Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Social And Organizational Issues Related To Big Data

Social And Organizational Issues Related To Big Data

Working With Big Data

Every day, the world is creating new data through online purchases, click-throughs, social media interactions, and the many, many other activities performed which, whether we’re aware of it or not, collect and store information about individual behaviors, preferences, and the likes. In its latest prediction, IDC estimated that by 2025 total worldwide digital data would reach 180 zettabytes, a nearly incomprehensible quantity alone, but even more staggering when considering that in 2011 the world created ‘just’ 1.8 zettabytes of information. This big data is used by businesses to personalize customer experiences and amplify engagement, it helps companies make smarter decisions, and with the right tools and analytics in place can improve conversion rates and raise revenue. However, the power of big data is perhaps more talked about than actually implemented and several obstacles prevent organizations from being more data-driven.

Challenges for Big Data Utilization in the Organization

According to SAS, pairing big data with visual analytics can help significantly with the presentation of data, but there are still a number of hurdles to address. The sheer quantity of data produced may seem challenge enough, creating a minefield of data management and data sharing difficulties, but several more subtle components set up their own complications. Data quality is one such component more often considered today as analysts recognize the necessity for both accurate and timely data for the generation of the most valuable insights, and enterprise data management strategies are being implemented more regularly to help address data quality needs.

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Another key consideration is the sharing of data, be it within the business across departments or units, or amongst different people. Organizations face a range of dilemmas regarding data sharing such as adequate security of the data, necessary authentication requirements to ensure only those individuals granted access are able to retrieve information, and protection of privacy related to the extremely personal and sensitive nature of some data. Aside from data security and protection, data sharing introduces a subset of challenges regarding whether or not, and how much, data should be shared between businesses. Though competitive stances would suggest the less shared with rivals the better, there is some advantage to be gained from a more open culture of data sharing.

Big data analytics, while a key solution for better data utilization, also produces its own set of challenges, and currently many marketers feel they lack an intuitive way to make sense of all of the available data and generate actionable insights from it. It’s possible that such concerns can be handled not only with the creation of a resilient data culture within organizations, but an analytics culture that promotes quality data collection, information monetization, and broadens the overall understanding of the insights available through data analysis.

Big Data & the Social Sphere

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Aside from the data being collected and analyzed in organizations, big data holds a weighty position in the social sphere too. As the internet creates the channels for personal communication between strangers, it’s necessary to contemplate the trust many of us put in the advice and reviews of product and service provided by other users. Networks such as Amazon, eBay, and Airbnb rely on user interaction and information for repeat business, and these networks have developed sophisticated trust and safety mechanisms that may emulate the intentions of government regulations is many ways, but instead of implementing up-front granting of permission achieve their objectives through the concentrated use of peer review and data. Utilizing social data efficiently opens up an entirely new field for marketers with a different set of challenges and opportunities.

The role of big data and it’s analysis will only grow in the coming years and with it many avenues for business improvement through marketing, customer engagement, decision making, and product development. The right solutions help organizations make the most of their big data and provide the upper hand in today’s highly competitive markets.

Article sponsored by SAS Software and Big Data Forum

By Jennifer Klostermann

Benefits of Licensing Software as a Service In The Cloud

Benefits of Licensing Software as a Service In The Cloud

Software as a Service In The Cloud

When Microsoft moved to a monthly cloud-based subscription package for its Windows 10 operating system (Secure Productive Enterprise E3, and Secure Productive Enterprise E5), it represented the most significant recent example of software evolving into an as-a-service model (SaaS). Other vendors have also continued to migrate their software and application offerings to SaaS environments.

A handful of key reasons have driven companies such as Microsoft in this direction, all of which greatly benefit businesses of all sizes. First, IT departments are shrinking, and moving software to a subscription model based in the cloud enables for easier licensing management from service providers who serve as external IT departments for businesses.

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Second, a cloud-based subscription model enables for businesses to license software on a per-consumption basis. Projects come and go, and the scale of these projects can vary. SaaS models enable organizations to scale their software needs based on timely consumption requirements.

