Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Cloud Startup – Adallom, Bringing Security Exclusively To SaaS Businesses

Cloud Startup – Adallom, Bringing Security Exclusively To SaaS Businesses

Cloud Startup – Adallom, Bringing Security Exclusively To SaaS Businesses

saas

Startup Adallom Goes Public After 18 Months Of Private Beta 

Tal Klein, VP of marketing for the newest security specialist startup, Adallom, says that after eighteen months of beta testing, clients have urged Adallom to go public; so, public they are going. As of this Tuesday the 12th of November, Adallom will begin offering public services to businesses that specialize in software as a service or SaaS. These past eighteen months have helped Adallom engineer what they consider the first premier SaaS security technology, and while they have gained a significant number of private clients during their stealth era, they are now making things official by opening their doors to the community.

A little background.

Adallom was formally founded in 2011 by a team of security specialists formerly with Israel’s cyber intelligence division. With each of their founders having an extensive background in information security, they have been able to seek out and solve SaaS’s previously most unresolved security challenges; and that, says Klein, starts with a company’s migration onto the cloud.

In December 2012, Adallom reeled in significant backing from Sequoia in the amount of $4.5 million dollars. Thus far, Sequoia is the sole financial backer of Adallom.

So, what type of security does Adallom provide, exactly?

Klein explains that Adallom “fills the security gaps that get created when companies adopt SaaS applications.” Klein continues to explain that companies such as Salesforce and Box are immensely secure while operating; the security challenges occur most during the company’s initial migration to the Cloud and as employees seek to utilize the SaaS applications on various, unmanaged devises off company premises. Adallom tightens security for their clients by monitoring employee behavior and building profiles based on individual usage. Building a user profile includes tracking commonly used devices, locations, as well as even tracking which browsers are common for each individual employee and time frame usages. This allows Adallom to ‘red flag’ any uncommon behaviors such as logging into unknown devices or logging in from an unrecognized location. Adallom can even recognize if an employee is logging in during a time frame that is usual for that individual or through a browser that is generally used by that employee; thus tightening end point controls and parameter controls.

If and when Adallom notices a breach or irregularity, the team flags and tracks it so as to analyze it further. Also, rather than completely blocking an irregularity, Adallom endeavors to differentiate between an authorized user and an unapproved one. In addition, Adallom is capable of tracking breached usage to ensure that future attempts are not made.

Klein states that Adallom will be out of beta and open to the public as of this Tuesday; offering services strictly to SaaS businesses.

By Glenn Blake

How To Set Off With Confidence On The Road To Cloud Computing

How To Set Off With Confidence On The Road To Cloud Computing

How to Set Off with Confidence on the Road to Cloud Computing

At its most basic level, traveling along the IT transformation journey from conventional data centers to the dynamic, intelligent environments of cloud computing is an adventure in self discovery that has a way of changing you as much as your technology.

You may start out thinking you know who you are and where you are going, but as you dig deeper into cloud computing, your goals will inevitably change as your awareness of who you are expands.

No Leap of Faith Required

The good news is that it is possible to start the journey toward cloud computing one step at a time from wherever you are, and even realize some efficiencies and performance rewards in the early stages. No leap of faith required. Implementing cloud computing is a pragmatic decision that needs to be executed with a painstaking attention to detail and a deep and broad understanding of your organization.

It can be a challenging process, but the payback is worth it: If you can define it in enough detail, you can have it. The first step is knowing where you are today.

A comprehensive assessment of your IT environment begins by identifying what’s in it. There are off-the-shelf tools available to collect data on everything in your environment. For example, there are tools that inventory every device in your physical environment, others that examine your virtual environment and others that look at your application layer. No one tool is going to be enough. You need to determine more than just how many devices you have, you also need to understand where your systems are under or over-utilized as well as the dependencies of the various workloads.

A detailed assessment will identify what resources are being used effectively as well as where there are inefficiencies associated with server sprawl. A large enterprise I visited recently had multiple, highly-virtualized server farms. An examination of how these resources were being used, however, revealed that one was only operating at 20 percent capacity and another one the same size was only 30 percent utilized. It’s great that their server farms are highly-virtualized, but inefficient server farms — virtualized or not — still waste time and money. And moving an inefficient virtualized environment to the cloud does not make it intrinsically any more efficient.

