Category Archives: Cloud Computing

VMware, Openstack, Hybrid Mix And Match

VMware, Openstack, Hybrid Mix And Match

VMware, Openstack, Hybrid Mix And Match

While hybrid cloud has been a mainstay discussion in the cloud world for quite some time now (note this post of mine on hybrid cloud from 2011, when CloudStack was still Cloud.com), the reality is that setting up hybrid cloud has proven a fairly complex process. Therefore we’ve seen only a few real implementations of true hybrid cloud in the wild.

However, recent developments with the VMware landscape, have changed this reality, finally making the hybrid cloud story simple and possible.

Making hybrid cloud simple and real

While most public clouds started as an independent public cloud service and only later started to add private cloud connectivity VMware’s vCloud Air was designed in pretty much the exact opposite approach; primarily as a native extension of VMware private cloud – which has been a market leader in the cloud and virtualization arena for many years. This evolution in the VMware offering afforded the many users of VMware platforms the same tools to manage local VMware environments to manage public cloud resources, as well.

This change has made the hybrid cloud story significantly simpler and more attainable. This means users no longer need to worry about the connectivity between the two sides of the data center, and at the same time get the cost benefit of using resources on demand, and on a pay-per-use basis.

This development with VMware is a major game changer, and to me, also represents an important milestone for OpenStack users as well – which, it is no secret, is near and dear to my heart. In an ideal world, we could rely on OpenStack, or any open source cloud, alone for our cloud needs. However, the reality is that many enterprises require a multi-cloud strategy, as they have previous investments in other infrastructure many times based on VMware, including: vSphere, vCloud and others.

The reason, this was interesting to me, is in my capacity as CTO for Cloudify, this ability to make hybrid cloud so realistically possible, fit well with our pure-play orchestration vision, and made the integration with the two platforms – which .was previously an involved undertaking much more promising.

Putting it all together

vmware

VMware public cloud users have been needing a simple way to deploy and manage their applications on the cloud using DevOps tools similar to Amazon Cloud Formation. As the landscape is still being shaped, and there’s no clear winner yet, it is very important for these users to have tools that will allow them to keep their options open.

This is where TOSCA comes into play. TOSCA (Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications) has been gaining a lot of attention lately as it has filled a gap of providing a standard templating language that doesn’t tie users to a particular platform.

On top of that TOSCA orchestration, also aims to go beyond the installation part of the application and covers all the aspects of the application lifecycle through the addition of workflows and policies that can be used to handle continuous deployment, self-healing and auto-scaling processes.

This is a use case we have encountered quite frequently with Cloudify users, who many times come from the Enterprise and Telco markets. These users are already heavily invested in VMware, while at the same time, are actively looking for a more agile and cost effective way to run their data center. The ability to bring capacity on demand seamlessly into private cloud makes the entire private/hybrid cloud story now thinkable.

With the combination of public cloud, TOSCA, an orchestrator and open source cloud (in this case I’m going to use the example of vCloud Air, TOSCA, Cloudify and OpenStack to demonstrate this), you can achieve the cost benefit of using on demand resources in private data centers in a way that doesn’t tie you to a specific platform. While at the same time delivering a more complete application lifecycle and management solution that allows full automation of deployment and DevOps processes.

For those who aren’t familiar, in short VMware provides three kind of platforms today, where vCenter/VSphere environments serve many enterprise data centers today, while VMWare Integrated OpenStack provides API compatibility with OpenStack for its vSphere/vCenter environment.

A native implementation of TOSCA blueprints as a templating language across cloud environments – in this case vCloud Air, vSphere and OpenStack, provides the element of consistent management of applications across all three environments, which is where Cloudify comes in. This also enables the building of mixed resources across environments using the same blueprint.

Having pure-play orchestration and management that is backed by an industry standard enables the decoupling of the management of applications from the underlying infrastructure. While there is still the need to rely on specific APIs and features of the specific infrastructure, this kind of combination provides a new reality where the cost of the switch isn’t as significant compared with the alternative of being bound directly into the specific underlying infrastructure.