A Cloud-Based Business Philosophy

The decision to move Windows 10 to SaaS was born out of the success Microsoft has had with Office 365, which has been a cloud-based offering for a few years now and enjoyed by businesses both large and small.

The timing also coincides with the change in business philosophy driven largely by the cloud itself. Businesses of every size are shifting many of their operations to the cloud, and everything from content management, social media management, and customer relationship management activities are also now residing in the cloud in a SaaS environment.

This shift also impacts a larger technology picture that goes beyond business use. As more software-based resources move to the cloud, this will further impact the broader spectrum how people, technology and “things” become inter-connected, known as the Internet of Things (IoT). SaaS models are at the center of this evolution.

The Need for External IT Departments To Manage Software

Clearly put, the days of the shrink-wrapped box of software are gone, and now everything lives and is licensed in the cloud, managed by an external IT department service provider.

According to research firm, Gartner, the shift to the cloud will soon be mandatory. According to the firm’s recent press release:

By 2020, a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-internet’ policy is today, according to Gartner, Inc. Cloud-first, and even cloud-only, is replacing the defensive no-cloud stance that dominated many large providers in recent years. Today, most provider technology innovation is cloud-centric, with the stated intent of retrofitting the technology to on-premises.

The firm goes on to predict how organizations will embrace cloud offerings:

By 2019, more than 30 percent of the 100 largest vendors’ new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only.”

SaaS models tied in with licensing also enable for a more seamless user experience across multiple devices now used in business. From the laptop to the tablet and the mobile device, a cloud-centric subscription-based access to software enables a seamless experience for the user, no matter which device they’re on, with virtual access wherever they are. This is also beneficial for workflow that involves remote employees from different regions all desiring access to the same files and data.

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Adding Services to the Software Experience

Lastly, the word “services” is key in the SaaS relationship. Service providers acting as external IT departments can help manage the software and application experience, which includes security offerings and managing license deployments for scale. And as software vendors such as Microsoft continue to enhance their software offerings, service providers will be the experts that help manage these upgrades and new features for their organizational clients.

By Kim Kuhlmann

kim_kuhlmannKim Kuhlmann is a Senior Customer Advisor for HPE SLMS Hosting. Through its range of full-service hosted software licensing capabilities and its detailed knowledge of the latest licensing programs from Microsoft and elsewhere, HPE SLMS Hosting offers the expertise service providers need to capitalize on new opportunities and grow their businesses at the pace of the cloud services market overall.

Follow HPE SLMS Hosting on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn for additional insight and conversation, and visit the HPE SPaRC resource community at www.hpesparc.com.

R.I.C.E: Reducing Cost, Improving Compliance, Controlling Data, Enhancing Experience

R.I.C.E: Reducing Cost, Improving Compliance, Controlling Data, Enhancing Experience

R.I.C.E Therapy for Next Generation Customer Experience

As industries worldwide adapt to the digital transformation that is modernizing many business processes, one big benefit is the ability to focus more on improving customer experience. An example of this change is the digitization of client communications. Today’s client is tech-savvy, and expects access to their sensitive documents at any time, from any device. However, the need for augmented communication calls for an evaluation of how organizations can deliver both transparency and security to ensure and easy and secure user experience.

Current customer experience roadblocks

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In addition to the rising concern of leaking sensitive information, there are several other customer and client experience roadblocks in today’s processes, including:

  • Lack of e-mail surveillance risk of important documents ending up in the wrong inbox, digging through piles of e-mails
  • Poor communicationlag in sending time, confusion in attached documents, clunky interface causing both employee and client frustration
  • No ROIcostly printing and mailing fees, growth at a gridlock
  • Weak securityfailing to comply with regulations, risk of being fined

Leveraging online communications platforms that are vetted and validated can help organizations avoid these all-too-familiar pain points. Companies should look towards technologies that incorporate features and benefits to fit the needs of their growing customer base.

