before when a company had to toil using past contexts with a subset of formulae to gain a breakthrough.

There are several influences that one can explore regarding actionable analytics on cloud computing and their role in tomorrow’s company:

Big Data

Actionable Analytics

It is essential to say that big data is changing at an extremely fast pace. It is now altering its scope and approach as well so that companies can take advantage of minimal processing expenditure to create a strategy out of chaos. They no longer have to concentrate on a single, simple undertaking per time. Rather, staff can zoom into all that makes sense in the chaotic data center of their company’s archives to try to fetch something practical out of the mishmash. This is where the cloud trend of analytics comes in. Instead of focusing on little projects, one experiments with the daily data problems, and seeks original answers for them, which eventually leads to a little prediction, daily, on the company’s performance.

This will help in cloud analytics because companies will no longer need to wait for audits to take several weeks of their precious time. Rather, whenever they are faced with the dilemma of how a credit card got into the wrong hands, they will just need to press a preset button that contains memory of the transaction. This will do computing calculations in seconds and supply the answer. In this, one can see a way out of solving mind-boggling puzzles that would otherwise demand the erring human investigator.

Computing in seconds

This will help in cloud analytics because companies will no longer need to wait for audits to take several weeks of their precious time. Rather, whenever they are faced with the dilemma of how a credit card got into the wrong hands, they will just need to press a preset button that contains memory of the transaction. This will do computing calculations in seconds and supply the answer. In this, one can see a way out of solving mind-boggling puzzles that would otherwise demand the erring human investigator.

Turn to Google for Analytical Help

If actionable analytics in the cloud sounds puzzling, then corporations will need to go back to where it all started: the search engine. Here, they will find formulae, albeit based on past search outcomes, to make policies that can last for some time. The only problem is that the search analytics are not for specific organizations, but they govern a platform that operates like the cloud. What is the Internet as a browsing playfield then if it is not the network part of the cloud? One does not even have to advertise: SEO and other search suggestions, in content promotion, can save a company’s fortunes when it uses the web to analyze itself.

Consumer Analysis

There are many ways in which companies are using big data to help actionable analytics earn them consumers and returns. One of these is automating infrastructure in order to filter trends out of the consumer’s activities and feedback. In fact, the original duty of a marketer is to turn a customer into a lead who can return. Budget-worthy analytics are helping in this goal.

By John Omwamba

Lack Of Properly Trained Cloud Professionals Threaten Industry

Lack of Properly Trained Cloud Professionals Threaten Industry

Data from job aggregators focused on the cloud computing market reveals that some areas stand out as the best places to find cloud computing jobs around the world. The irony is that employers in some of these areas are finding it difficult to find qualified people to fill the cloud positions which are apparently paying in the upswings of $100,000 plus, per year. While this is a salary to die for, the fact that no suitable candidates are showing up is raising questions on whether the academic pipeline is releasing enough techies for the evolving cloud space.

Dangerous Gap

Analysts have raised a serious alarm pointing to the danger of heading to a future where the market will experience a boom in cloud computing job opportunities with no properly qualified Cloud Professionals to fill them. Indeed a Microsoft sponsored IDC report shows that cloud jobs will shoot up by 26% every year through the next two years starting 2013. In 2012 alone, approximately 1.7 million jobs fled by a void of qualified skills to fill them. According to IDC, the turn of 2015 will witness a critical swell in IT jobs throughout the global scene, pushing to the 30 million mark.

Way behind

Sadly, IT professionals around the world are seemingly behind the cloud revolution and have not actually been equipped with skills matching what the cloud computing environment is demanding in order to succeed. There is a significant danger here because the consequences could include poor products coming out of cloud factories, not to mention security risks and system vulnerabilities that will threaten millions of businesses around the world who rely on cloud computing to perform their business functions.

Much of the frustration is driven from the approach businesses are taking towards cloud computing. Most businesses are increasingly recognizing the cloud as an integral part of their systems, with majority (half) terming it a priority area. Two thirds are making plans to implement relevant cloud solutions in their enterprises or are already going through the implementation process.

Certification and experience rate poorly

Businesses have acknowledged that while they would love to fill cloud positions in their companies, their fear is drawn from the reality on the ground which points to a scenario where those who claim to be good in the craft lack proper training, experience and credible certification. Recruiting companies are consistently creating systems to aggregate the best cloud jobs. The challenge still stands tall: that there are no qualified cloud professionals to touch these jobs.