The benefit for OpenStack users

It’s no surprise that many OpenStack users are one and the same as those heavy users of VMware – namely enterprises and Telcos. This integration makes the ability to mix and match existing VMware environments together with OpenStack and public cloud, providing greater flexibility to decide which application and workload fits which environment best, while using common and consistent management to manage applications across these environments. While on top of this, these types of organizations are very much standard-driven, which is why the importance and adoption of a standard like TOSCA is becoming a driving criterion in the choice of orchestration.

By Nati Shalom

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

Despite the rapid growth of cloud computing, the cloud still commands a small portion of overall enterprise IT spending. Estimates I’ve seen put the percentage between 5% and 10% of the slightly more than $2 trillion (not including telco) spent worldwide in 2014 on enterprise IT.

Yet growth projections for cloud remain healthy, and there is optimism in the air. A recent roundup of projections in Forbes paints the picture.

Cloud-IT

The Global Picture

From our studies at the Tau Institute for Global ICT studies, we believe it’s a good time to be optimistic not just in North America, but throughout the world as a whole. There are bright spots in every region, with countries such as Jordan, Latvia, Morocco, and the Philippines joining better-known places where IT is playing an increasing role in economic development.

Research we’ve been conducting for the past several years has produced a picture of how more than 100 nations throughout the world are progressing with their overall IT infrastructure, on a relative basis. We seek to find the nations that are doing the most with the economic resources they have, and we issue several specific groups of rankings. Given robust underlying infrastructure, and reasonable socio-economic conditions, a nation should be set to benefit from the continuing growth of cloud computing.

Training & Education Are Key

education-cloud

An emphasis on operating expenses instead of capital expenditure, the ability to scale (and de-scale) quickly, and provisioning in almost real-time are aspects of cloud computing that can benefit entire nations as well as single organizations.

There are significant issues of data sovereignty and security entangled in distributed cloud infrastructures that cross international borders, to be sure. But inter-governmental organizations from the European Union (EU) to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to the East African Community (EAC) and many more are stocked with serious-minded people working to address and solve the political issues so that the technology may flow and improve the lives of their people.

There will be no flow without proper, specific education and training. Although SaaS and PaaS can insulate end-users as well as developers from the tricky particulars of dealing with the underlying infrastructure, there is tremendous complexity—and opportunity—involved in designing, deploying, and provisioning that infrastructure.

The opportunity lies in training the people of the world in the languages, frameworks, platforms, and architectures that form cloud computing in the whole. Training programs from as little as a couple of days to as much as several weeks must and can be implemented anywhere in the world where people seek jobs in the developing 21st-century global economy.

Governments, corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives within large technology providers, and large organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative all espouse a renewed focus on education and technology. We encourage them also to support the cause of developing cloud computing equitably throughout the world. The distributed and increasingly granulated nature of cloud resources should, in theory, enable smaller, less developed nations benefit from the cloud in the same manner that smaller businesses can.

Setting Benchmarks

jobs-it

One exercise we’ve recently been modeling seeks to determine the ideal number of enterprise IT professionals in each of these countries. It’s not enough simply to note the paucity or plethora of IT jobs in a developing nation; a better question, is how many jobs are there relative to the nation’s current wealth? More important, how are these jobs growing, and how quickly is the rate of change growing?

How much opportunity is there? How many existing IT jobs are there worldwide, and how many will there be in the future?

We’ve studied the big picture, looking at academic research, research-company reports, and conducting our own surveys. We estimate there is one IT job for every $4 million of gross domestic product (GDP) in the US. By applying that figure to each of the nations we survey, then adjusting it for relative wealth, cost of living, and socioeconomic factors (such as income disparity, perceived corruption, and human development), we derive a benchmark figure for each of these nations. The benchmark as you can see, is based on a US benchmark.

Our research shows that the US is not as highly developed on a relative basis as we think it should be, so its middling results can thus serve as a goal for developing nations, most of which fall below the US benchmark today. We would expect most of the world’s highly developed nations to exceed this ideal, as would perhaps some of the most aggressive developing nations.