If someone screams…

During your initial cloud assessment you also need to look at the condition of the data center facilities where your virtual infrastructures live: Are they energy efficient, are they overheating, are they overcrowded?

I met with an IT director recently whose data center was jammed full of devices, only half of which were turned on. When I asked him how he knew what systems he actually needed, he said, “I turn it off, and, if someone screams, I know I need it, and I turn it back on.” A detailed assessment of your IT environment in preparation for a move to the cloud can provide the data you need to progress from a reactive to a proactive, approach to IT management. Instead of having to guess if an asset is needed or not, you will know.

The status of disaster recovery and business continuity is another area of uncertainty in many IT environments. Most IT departments have a DR plan, but too many haven’t updated it on a regular basis. They dutifully send their tapes off to some storage facility and think they are protected. A review of the availability requirements for mission critical data can be a startling eye opener. Having to send off a team of technicians to the tape storage provider to download their raw data and return with a trunk full of tapes that still need to be uploaded, may not, in fact, be possible within an acceptable recovery window.

While you are reviewing your DR plan, you should also re-evaluate available DR services. Advances like DRaaS with high availability replication can recover your data and have you up and running in hours instead of days…or longer. Thinking about DR, as a result, has become a whole lot easier  for those IT directors who are willing to evaluate their risk of downtime and consider new ways of protecting their data.

Across the Aisle

Just assessing your technology environment is not enough. A comprehensive assessment should look at your organization from three distinct points of view: your technology team, the business leaders IT serves and the finance executives who have to agree to pay for it all. The true potential of cloud technology can only be realized by tightly aligning technology with business objectives.

A healthy relationship between IT and business leaders is a good sign that an organization has the level of cooperation and maturity it will need to successfully leverage cloud computing. I could tell one organization was ready to move forward with a cloud strategy by the way the CIO answered a single question: When I asked what challenges IT had with business leaders, he said, “None. The first thing I did when I got here was set up a taskforce with IT and business stakeholders that focuses on how we align business with IT throughout the organization.”

This CIO knew the flexibility and efficiencies that cloud computing could mean for his IT environment. As important, the business leaders could see how cloud computing would respond more quickly and effectively to their needs, and the CFO understood the value of being able to pay for technology as needed from the operating budget, as opposed to paying in advance from the capital budget for future capacity that they may or may not end up needing. Cloud computing can only succeed if it has buy-in from the top down, and the top needs to understand what they are buying into.

Your Cloud. Your Way.

Most cloud providers and purveyors of cloud technology like to act as if they have all the answers. In fact, you are the only one who really does. The goal isn’t to be able to see cloud computing from their perspective, but to use the viewpoint of cloud computing to see yourself and your business needs more clearly and in more detail. Knowing who you are today will provide you with everything you need to critically evaluate what cloud providers have to offer. You need to be able to do more than just access a cloud environment. Lots of providers can give you access to raw cloud environments. The real value comes from accessing a cloud environment that is designed to be a secure, flexible, highly available extension of your overall, unique IT environment. Don’t settle for anything less.

Dazzling promises, emerging standards and other baffling changes constantly swirl around cloud computing technology. Don’t be distracted. The most important consideration — in fact, the only consideration you need to worry about — is what cloud technology means to you.

My next blog will look at how you take the information you have collected in your assessments and design a cloud strategy that fits your unique set of challenges and resources.

By Kevin Gruneisen, Logicalis Senior Director Cloud and Data Center Solutionskevin

Kevin has nearly 30 years of experience in the Infrastructure Technology business. His key responsibilities at Logicalis are focused on matching Logicalis’ capabilities with the cloud and data center needs of its customers. Kevin joined Logicalis in 2004 when Logicalis acquired Solution Technology, Inc. He began his career in technology with IBM in 1984. 

For more information, Kevin recommends IT pros explore the IT Transformation Journey, a microsite dedicated to this topic, at www.unlikeanycloud.com.