Turning to R.I.C.E for support

What’s the best way to ensure a speedy recovery from a sprained ankle? Some experts stand suggest a little R.I.C.E therapy will have you back on your feet in no time: a little rest, ice, compression and elevation typically does the trick. But what’s the best way to repair client communication?

R.I.C.E can work for organizations looking to transform client communication, too. Reducing cost, money and effort; improving compliance; controlling data; and enhancing experience are key ways companies can overcome current roadblocks and put them on a path toward customer experience recovery.

  • Reduce cost, money, and effort responding to more client and financial advisor requests in less time, reducing printing and mailing costs
  • Improve compliancestrengthening policies and procedures related to safeguarding client data
  • Control dataalternatives to e-mail when sharing “high value” information such as clients’ personally identifiable information (PII)
  • Enhance experiencefocusing on digital client engagement, providing real-time access to information, delivering investment information in clients’ preferred format

By following these core concepts, businesses can not only ease customer or client nerves about data collection and cloud storage, but also improve and streamline communication. With a secure content collaboration platform to back companies up, common customer grievances such as trust and responsibility will no longer be a concern.

Building client credibility: Tryperion

As a niche real estate investment firm in Los Angeles, Tryperion serves a range of foundations, family offices, and high net worth investors. Tryperion is a great example of a company that realized it needed a new tool to meet its industry’s transition of priorities to fostering better client relationships, rather than just enhancing performance. The rising concern of private investment statements and real estate investment reports ending up in the wrong hands made Tryperion recognize the need for an upgraded digital solution that delivered greater transparency and security.

Clients were complaining about their experiences using Tryperion’s existing portal, so retaining investors and making them happy was a key driver for change. Tryperion also had to manually put documents into each investor’s portal, and when that portal wasn’t working properly, the Tryperion team wasted hours trouble-shooting and sending out individual emails to investors. With its new enterprise-grade, secure collaboration platform, Tryperion can now securely and seamlessly upload various documents one time and automatically distribute them to each investor. This frees up the team to focus on more important issues affecting the growth of the firm. Moreover, their investment managers can now get up to speed and exceed their investor clients’ expectations via a platform that offers a convenient and hassle-free interface where clients can access capital calls, distributions notices, K-1 reports, capital account statements, tax forms and several other classified investment documents from a click of a mouse.

One size fits all: The ACE bandage of communication

R.I.C.E can apply to industries everywhere, not just investor communications. Organizations across all fields need to identify key areas of opportunity to improve customer experience and act on them. Taking a look at client communication is a good place to start.

By Daren Glenister

3 Cloud Developments Happening Right Now

3 Cloud Developments Happening Right Now

Cloud Developments

With cloud computing still gaining steam among mainstream consumers, enterprise and governmental entities alike, some of the biggest information technology developers are now making bids for industry dominance. As a recent poll by RightScale reports that 95 percent of all respondents are currently using the cloud, there’s a large and diversified target audience to accommodate.

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Here are three important cloud developments going on right now.

1. Microsoft and Adobe Join Forces Within the Cloud

One of the latest events in the world of cloud computing, the recent partnership between Microsoft Corporation and Adobe Systems Inc., will bolster the company’s’ service offerings by integrating various Adobe software with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Initial programs offered include Photoshop and Illustrator.

Additionally, Microsoft will utilize Adobe’s own marketing programs as the preferred option for managing key customer relationships. The new venture is expected to strengthen both companies’ competitiveness in the industry, particularly against challengers such as Amazon and Salesforce.

2. The Launch of the Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Not to be outdone, Salesforce is expanding its presence through the launch of the Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Announced shortly after acquiring the Demandware, a popular e-commerce system, the new cloud is meant to close the gaps between physical and online retailers while increasing their reputation in the areas of marketing, sales and IT.

Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud adds nearly 2,000 new sites to an e-commerce brand that already includes names such as Adidas and Pandora. Apart from increasing the size of Salesforce’s family, the new service also features user-specific product recommendations, the ability to arrange product search results according to their relevancy, and in-depth commerce analytics.