Although the IT job mosaic is a complex one, a simple calculation can provide benchmarks for the number of people involved in any particular technology—whether programming languages, scripting languages, frameworks, PaaS environments, or cloud computing infrastructure.

Please Share Your Thoughts

It would be a shame if the cloud computing revolution only serves to widen the digital divide among nations. Economies and societies that are significantly driven by IT in general and cloud computing in particular will be the ones that benefit over the long term. By establishing employment benchmarks across nations, we can work to deliver the benefits of cloud computing in a global fashion.

I encourage anyone who’s interested to contact me about our efforts, and to contribute their thoughts and opinions on the topics I’ve covered here.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Roger Strukhoff

Cloud Pinup: Cloudorado Updates Comparison Service

Cloud Pinup: Cloudorado Updates Comparison Service

Cloudorado Updates Comparison Service

cloudorado_v2

With the proliferation of cloud-based computing services (from dedicated cloud servers to hosting and consumer storage), it has become increasingly important for customers to have tools for comparing one service against another. That’s why Cloudorado created its line of comparison engines. Cloudorado takes basic specifications on each customer’s needs and returns a comparison of different cloud services based on price, including possible discounts. Customers can search services by RAM, disk size, CPU power, operating system, and location, and transfer system.

Cloudorado-price-comparison-cloud

Cloudorado is separated into four distinct comparison engines: cloud server, cloud hosting, cloud providers, and cloud storage. Each of these has its own separate control panel for selecting the option best suited to the customer’s needs. For example, the cloud storage engine allows customers to enter specifications for storage, transfer out, PUT requests, and GET requests. In addition to these specifications, there are several filters that can be applied.

marcinAs Cloudorado’s founder, Marcin Okraszewski, points out, “companies will often go with the first provider they find, just because comparing manually is a hard task and can take days or even weeks.” As a result, these companies may be missing out on important details that might make another service a better fit. And, at the very least, skipping the comparison step means that businesses are unlikely to find the best value for what they’re looking for. (On a broader level, this means that cloud providers are less incentivized to lower their prices, since customers are not as savvy about value – this is probably keeping the prices on cloud services artificially high across the board.)

Recently, Cloudorado upgraded its software with a significant new design and added features to make the comparison process easier. The main update is a significant expansion of Cloudorado’s comparison categories. There are now 117 different features that customers can use to filter their results, and many of these features have been added in new categories such as security, certifications, billing system, management features, etc.

The update also affects the view for the “cloud providers” engine – it now shows each provider’s services and features across multiple categories, in a long two-dimensional table. This is particularly helpful for companies that need many different types of cloud services, and want to bundle those services together with a single provider. From this one table, a customer can discover which providers offer the greatest number of relevant services and features, significantly expediting the comparison process.

Overall, it’s a very useful tool for those looking to price shop for the growing number of cloud based services.

By Gustav Steinhardt

Predictions For 2015: Social Media, IoT, NFV and Data Center Growth

Predictions For 2015: Social Media, IoT, NFV and Data Center Growth

Predictions For 2015

Social Media Use and IoT Spurs SDN, NFV and Data Center Growth

Social media continues to drive Internet growth worldwide with the market leader, Facebook, surpassing one billion registered accounts last year. The social media giant’s growth was fueled in large part by growing mobile user access in the Asia-Pacific region, with 52 million mobile social network users in Indonesia, 72 million in India and 660 million in China. Other growth factors include mobile retail revenue, which is expected to reach $626 billion in the U.S. by 2018;

Statistic: Leading social networks worldwide as of January 2015, ranked by number of active users (in millions) | Statista

and greater use and variety of connected devices and wearables, which will create a $19 trillion Internet of Things (IoT) analytics market within the next decade. Recent events indicate the Big Data explosion is just beginning. In January 2015, Bank of America announced it had added 1.1 million user cards to Apple Pay. Initially launched in September 2014, this secure method of paying for purchases using Apple devices is gaining rapid acceptance by 200 million iPhone users and retailers alike.