Cloud Infographic – PS4 Vs. XBOX One Gaming Console

Cloud Infographic – PS4 Vs. XBOX One Gaming Console

Cloud Infographic – PS4 Vs. XBOX One Gaming Console

As we move closer to the release dates for the PS4 and XBOX One (November 15th & 22nd respectively) many will have a difficult time deciding on which console to choose from. There are many side- by-side comparisons on the web, and here is another one in the form of an infographic provided courtesy of Xpango

PS4-vs.-XBOX One-Console

Infographic Source: Xpango

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The 80s

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The 80s



cloud_173

By David Fletcher

Are you looking to supercharge your Newsletter, Powerpoint presentation, Social media campaign or Website? Our universally recognized tech related comics can help you. Contact us for information on our commercial licensing rates. 

Five Cool Technologies Cloud Services Make Possible

Five Cool Technologies Cloud Services Make Possible

Five Cool Technologies Cloud Services Make Possible

Cloud computing is essentially IT as a Service, where shared resources, software and data are accessed on demand via an internet connection. Whilst no one can predict how this will revolutionize technology in the future, for now, it’s already facilitating some pretty cool technologies.

On-the-Go Entertainment

Gaming platform Steam allows its users to purchase access to and play video games from their internet connection. Unlike the old days, where they would need to venture down to the nearest Game, purchase the hardware, come back and install it on their computer, they now have instant access with the click of a button.

What’s more, Steam is a social platform so users can choose to play against each other, set up gaming clans, use the chat facility, and even create their own content to share with others, making gaming an increasingly social activity.

Much in the same way that the cloud computing is revolutionising gaming, entertainment media, such as TV and film are now much more accessible than ever before. The likes of Netflix and LoveFilm now allow their users to stream content over an internet connection, so the days of going down to the video shop are gone. In fact, Netflix makes up an entire third of North American internet traffic during peak hours.

Remote Collaboration

We’ve all been there, desperately trying to access a document at work, but it’s locked for editing by Janice in accounts. And she’s locked her computer. And gone to lunch. It’s frustrating to say the least but still ridiculously common.

However, with cloud based documents like Google Drive, any number of users can work from the same document simultaneously. All changes are made immediately and because everyone’s viewing the same version of the document, there are no over-write issues.

Customer Service

Customer service is vitally important to brands. The relationship between brands and technology is inextricably linked, with rapid advances in computing forcing brands to continually revolutionize their service to stay ahead of the game.

Cloud services facilitate a superior customer service experience as sophisticated CRM applications allow brands to cross-examine social media platforms to gather important data about their customer-base.

For example, salesforce.com’s sophisticated cloud-based applications, such as MarketingCloud and SalesForceChatter, give brands the benefit of connecting with their audience over easy-to-use platforms. Such managed services applications also allow brands to gather key metrics about their customer base that will allow them to devise strategic and highly targeted marketing campaigns, which in turn, help to drive sales.

BYOD

byod

By 2018, Gartner predicts that 70 percent of professionals will conduct their work on personal mobile devices.

Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, essentially allows employees to access essential business information and software on their own device via an internet connection. Not only does this benefit businesses in that they no longer need to spend money on hardware, but it also brings a greater level of flexibility to the working day.

Suddenly, employees can work from anywhere at any time as long as they have an internet connection, so for those with a young family or who spend a large amount of time ‘on-the-road’, the cloud has the potential to increase efficiency tenfold.

Social Sharing

Last but not least, the one that everyone seems to forget: social media. In fact, if you’ve made use of any social media channel, from Facebook to YouTube via LinkedIn, there’s a 100% chance that you’ve come across cloud computing.

Anything that is uploaded to any of these sites whether that’s video content, photos, updates, or profile information, is sorted in the abstract cloud space.

No one actually knows the full capacity of cloud-based services like Amazon or Google, but it’s estimated to be around one Exobyte – or 4.2 million Macbook Pro hard drives. This is a staggering amount of storage that clearly opens a wealth of doors for future computing developments.

By Ali Raza

This is written by Ali Raza on behalf of Interoute-IAM, who are one of the UK’s premier providers of Application Managed Services, Managed Cloud Services and Infrastructure Solutions.