Glaring Opportunity?

While the loneliness of a company searching for skills that cannot be found speaks volumes, there is a glaring opportunity that is lighting up somewhere in the uncovered clouds. This is no doubt the time for academic institutions and other stakeholders to seize the moment and introduce practical, full time cloud courses that will then bake the next cloud brains whom the industry needs so badly if the birth of revolutionary cloud products is to be sustained heading into the future.

By John Omwamba

Gartner Cloud Prediction Places US Top In Public Deployment

Gartner Cloud Prediction Places US Top in Public Deployment

Trying to predict the cloud market can easily be likened to attempting to look for sufficient, clean drinking water in the Atacama Desert. All the same Gartner tries its best to tear through the numbers and somehow comes up with facts and figures that shape up the kind of predictions that business professionals and leaders can rely on to position their strategies.

For 2013, Gartner has come out, this time round focusing its lofty analytical eyes on the public cloud segment and concluding that it will scale up with a growth rate that will not miss the 18.5 percentage figure by any wide margin. The market will predictably hit $131 billion by 2017, a climb of some $20 billion from the 2012 figures which were quoted at $111 billion.

Some of the areas that Gartner considers under the public cloud include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and other cloud services based on the likes of OpenStack. IaaS, file and storage are quickly emerging as the cheetahs of public cloud, growing at a near 50 percent rate of 42.4 percent through 2012 to hit $6.1 billion. If the growth of 2012 is shocking, 2013 will burst it all out with the predicted growth forgiving the 50 percent mark by less than three points to rest at 47.3 percent, representing $9 billion by the close of 2013.

Cloud-driven advertising The phenomenon of cloud-driven advertising has also sneaked into Gartner’s 2013 predictions. Suspects like Salesforce will no doubt have a good share of whatever loot comes out of this dimensions that are now finding a way into the online advertising industry. In its characteristic style of not leaving any stone unturned, Gartner has attempted to define cloud advertising terming it a collection of processes that support the selection, transaction, and delivery of advertising and ad-related data where content and price are determined at the time of end user access, usually by an auction mechanism that matches bidders and impressions as they become available.” The data cruncher (Gartner) also gives a list of what it calls relevant vendors, again featuring familiar suspects including Apple, AOL, Facebook, Google, Baidu, Microsoft, Yahoo, OpenX, and AppNexus.

Among all regions under Gartner’s ‘cloud-scope’, North America sticks out its neck as the most exciting consumer of public cloud services, expected to generate 59 percent of all the money that will be spent in the larger public cloud service segment right from 2013 all the way to 2016. This is not to say that Western Europe, a region equally known to understand the importance of cloud computing has been left behind, only that its predicted percentage consumption is way below that demonstrated by North America. All the same Eastern Europe manages to pull a spirited fight that makes up for 24 percent of the overall spending, placing it right behind North America.

Emerging markets? This is where the fastest growth will be seen shooting up, particularly in China, India and Indonesia where the vast populations will unquestionably have something to do with any upset that may be witnessed in these figures come the next Gartner release.

By John Omwamba

Idaho Now Circumspect On Whether Cloud Computing Is Taxable

Idaho Now Circumspect On Whether Cloud Computing Is Taxable

The State of Idaho is the latest accessory to the fact on one of the most rave debates, concerning the legality of cloud computing as a physical entity that attracts levy, subject to a 1993 bill that proved that it is.

The Idaho House of Revenue & Taxation Committee has now seconded a motion that a legislator from the state introduced and went on to pass through the House,  by agreeing to make it into law, which will see tech firms that are just renting space over the web eschew the blunt of taxation.

Idaho is one of the hotbeds of cloud levy, which generally churns out 6 percent higher charges in comparison with other neighboring states, a reason that has seen many tech analysts decry the 1993 legislation for showcasing the State as a non-attractive prospect for doing business over the cloud.

The Chief Executive of the state’s tech organization that supports two hundred firms under its behest, Jay Larson, reminded of the fact that the tax authority in this jurisdiction has had to collect some back-dated dues from high technology monopolies, which is just an illustration of how dire the situation has become.