All of these factors are fueling the need for faster, more flexible networks and increased data center capabilities. It’s an exciting and dynamic time to be in the data center industry, as greater acceptance of cloud-based solutions begins to gain market traction with security-conscious medical, insurance and finance organizations and a greater number of enterprise companies. Combined with the launch of new capabilities such as 100G optical technology, Software- defined Networks (SDNs) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), a major disruption within existing deployment models is occurring, developing into a much more nimble and responsive set of solutions to handle the high-bandwidth demands of Big Data analysis and the IoT. While the exact impact of IoT, mobile usage demands and social media is difficult to measure, what is clear is that traditional processes, operating models and network infrastructure are no longer meeting the demand. Combine these factors with the impact of geo-political and socio-economic conditions such as greater penetration of lower-cost smartphones and devices in emerging markets as well as changes to data sovereignty legislation, and we find ourselves in a brand new world. This translates into big changes in the data center market.

Here are a few predictions for 2015:

The Internet of Things Will Increase Demand for Data Center Capacity and Growth

devices-ping

(See: 50 billion interconnected devices

Consumer-based connected products, while growing in number, may just represent the tip of the iceberg. Big on the radar for 2015 is concern over the threat of business interruption and the supply chain. IoT devices such as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are being developed and deployed to collect data in order to track products through the supply chain management process, thereby preventing loss, ensuring margin recovery and improving product quality for retailers and manufacturers alike.

Machines are also generating a tremendous amount of data that is used to improve safety and quality. Rolls-Royce Aircraft Division has changed how it operates its business model based on Big Data analytics. They now manage all maintenance and rent rather than sell engines to customers because they are able to track and predict failure rates and respond before problems occur. The change has resulted in a 70% increase in rental revenues for the division. GE recently developed software to help the airline industry monitor gas turbine engines. One sensor on a gas turbine blade generates 520GB of data per day, enabling the airline industry to be proactive with maintenance and save billions of dollars.

Big Data analytics enables operators to understand business products and processes at a much deeper level, allowing for greater efficiency as long as customers have the necessary access to the torrent of data collected. Large, well-connected data centers are in the best position to take advantage of this fast-growing trend. SDN topology improves access and customer satisfaction through rapid scaling and lower customer CAPEX and OPEX while creating distributed localized systems and data processing at the edge of the network. This results in less latency, greater nimbleness and reduced network loads for system operators.

Increased Capacity Key to APAC Data Center Growth

Asia, representing the world’s most populated continent, is home to more than three billion people. Populations are shifting to urban centers, prompting city planners to incorporate connected technology to ensure building construction accommodates growth and safety standards. Big Data, together with business applications and the continued strong penetration rate of smart phone use and other connected devices, has created a stronger need for more data centers. China’s main cities, for example, are gaining more representation as additional network providers enter the region. The potential is great when comparing market sizes. The U.S. has 66 million square feet of data center space, compared to the city of London, England, which boasts an estimated seven million square feet. Singapore, one of the better served markets in APAC, has just two million square feet of data center space, which is not enough to accommodate all of the connected technology and demand for cloud services. I predict more cloud providers will enter the region in 2015 to provide enhanced cloud solutions to meet growing demand.

Secondary Emerging Markets Offer New Opportunities

Datacenter-Investments

(Infographic Source: Forrester – 2013)

Today, other secondary markets in the APAC region as well as sparsely populated areas of China are under-represented and offer the potential for growth in the coming year. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, for instance, are seeing increased use of inexpensive smart phones. At the same time, these new users expect to be able to connect to the Internet, which presents an opportunity for growth in the data center market. Updating network infrastructure in this diverse geo-political region offers its challenges, particularly in light of data sovereignty legislation. However, there are benefits as well. Consider Malaysia, which provides incentives for companies to build new network infrastructure. Data center growth in this region is beginning to gain ground although the end result has been the introduction of more private data centers rather than colocation space. Because of the high demand for connectivity and bandwidth solutions for smart phones and business applications needed for these large population centers, new market opportunities are opening up for companies willing to make the investment.