PlayStation 4: Why The Next-Gen Gaming Console Is Relevant For You

PlayStation 4: Why The Next-Gen Gaming Console Is Relevant For You

PlayStation 4: Why The Next-Gen Gaming Console Is Relevant For You

The upcoming release of the PlayStation 4, the apparently touted ‘next-generation gaming console’ scheduled on November 15 in the US has created quite a splash in the gaming community. The latest offering from Sony starts around $499, and a number of its catchy features and titles already have gaming enthusiasts excited around the globe.

sony-playstation-4-console

“So what’s actually the fuss all about?”- might be your question as a non-gamer, or simply non-techie person. But for a hardcore gamer, or simply one who loves to have a complete entertainment device at home, the PlayStation 4 is a much awaited release. With the PS4 coming equipped with a GPU of 18 Compute Units, it can generate processing power up to 1.84 teraflops that can make your graphics around eight percent sharper and faster than before, said a recent report on The Guardian quoting industry insiders. What does that mean for you? Simply put, it means that you will be able to experience gameplay graphics which ‘almost’ resembles reality, or at least premium quality animations.

A major feature of the PS4 is its cloud computing compatibility with online gaming facilities connecting you to remote servers on the cloud. As a result, online players can explore and help cloud gaming evolve, with features like artificial intelligence and macro-controls being generated on a more organized basis. As a result, it is quite possible that in the near future, PS4 would pave the way for a rich host of cloud-based games equipped with life-like characters and intelligence.

As far as the game titles are concerned, Sony released the full list of games available on the PS4 a few months back on its official PS4 blog. A number of blockbuster titles like the Uncharted series and LittleBigPlanet titles would be exclusively available on the PlayStation 4 alongside multi-platform titles like Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Fifa 2014. However, backward compatibility is a major issue with the new PlayStation, as most old titles even from PS 3 would not be compatible with the new PS4. However, according to industry sources, a limited number of PS3 titles might be available on PS4 from next year on a streaming basis from the cloud.

Aside from hardcore gaming enthusiasts, the PS4 is also a complete entertainment device for the home user. It comes with a broad array of exciting features, including the now commonplace practice of playing music and video on your console alongside streaming online TV and YouTube. The PS4 Vita is a significant introduction in this regard, as it enables you with remote playing options and multi-screen output right from your device. Also, with true 1080p video output and HDMI interface, the PS4 can be hooked to a host of modern TV and monitors out there which provide you with crystal-clear display.

In a nutshell, the PlayStation 4 is a significant step from Sony toward the future of next-generation gaming. With a multitude of features and exciting titles, the PS4 is certainly a console that is here to stay for a long time.

By John Rosenblum

CloudTweaks Comics
The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

What’s Missing in the IoT? While the Internet of Things has become a popular concept among tech crowds, the consumer IoT remains fragmented. Top companies continue to battle to decide who will be the epicenter of the smart home of the future, creating separate ecosystems (like the iOS and Android smartphone market) in their wake.…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb

Infographic: IoT Programming Essential Job Skills

Infographic: IoT Programming Essential Job Skills

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

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Data-Driven Marketing There is an absolute endless amount of data that is being accumulated, dissected, analyzed with the important bits extracted and used for a number of purposes. With the amount of data in the world has already reached into multiple zettabytes annually. A Zettabyte is one million petabytes or one thousand exabytes. With data…

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations Everyone knows what the cloud is, but does everybody know where the cloud is? We try to answer that as we look at some of the most unusual data centre locations in the world. Under the Eyes of a Deity Deep beneath the famous Uspenski Cathedral in the…

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Analytics Trends

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Analytics Trends

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

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…

Cloud Infographic – Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery Business downtime can be detrimental without a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term. Less than half of all businesses that experience a disaster are likely to reopen their doors. There are many causes of data loss and downtime —…

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,…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

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

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

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

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

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Once upon a time, only a select few companies like Google and Salesforce possessed the knowledge and expertise to operate efficient cloud infrastructure and applications. Organizations patronizing those companies benefitted with apps that offered new benefits in flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. These days, the sharp division between cloud and on-premises infrastructure…

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Education Tech and the Cloud Arguably one of society’s most important functions, teaching can still seem antiquated at times. Many schools still function similarly to how they did five or 10 years ago, which is surprising considering the amount of technical innovation we’ve seen in the past decade. Education is an industry ripe for innovation…

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…

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…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

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

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

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