3. Imminent Trouble for Plex Cloud

The Plex Media Server was originally created in 2008 after its original developers parted ways with the development team of a different media app. While it’s been struggling to carve out an existence in their highly specialized niche, the launch of the new Plex Cloud might very well mark the beginning of the end for its endeavors.

At first glance, the Plex Cloud seems like a great idea. Its purpose is to provide users with cloud-based file hosting of movies, music and digital images. While this concept isn’t inherently unlawful, users who store copyrighted or pirated content could be found guilty of breaching their cloud provider’s terms of service as well as federal law.

As Matt Burns clarifies on TechCrunch, “Amazon Web Services does not prevent users from uploading such content. But AWS will likely remove it as soon as it’s identified.”

Using Web-Based Applications to Ease Cloud Adoption

Major IT developers are pushing for increased cloud adoption across the entire spectrum of users. This is especially true in the healthcare industry, where there is a growing interest in cloud-based health records for easier information access and updating.

While web-based recordkeeping and cloud-based data storage options both share many of the same benefits, certain organizations are still hesitant to adopt modern cloud services. In this case, web-based electronic health records can be a great alternative. Not only does this give you many of the advantages associated with modern IT, but it can pave the way for future cloud integration down the line.

Some of the most common perks of both web-based and cloud-based recordkeeping include:

  • An improvement in quality control
  • Greater workflow efficiency
  • Increased productivity
  • Less paperwork
  • Streamlined accessibility
  • Advanced security

Staying on Top of the Latest Cloud Developments

The world of cloud computing is a highly complex, dynamic and fast-paced business. Although it’s certainly important to monitor the ongoing evolution of the industry, you should always take care when adopting and embracing the latest advancements. While the majority of these innovations are meant to aide and support your success, either as an individual or as an organization, some may actually cause more harm than good.

By Kayla Matthews

Microsoft Increases European Cloud Investment To $3 Billion, Unveils Cloud Policy Recommendations

Microsoft Increases European Cloud Investment To $3 Billion, Unveils Cloud Policy Recommendations

Microsoft Increases European Cloud Investment

DUBLIN — Oct. 3, 2016 — Reflecting the significant investment Microsoft Corp. is making in cloud computing in Europe, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith on Monday shared new details about how this momentum is taking shape. Nadella stated that Microsoft has more than doubled its cloud capacity in Europe in the past year, noted that the company has invested over $3 billion (USD) across Europe to date, and shared that Microsoft intends to deliver the Microsoft Cloud from datacenters in France, starting in 2017. These new investments in cloud are helping customers — including the UK Ministry of Defence, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Ireland’s Health Service Executive and ZF from Germany — to innovate in their industries and move their businesses to the cloud while meeting European data sovereignty, security and compliance needs. Furthering its commitment to make the cloud more trusted, responsible and inclusive, Microsoft also released a new book titled “A Cloud for Global Good.” The announcements were made in Dublin this morning as the two leaders began a four-day visit to Europe to meet with business and government leaders.

We continue to invest heavily in cloud infrastructure to meet the growing demand from European customers and partners,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Building a global, trusted, intelligent cloud platform is core to our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. There’s never been a better time for organizations across Europe to seize new growth and opportunity with the Microsoft Cloud.

Cloud-powered digital transformation in Europe

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As part of this cloud momentum, Microsoft announced plans to offer Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 from multiple datacenter locations in France. Initial availability is anticipated in 2017. Today, Microsoft offers customers across Europe a range of innovative regional Microsoft cloud services to transform their businesses, including recently announced generally available Microsoft Cloud services from datacenters in the United Kingdom (Microsoft Azure and Office 365) and Germany (Microsoft Azure with Office 365 planned for early 2017), with the latter offering a first-of-its-kind model in Europe where access to customer data is controlled by a data trustee, T-Systems International, an independent German company and subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom.

The collective investments, including datacenter hubs in the Netherlands and Ireland, which continue to expand, together with locations in Austria and Finland, enable Microsoft to meet anticipated customer demand in Europe and offer European customers greater ability to digitally transform their organizations through the cloud, by meeting their security and compliance needs while understanding where their data resides.