The Software-defined Network Offers Redundancy for Standard Network Infrastructure

In the past, maximum uptime was achieved by building multiple, highly resilient facilities. Today, with the introduction of SDN and NFV, data center networks are no longer confined to this development model. SDN separates network hardware from the control plane, providing a programmable software framework to extend network ubiquity beyond the physical layer while enabling software to take the place of hardware in the event of a single facility failure. SDN offers the scalability needed for rapidly changing storage, capacity and analytics demands of Big Data while reducing the environmental impact of building, heating and cooling a greater amount of facility space along with the equipment required to handle today’s data transport and storage needs.

By Giles Proctor

Today’s Risk and Compliance Landscape

Today’s Risk and Compliance Landscape

Pervasive GRC: The Way Forward For the Long Term

The Risk and Compliance Landscape

In 2014, blue-chip companies racked up billions of dollars of losses due to un-managed risks and incidents of non-compliance. These risk and compliance failures resulted in massive fines – some in excess of $1 billion dollars – for several individual organizations. Especially for heavily regulated industries, the risk and compliance landscape will only become more complex and more difficult to navigate. As companies become bigger, if they ignore potential risks and compliance issues, their losses will only become bigger, harder to manage, and harder to recover from.

It is increasingly important to read and understand regulators’ corporate sentencing guidelines in the countries where your organization operates — some compliance infringements involve actual jail time. Simply stated, the C-suite should comply for the right reasons. There are reasons why ignition switches should pass safety checks, reasons why organizations must protect customer data, and reasons why money from crime should not be laundered. A company should not just pay lip service to regulations; those at senior levels must behave with forethought.

The Age of the Customer

No matter the size, industry, or geography of your organization, 2015 is the age of the customer. Organizations are getting smarter, more proactive, and more sophisticated when it comes to listening to their customers and responding to their needs. With social media and hyper connectivity through mobile devices, your customers have an amplified voice, a platform to share it, and more clout than ever before. As such, social media is an important platform – for both listening to, and responding to your customers.

listening-risk

So, are companies today listening to their customers? Recent incidents at leading organizations such as Borders, Netflix, Lulu Lemon, BP, SeaWorld, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Radioshack serve as recent reminders of just how important this is. And, in the context of risk and compliance, listening to your customers and cultivating loyal long-term customer relationships is becoming a matter of any company’s ability to survive and thrive.

Are organizations thinking about their customers in the context of risk and compliance? In 2013, Lloyd’s Risk Index identified “loss of customer” or “cancelled orders” as the second most critical business risk, but only 13 percent of companies surveyed indicated that they link “customer risk” to their corporate strategy. Thus, many organizations are not adequately thinking about and planning for how to mitigate and manage customer-related risks.

It is important that companies take the steps now to proactively listen and take better care of their customers, so they don’t have to be legislated into good customer care. The good news is that some organizations and industries are already demonstrating this; for example, we can point to a few recent incidents of data breaches that have been handled with prompt notification and corrective action. Frequent and proactive communication with your customers is important, especially in a time of crisis.

I urge today’s risk and compliance executives to help lead this customer-centric charge. Review the top risks on your radar, and determine where “customer impact” fits in. With the right teams, the right strategies, and the right solutions, every department can start to move beyond a “checkbox” mentality when it comes to managing their customer relationships.

Managing Reputation by Harnessing The Wisdom of The Crowd

If your organization is not already monitoring online channels for emerging risk and compliance issues, then it is missing a huge opportunity. For example, every time your company is mentioned in a Tweet, does someone in your organization receive an automatic notification? The good news is that for the most part, organizations are aware of just how important this kind of active listening is; the bad news is that most organizations do not have the tools in place to do this.