Larsen also attempted a definition of cloud computing in the light of contemporary asset-and-software analogies, by saying that the industry is nothing but companies allocating capacities, and rental space over the web, as well as, outsourcing, showing that no goods change hands.

This contextual analysis of the term ‘cloud’ has reviewers revisiting the evolution of the taxation law. At first, machines were subject to levy, together with vinyl discs which used to carry information. Then, downloading instead of paying for a physical CD became the vogue in the 2000s, but still Idaho, and a galaxy of other states, stayed put that software was still a ‘tangible’ effect worth paying tax for.

The debate has even brought in the agronomic community of Idaho, with one farmer, a representative, delineating the facts that one is virtually not in ownership of an asset, primarily for being unable to sell it, moderate it or alter it. At the end of the day, one can only rent space from some entity that is out of sight somewhere in Idaho, in the Federal Union or even abroad.

Despite the development, there is still time to watch the evolution of the same debate as to whether software is something subject to levy or not, with a key example being the latest statement by Utah officials that their laws stipulate any program, even that which facilitates persons to hold conference on the Internet, as still one thing: taxable material.

Indeed, in order to settle the bewildering contention of whether this or that is material or immaterial, most levy bodies across the United States are treating software in the cloud in one unilateral stance, as levy-attracting.

By John Omwamba

Aussie, Eurozone Cloud Computing Industries Grow Gloomy On The US Patriot Act

Aussie, Eurozone Cloud Computing Industries Grow Gloomy On The US Patriot Act

The European Union has resuscitated the more than a decade-old contention about data independence after giving an exposé of the US Patriot Act of 2001, which bequeaths the Federal administration, on the other side of the Atlantic, the power to seize data in any continent for surveillance reasons.

The same rigmarole surrounding a legislation that is now a dozen years old has also visited upon the Australian scene, where CIOs are circumspect on whether to go ahead and store data offshore, where the United States’ forensic agencies have a right to penetrate the firewalls as long as they are under US companies, despite being in overseas’ jurisdictions.

This has forced tech giants like Google and Rackspace to come out strongly, vowing that they would resist the prerogative of the government to use a warrant, or even, in some cases, as the Patriot Act stipulates, seize information devoid of a warranty, as this would lead to the gagging of the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) dispensation.

One of the key elements of the legislation is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, an Act that received revision by Congress (2008), whose mandate the current US administration extended for the ensuing period of half-a-decade, starting 2012. It is this clause that the Eurozone has much bone to chew on for it provides for searches without warrant on cloud data as well as in other communication conduits, not just the Internet.

The European IT community feels that this provision is more like a weapon of mass destruction spot on the EU laws, which have much of a right to claim as being some of the freest legislations on the globe, factoring in user privacy. Indeed, the whole point of concern is the Foreign Intelligence clause’s ability to just monitor the offshore data by US firms or even data under storage in the United States by a non-citizen, for “purely political” reasons. The current legislation is a limb of several others that came up intermittently two to three decades ago but consummated into a single powerful automation of a law or what is now the Patriot Act, subsequent to the terrorist attacks in 2001.

On the Other side of the Smoke

Despite this much concern about the cloud laws, analysts are saying that the Patriot Act may eventually prove to be too much ado about nothing in cloud computing terms, because of two points:

First, the laws have always been there and have required, time and again, a federal judge to provide a subpoena for the investigation of another entity’s sovereign data, with the exception of cases where the issue is too sensitive for the government to necessarily seek a legal permit. Furthermore, there have to be precedents in certain cases before anyone can arbitrarily rummage through someone else’s data, albeit this is rather vague for the government can use the same advantage of a precedent to analyze an offshore account without going through a judge.

Secondly, the Patriot Act is not the only legislation around. In Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark and other nations that protest the move, there are provisions for the respective regimes to perpetuate this ‘reign of terror’ on cloud accounts abroad that are of national concern.

In the Land Down Under for instance, the government can search a national’s documents abroad but under a shady alias so that this won’t become public. The fact of the matter still remains that there always have to be a permit to conduct any surveillance on outsource and cloud data in Australia.

The implications of this compendium of laws which are all obscure but for the Patriot Act, one would say, has led many IT firms to decide to just go on with their business of life while EU, Google and co., check their pawns for their next moves on the chess table.

By John Omwamba

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