The Microsoft Cloud, including Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, offers customers a trusted global infrastructure with 30 available, and 36 announced, datacenter regions — more than any other major cloud provider in Europe and globally. These investments mean that more European customers are using the Microsoft Cloud to transform their businesses and their lives.

They include the following:

  • The Ministry of Defence for the United Kingdom, which employs circa 250,000 people, will use Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure cloud services as part of the government’s digital transformation agenda to deliver cost-effective, modern and flexible information capabilities.
  • The Renault-Nissan Alliance will work with Microsoft to develop next-generation connected services for cars powered by Microsoft Azure to improve customer experience via advanced navigation, predictive maintenance and vehicle-centric services, remote monitoring of car features, external mobile experiences, and over-the-air updates.
  • Ireland’s Health Service Executive is investing in the creation of a digital fabric to build a better health service and increased patient safety. The eHealth Ireland initiative will create a secure cloud infrastructure using Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 and will allow a single unique identifier for all patients, single electronic health records for all mothers and babies in Ireland, a single national lab system, digital identity for health workers across the system, and communications tools to enable relationships between clinicians and patients to develop in real time.
  • ZF, a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology, is using Azure Germany for its data platform, deTAGtive logistics under the brand Openmatics, to connect, control and manage transports using the benefits the public cloud provides.

Building a cloud for global good

Nadella and Smith also highlighted the importance of making sure that the wave of innovation being unleashed by cloud computing benefits everyone and that nobody gets left behind. Recognizing that the rapid pace of change creates concerns and even challenges for some individuals and communities, they highlighted the importance of ensuring that the cloud is a cloud for global good. They acknowledged the need for tech companies, the community and governments to work together to achieve this. As a contribution to this important debate Microsoft also announced today it has released a book called “A Cloud for Global Good” that details 78 public policy recommendations in 15 categories to help make cloud technologies more trusted, responsible and inclusive. Topics include next-generation skills, enhancing security and privacy in the digital age, environmental sustainability, keeping communities safe, and securing a bright future for all our children. The book’s specific proposals tackle challenges like data flow disruptions that can interrupt critical services, protecting people from online exploitation and fraud, and ensuring those with disabilities can access e-government services.

Cloud computing has the potential to solve some of our world’s most challenging issues, but, as with all technological advancements, it raises important questions for society,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft president. “We must work together to build a cloud for global good. Our hope is that the ideas shared in this book will help move technology forward while ensuring no one is left behind.

More on “A Cloud for Global Good” can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/cloudforgood.

Around The Cloud – Tech News For The Week

Around The Cloud – Tech News For The Week

Around The Cloud

Ars Technia has been buzzing this week about how safe the Linux kernel is, calling its current situation an “unprecedented security crisis”. Linux now underpins not only server farms but also the cloud, Android phones, Chromebooks, and everything connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). It now serves as the single point of failure that, like the first domino in a line, can send all the pieces crashing down should an exploit be discovered. Kees Cook, the head of the new Linux Kernel Self Protection Project, said “…the Linux kernel needs to deal with attacks in a manner where it actually is expecting them and actually handles gracefully in some fashion the fact that it’s being attacked.”

Google is planning on showing off their latest and greatest innovations at an event in San Francisco on October 4th. We’re expecting to see new phones, new pricing and release dates for Google’s Amazon Echo competitor, a new Chromecast, and a new router. But what the internet is really buzzing about are the new Pixel and Pixel XL phones, which will be showcasing Android Nougat 7.1 and Google’s new virtual assistant app called Allo. The Verge goes in more details about the Pixel phones, as well as Google Home (the Amazon Echo competitor), Chromecast, Google Wi-Fi, and a mysterious new operating system for laptops and tablets nicknamed “Androme”.