Some might say that an organization’s reputation is worth more than the buildings it owns. In today’s interconnected world, the reputation of your organization, as well as that of your vendors and suppliers matters, too. In order to manage reputation as a strategic and competitive asset, organizations must listen.

complience-risks

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) spans a number of reputation related data points: fraud, counterfeiting, third-party risk, corporate security, data protection, privacy, and corporate compliance. In short: anything and everything to do with your reputation. We are seeing organizations get smart about how they map together various and disparate data points. In particular, risk and compliance professionals are gradually starting to recognize the importance of OSINT, and integrating it into their GRC platform. They are also integrating sales, services and customer relationship management (CRM) systems with their GRC platform. After all, data is most actionable when it is holistic, comprehensive, and contextual.

GRC Market Shift

There are sophisticated GRC solutions on the market that can help organizations comb through massive volumes of data and create a central source of truth for their organization. Independent technology and market research company Forrester Research has studied the GRC market, and predicts a disruptive shift in the sale of governance, risk & compliance (GRC) software. The GRC market is expected to reach $1.3 billion in 2015, and is comprised of 65 software companies. Over the next 5 years, Forrester expects the GRC market to see increased competition from business applications such as Oracle, SAP, and salesforce.com.

Towards Pervasive GRC

No doubt, the GRC market is evolving to keep pace with the changing way in which business is conducted. One thing remains certain: GRC is more important than ever, and those carrying out its work are critical to the success of their organization.

Organizations are deriving significant value from embarking on a GRC journey, benefits which include lowered costs and reduced manual work. More importantly, with GRC, risks become more transparent, and the inter-linkages between risks become clear. Compliance processes become more streamlined and sustainable. Audit functions can be done less intrusively and with a significant time reduction – for example, a mobile expenses tool can be used when traveling to automate the evidence-generating side of audit. Expense report allowances are different in Hawaii and Vermont, and GRC technology can be attuned to the geographic location of your employees.

As GRC becomes further ingrained in the organizational DNA, its ability to positively build reputation, influence business performance, and establish the right balance between risk appetite and business goals becomes more self-evident. Pervasive GRC is really about the creation of a real time policy-making and risk-based decision-making mechanism within the organizational hierarchy, driven by the changing context of how business is done, and coupled with continued technological innovation and advancement.

By Vidya Phalke, CTO / MetricStream

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War

There’s little question that the business world is a competitive place, but probably no area in business truly defines cutthroat quite like cloud computing. At the moment, we are witnessing a heated price war pitting some of the top cloud providers against each other, all in a big way to attract as many customers as possible. It hasn’t been easy, at least not at first. Many companies have been slow to embrace cloud computing, citing unease with giving a third party access to sensitive data and other possible trade secrets. As a way to get past these fears, leading cloud vendors started slashing prices, setting off an intense race to see who can provide the lowest prices. As companies overcome their wariness and move beyond confusion over what is cloud computing, they’ll be more likely to adopt the cloud for their operations, which may serve to intensify the price war. And with the trend going in that direction, it’s unlikely the price war will be ending anytime soon.

Some are dubbing the ongoing cloud computing price war the “Race to Zero.” Comparing where prices were just a few years ago to today reveals just how much they’ve come down. While it’s to be expected that the price of technology decreases as advances are made, seeing the way cloud providers have cut prices has been amazing to watch. Charts from Business Insider (Below) illustrate just how dramatic the price war has become.

Cloud Prices

Price War

Take the leading cloud vendor — Amazon Web Services (AWS) — for instance. In the past six years alone AWS has cut their prices an astonishing 44 times. Starting in October of 2013 and looking through to December 2014, Amazon’s cloud pricing dropped 8 percent. Considering it was already at an extremely low price, that’s a significant decrease.

The Frontrunners

Amazon Web Services is the clear frontrunner in this race, but big providers like Google and Microsoft are working hard to compete with Amazon by dropping prices as well. In fact, many of Amazon’s price cuts have been in response to those done by their closest competitors. Google slashed prices 6 percent in the same time frame mentioned above, while Microsoft had their own 5 percent cut. Other competitors like Rackspace and AT&T Cloud, while still more expensive, featured steeper cuts percentage wise (22 percent and 32 percent respectively). It’s clear that the price war has affected all providers in the industry, from the big to the small.

While enterprises have certainly warmed up to the idea of the cloud due to the price war, some have argued the competition is causing more damage than it may seem. Many of the larger providers like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft can get away with rock bottom prices, but that’s leaving the smaller competitors in a tough position. For example, Google can afford lower prices and absorb the losses because its whole business model isn’t based around its cloud services. Companies solely devoted to what they provide via the cloud take a much bigger hit by dropping prices. They can’t adopt the attitude of sacrificing now for profits that come later. In essence, the price war is pricing many companies out of the market, which could lead to a lack of innovation on the cloud. Smaller cloud providers have responded by offering more storage space or safer hybrid cloud options. Playing up better capabilities may be the only way to compete with the big companies, but it remains to be seen if it will be enough.

The price war will likely continue through the next few years, though it may change as the focus shifts away from lower prices to the features that each cloud vendor offers. As intense as the price war has been now, there will come a time when prices can’t go any lower, especially considering most experts say prices will never reach zero. We’re probably still years away from even considering the price war to be over, so in the meantime, businesses will likely continue to be attracted to bargain prices for services that greatly enhance their capabilities. As for declaring a winner in the price war, that’s probably not going to happen for a long time as well. It may come down to who is left standing when all is said and done.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Rick Delgado

5 Essential Cloud Skills That Could Make Or Break Your IT Career

5 Essential Cloud Skills That Could Make Or Break Your IT Career

5 Essential Cloud Skills

Cloud technology has completely changed the infrastructure and internal landscape of both small businesses and large corporations alike. No professionals in any industry understand this better than IT pros. In a cutthroat field like IT, candidates have to be multi-faceted and well-versed in the cloud universe. Employers want to know that their IT people can solve problems with minimal micromanagement. For this reason especially, it’s essential for IT professionals to know their stuff and constantly develop skills when it comes to the cloud.

PC World gathered together a group of thought leaders and executives in the cloud computing industry to come up with the top 5 most important skills for IT professionals to master in order to have a successful career in our modern corporate work environment.

IT Skills Cloud

1. Become a service broker

With your understanding of the fundamentals of cloud computing, it’s imperative that you balance between internal and external cloud services and know how to utilize each to best serve the overall goals of your organization.

2. Understand Big Data

The massive amounts of data storage capabilities previously unavailable to companies now means that anyone who can manipulate and utilize big data effectively could become valuable to an organization.

3. Hone information security skills

Protecting sensitive information is often a huge concern for businesses. Knowledge of the evolving threat of hackers and how to keep a company safe are key skills in today’s computer industries.

4. Add VDI to your BYOD repertoire

With the large scale adoption of mobile tech in the business world, understanding mobile is imperative. Now that sales of smartphones and tablets have exceeded laptop sales, this trend is here to stay.

5. Build Business Skills that Transfer Beyond IT

A higher degree of business acumen and knowledge of the company are extremely important. Being competent any various skillsets is a valuable asset to have in any industry. This list is just the beginning. There are many different ways to help advance your IT career. This list means you might have to do a few things out of your comfort zone. You might have to study things they didn’t teach you at university. Becoming a service broker means you must negotiate and speak to clients and service providers, something many traditional IT pros struggle with. But not you. You’ll be ahead of the game.

Click To Read The Full PDF

By Jason Sander

Cloud Infographic – Data Breaches In The United States

Cloud Infographic – Data Breaches In The United States

Data Breaches In The United States

The growing prevalence of widely publicized data breaches and the end of 2014 brings reflection, as well as a chance to pause and look at what happened during the year in cybersecurity incidents. 27001 Academy, the largest online learning center where you can get training and documentation for implementing the international standard for information security management, ISO 27001, has created an infographic showing the state of data breaches in 2014.

Here are some stats:

  • 2014 has seen an increase of over 27.5% in data breaches in the U.S.
  • Total incidents in 2014: 783
  • Total incidents in 2013: 614
  • 2014 vs. 2013: 27.5% increase

Although the number of breaches increased, the reported number of compromised records declined by 7.1%.