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In other Google related news, TIME reported today that Google has started testing their Uber competitor, Waze Rider, in San Francisco. The Waze Rider app searches to connect riders with drivers that are already traveling in the same direction as the rider. In contrast, Uber just seeks to connect a rider with the nearest driver, disregarding where the driver is headed and requiring the driver devote themselves entirely to the rider’s interests. While this results in cheaper fares for riders, it also means lower pay for drivers. However, drivers also do not have to turn it into a part time or full time job, making Waze Rider the ideal way to earn a little money while on your way to work or running errands around town.

An angry French man has won the internet today with his display of passion in an Apple store. While Apple often has received praise for their high standards in customer service, evidently this man did not agree. He entered an Apple store in Dijon yesterday and started calmly smashing Apple devices with a weighted boule metal ball (used in a French bowls game) to make his point clear, perhaps because he felt that no one was taking him seriously before. Video footage of this event can be seen at The Verge.

By Jonquil McDaniel

Expert Insights Into The Yahoo Breach

Expert Insights Into The Yahoo Breach

Yahoo Breach

Latest reports suggest that the recent Yahoo! data breach may exceed 500 million records, with some sources implying millions more records penetrated, upping the total number of records stolen in various recent hacks to approximately 3.5 billion. CloudTweaks spoke to Kevin O’Brien, CEO of GreatHorn, for expert insight into this latest violation. GreatHorn provides cybersecurity solutions for cloud communication platforms and is the first automated spear phishing prevention platform natively integrated into cloud-based email systems such as Google Apps and Office 365.

kevin-obrienSays O’Brien, “It’s concerning that it took two years to uncover the breach and demonstrates how ill-equipped even one of the world’s largest tech companies is to address the gap between a breach and detection. The attackers – who are presumed to be state-sponsored hackers – didn’t just steal your grandmother’s email address. They stole the good stuff: unencrypted security questions and answers as well as full names. It’s troubling that this data was unencrypted at all; security questions are often re-used between sites and provide full account access.

The Relevant Details

With the theft potentially including a variety of personal data from names to telephone numbers to security question answers, users of this global service have been put at risk. Possibly the largest attack of its kind in terms of user accounts penetrated, the FBI is involved in the investigation though has yet to make any comments on the allegations that the attack may have come from outside the USA, possibly from a foreign government. Though Yahoo! hasn’t revealed the evidence which has led them to believe this attack may be state-sponsored, governments have in the past hacked email accounts to keep track of citizens or dissents, and there is some expert opinion suggesting that the 2010 Google Gmail hacking of accounts used by Chinese human rights activists may have been of such motivation.

Unfortunately, the discovery of the hack is most certainly not the end of the line. Stresses O’Brien, “The Yahoo! breach will likely lead to a long tail of harder to detect phishing attacks. For example, since Q2 2015, we’ve been tracking a resurgence in ‘Display Name’ spoof attacks, aimed especially at enterprise clients where the stakes are millions of dollars’ worth of damages. These attacks involve a criminal using a friendly name, e.g., that of a spouse, co-worker, or friend, but sending messages from an email address that isn’t the one the sender typically uses. This is often an attempt to trick people into divulging sensitive information – ‘I need the W2s for these employees for a wage study, can you send them to me?’ – or authorizing fraudulent invoice payments or wires. With the account credential loss involved here, we can expect these attacks to become more sophisticated, as these faked emails will come from the actual addresses of the spoofed sender, not “yourceo@c-level.co.”

What’s Next?

As if we’re not constantly reminded, ensuring you’re running the latest in cybersecurity solutions should be of top priority; furthermore, we all need to pay attention to standard security protocol, stay informed about potential risks, and follow fundamental security principles. The Yahoo! breach may still leave ordinary users at risk, especially if the information makes it onto the black market and is sold on. With many people using the same username, email address, and password for many online services, some of these sites storing financial information such as banking and credit card details, the transmittal of breached data further increases vulnerability. Resetting passwords for Yahoo! accounts isn’t enough; for those potentially affected, an overhaul of all online and network protection may be in order.

A wake-up call for many, whether users of Yahoo! or not, we’re reminded to review our accounts for suspicious activity, implement two-step authentication where possible, and take seriously the threats of phishing campaigns. Who knows what breaches are happening right now that we won’t be aware of for another two years?