  • Total records in 2014: 85,611,528
  • Total records in 2013: 91,982,172
  • 2014 vs. 2013:  7.1% decrease

The peak in security breaches was registered in January, with more than 100 incidents.

Breaches by industry

For banking and government sectors, the risk of experiencing a data breach was higher than ever, with a 50% to 80% increase in security incidents in the last year. The healthcare sector also sees a persistent and growing threat of breaches, being the most affected out of all sectors analyzed.

Data-Breaches-United-States

By Dejan Kosutic

CloudTweaks Comics
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Business Analytics Vs Data Science

Business Analytics Vs Data Science

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Five Cloud Questions Every CIO Needs To Know How To Answer

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Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Benefits of Cloud Computing Based on Aberdeen Group’s Computer Intelligence Dataset, there are more than 1.6 billion permutations to choose from when it comes to cloud computing solutions. So what, on the face of it, appears to be pretty simple is actually both complex and dynamic regardless of whether you’re in the market for networking,…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does cloud security risks ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that, and…

Moving Your Enterprise Apps To The Cloud Is A Business Decision

Moving Your Enterprise Apps To The Cloud Is A Business Decision

Moving Your Enterprise Apps Whether it be enterprise apps or any other, if there is any heavy data that is going to be transacted in and through an app, then affiliating it with the Cloud becomes a must. And then an important question arises: How do you decide when to integrate your enterprise app with…

The Internet of Things – Redefining The Digital World As We Know It

The Internet of Things – Redefining The Digital World As We Know It

Redefining The Digital World According to Internet World Stats (June 30th, 2015), no fewer than 3.2 billion people across the world now use the internet in one way or another. This means an incredible amount of data sharing through the utilization of API’s, Cloud platforms and inevitably the world of connected Things. The Internet of Things is a…

The Future of M2M Technology & Opportunities

The Future of M2M Technology & Opportunities

The Future Of The Emerging M2M Here at CloudTweaks, most of our coverage is centered around the growing number of exciting and interconnected emerging markets. Wearable, IoT, M2M, Mobile and Cloud computing to name a few. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve talked about Machine to Machine (M2M) such as the differences between IoT and…

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

The Legal Battle For Privacy In early June 2013, Edward Snowden made headlines around the world when he leaked information about the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans. It was a dramatic story. Snowden flew to Hong Kong and then Russia to avoid deportation to the US,…

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Cloud Beacons Flying High When Apple debuted cloud beacons in 2013, analysts predicted 250 million devices capable of serving as iBeacons would be found in the wild within weeks. A few months later, estimates put the figure at just 64,000, with 15 percent confined to Apple stores. Beacons didn’t proliferate as expected, but a few…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups Cloud platforms have become a necessary part of modern business with the benefits far outweighing the risks. However, the risks are real and account for billions of dollars in losses across the globe per year. If you’ve been hacked, you’re not alone. Here are some other companies in the past…

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital. Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many…

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises The surface costs might give you pause, but the cost of diminishing your differentiators is far greater. Will a shift to the cloud save you money? Potential savings are historically the main business driver cited when companies move to the cloud, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a cost-saving exercise. There…

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Hyperconverged Infrastructure In this article, we’ll explore three challenges that are associated with network deployment in a hyperconverged private cloud environment, and then we’ll consider several methods to overcome those challenges. The Main Challenge: Bring Your Own (Physical) Network Some of the main challenges of deploying a hyperconverged infrastructure software solution in a data center are the diverse physical…

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Federal Government Cloud Adoption No one has ever accused the U.S. government of being technologically savvy. Aging software, systems and processes, internal politics, restricted budgets and a cultural resistance to change have set the federal sector years behind its private sector counterparts. Data and information security concerns have also been a major contributing factor inhibiting the…

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Cloud Architecture These days, Multi-Tier Applications are the norm. From SharePoint’s front-end/back-end configuration, to LAMP-based websites using multiple servers to handle different functions, a multitude of apps require public and private-facing components to work in tandem. Placing these apps in entirely public-facing platforms and networks simplifies the process, but at the cost of security vulnerabilities. Locating everything…