By Jennifer Klostermann

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 across back-end networks causes headaches for the end-users who try to access the systems over VPN and other private links.

Many strategies have been implemented to address this issue across traditional datacenter infrastructures. Independent physical networks with a “DMZ” for public-facing components, complex routers and firewall configurations have all done the job, although they do add multiple layers of complexity and require highly specialized knowledge and skill sets to accomplish.

Virtualization has made management much easier, but virtual administrators are still required to create and manage each aspect of the configuration – from start to finish. Using a private cloud configuration can make the process much simpler, and it helps segment control while still enabling application administrators to get their jobs done.

Multi-tenancy in the Private Cloud

Private cloud architecture allows for multi-tenancy, which in turn allows for separation of the networking, back-end and front-end tiers. Cloud administrators can define logical relationships between components and enable the app admins to manage their applications without worrying about how they will connect to each other.

One example is a web-based application using a MySQL back-end data platform. In a traditional datacenter platform, the app administrators would request connectivity to either isolate the back-end database or to isolate everything and allow only minimal web traffic to cross the threshold. This requires network administrators to spend hours working with the app team to create and test firewalls and other networking rules to ensure the access they need without opening any security holes that could be exploited.

Applying private cloud methodology changes the game dramatically.

Two individual virtual networks can be created by the cloud administrator. Within each network, traffic flows freely, removing the need to manually create networking links between components in the same virtual network entirely. In addition, a set of security groups can be established that will only allow specified traffic to route between the back-end data network and the front-end web server network – specifically ports and protocols used for the transfer of MySQL data and requests. Security groups utilize per-tenant access control list (ACL) rules, which allow each virtual network to independently define what traffic it will and will not accept and route.

Private cloud networking

Due to the nature of private cloud networking, it becomes much easier to not only ensure that approved data is flowing between the front and back end networks, but to ensure that traffic only flows if it originates from the application networks themselves. This allows for free-flow of required information but blocks anyone outside the network from trying to enter through those same ports.

In the front-end virtual network, all web traffic ports are opened so that users can access those web servers. With the back-end network, the front-end network can be configured to easily reject any other protocol or port and only allow routing from the outside world to the front-end servers, but nowhere else. This has the dual effect of enabling the web servers to do their jobs but won’t allow other administrators or anyone else in the datacenter to gain access, minimalizing faults due to human error or malicious intent.

Once application and database servers are installed and configured by the application administrators, the solution is complete. MySQL data flows from the back-end network to the front-end network and back, but no traffic from other sources reaches that data network. Web traffic from the outside world flows into and out of the front-end network, but it cannot “leapfrog” into the back-end network because external routes would not be permitted to any other server in the configuration. As each tenant is handled separately and governed by individual security groups, app administrators from other groups cannot interfere with the web application. The admins also cannot cause security vulnerabilities by accidentally opening unnecessary ports across the board because they need them for their own apps.

Streamlined Administration

Finally, the entire process becomes easier when each tenant has access to self-service, only relying on the cloud administrator for configuration of the tenancy as a whole and for the provisioning of the virtual networks. The servers, applications, security groups and other configurations can now be performed by the app administrator, and will not impact other projects, even when they reside on the same equipment. Troubleshooting can be accomplished via the cloud platform, which makes tracking down problems much easier. Of course, the cloud administrator could manage the entire platform, but they no longer have to.

Using a private cloud model allows for greater flexibility, better security, and easier management. While it is possible to accomplish this with a traditional physical and virtual configuration, adding the self-service and highly configurable tools of a private cloud is a great way to take control, and make your systems work the way you want, instead of the other way around.

By Ariel Maislos, CEO, Stratoscale

ariel-maislosAriel brings more than twenty years of technology innovation and entrepreneurship to Stratoscale. After a ten-year career with the IDF, where he was responsible for managing a section of the Technology R&D Department, Ariel founded Passave, now the world leader in FTTH technology. Passave was established in 2001, and acquired in 2006 by PMC-Sierra (PMCS), where Ariel served as VP of Strategy. In 2006 Ariel founded Pudding Media, an early pioneer in speech recognition technology, and Anobit, the leading provider of SSD technology acquired by Apple (AAPL) in 2012. At Apple, he served as a Senior Director in charge of Flash Storage, until he left the company to found Stratoscale. Ariel is a graduate of the prestigious IDF training program Talpiot, and holds a BSc from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science (Cum Laude) and an MBA from Tel Aviv University. He holds numerous patents in networking, signal processing, storage and flash memory technologies.

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7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware A new report published this morning by Menlo Security has alarmingly suggested that at least a third of the top 1,000,000 websites in the world are at risk of being infected by malware. While it’s worth prefacing the findings with the fact Menlo used Alexa to…

Cloud Computing Services Perfect For Your Startup

Cloud Computing Services Perfect For Your Startup

Cloud Computing Services Chances are if you’re working for a startup or smaller company, you don’t have a robust IT department. You’d be lucky to even have a couple IT specialists. It’s not that smaller companies are ignoring the value and importance of IT, but with limited resources, they can’t afford to focus on anything…

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Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

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

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…

5 Predictions For Education Technology

5 Predictions For Education Technology

Education Technology Although technology has fast influenced most sectors of our world, education is an area that’s lagged behind. Many classrooms still employ the one-to-many lecturing model wherein the average student is catered for while a few are left behind, and others bored. Recently, there’s been a drive to uncover how to use technology successfully…

The Future Of Cybersecurity

The Future Of Cybersecurity

The Future of Cybersecurity In 2013, President Obama issued an Executive Order to protect critical infrastructure by establishing baseline security standards. One year later, the government announced the cybersecurity framework, a voluntary how-to guide to strengthen cybersecurity and meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to approve the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), moving it one…

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…

Utilizing Digital Marketing Techniques Via The Cloud

Utilizing Digital Marketing Techniques Via The Cloud

Digital Marketing Trends In the past, trends in the exceptionally fast-paced digital marketing arena have been quickly adopted or abandoned, keeping marketers and consumers on their toes. 2016 promises a similarly expeditious temperament, with a few new digital marketing offerings taking center stage. According to Gartner’s recent research into Digital Marketing Hubs, brands plan to…

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are embracing new mobile technologies in order to be more efficient in their daily tasks. With faster communication and better collaboration, clinicians can spend much less time handling medical devices and more time administering care to their patients. Industry experts are stating that mobile connected technologies…

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Governance, Risk and Compliance Businesses are under pressure to deliver against a backdrop of evolving regulations and security threats. In the face of such challenges they strive to perform better, be leaner, cut costs and be more efficient. Effective governance, risk and compliance (GRC) can help preserve the business’ corporate integrity and protect the brand,…

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority Research has revealed that third parties cause 63 percent of all data breaches. From HVAC contractors, to IT consultants, to supply chain analysts and beyond, the threats posed by third parties are real and growing. Deloitte, in its Global Survey 2016 of third party risk, reported…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

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…

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery  Ok, ok – I understand most of you are saying disaster recovery (DR) is still a critical aspect of running any type of operations. After all – we need to secure our future operations in case of disaster. Sure – that is still the case but things are changing – fast. There are…

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Machine Learning and Data Scientists In a recent study, almost all the businesses surveyed stated that big data analytics were fundamental to their business strategies. Although the field of computer and information research scientists is growing faster than any other occupation, the increasing applicability of data science across business sectors is leading to an exponential…

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.…

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

Online Data Data storage is often a real headache for businesses. Additionally, the shift to the cloud in response to storage challenges has caused security teams to struggle to reorient, leaving 49 percent of organizations doubting their experts’ ability to adapt. Even so, decision makers should not put off moving from old legacy systems to…

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

The Catch 22 The very same year Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, the Chief Information Officer of the United States was announcing a major Cloud First goal. That was 2011. Five years later, as both the private and public sectors continue to adopt cloud-based software services, we’re interested in this…