Category Archives: Cloud Computing

More Cloud Adoption Unlocks More Value – Reveals Latest Survey

More Cloud Adoption Unlocks More Value – Reveals Latest Survey

Will cloud live up to its hype” is a question which has become irrelevant now. Looking back now, I’d say the opportunity is much, much bigger than the hype. Perhaps for some companies, the move to the Cloud has been one of the most rewarding experiences in IT investing. A latest survey reveals that early adopters of the Cloud continue to dive deeper and increase their cloud adoption because of the value they’re reaping through increased adoption.

The survey was conducted by Rightscale in the first quarter of 2013 and included 625 companies, categorized respondents into four different cloud maturity levels: Cloud watchers, beginners, explorers and focused. A diverse set of respondents were chosen from development, IT and business roles across a wide range of company sizes and industries, including financial services, media and publishing, education, digital agencies, and software companies.


Out of those surveyed, 17% of the respondents are beginning to adopt cloud, developing cloud strategies and plans but haven’t yet implemented cloud projects. What’s interesting is that a large number of respondents (26%) have started to execute their very first proof-of-concepts cloud projects. An equal number of companies (26%) have matured their cloud adoption and are increasing their investments in new cloud projects. Next comes companies who have implemented their first cloud projects (23%). Only 8% of the respondents are still on the sidelines, and it’s now only a matter of time before these companies also start investing in the Cloud.

The survey reveals a significant percentage of companies who have invested in various cloud offerings and with the traditional barriers of bandwidth and storage crumbling, as well as the availability of viable solutions which address the cloud data security issues, cloud adoption is only bound to increase.

The survey provides meaningful insights into how an organization’s level of cloud maturity impacts both the benefits they are able to realize and the challenges they perceive. The results also reveal a clear cloud imperative – more cloud adoption unlocks more cloud value. The data also shows that investments in cloud adoption will continue to drive increased value for the businesses.

The survey also draws a comparison between cloud adoption rates of large (>1000 employees) enterprises, 77% of which sizeable cloud investment versus smaller companies, 73% of which have adopted cloud. Another interesting data point revealed in the survey is the preference by larger companies to diversify their cloud portfolio. 47% of the large enterprises said they have adopted a hybrid cloud strategy, making use of both public and private cloud for their enterprise application portfolio.

The survey verifies that cloud computing has reached the tipping point. With early adopters reaping the benefits of the cloud and continuing to invest more, it has created a network-value effect, driving further adoption.

By Salman Ul Haq

Cloud Chivalry – Provider Pride

Cloud Chivalry – Provider Pride

As cloud deployments gain popularity, increasing attention is paid to provider security strength. The cloud security alliance, for example, releases a yearly list of top threats, covering everything from malicious use, data loss, and service hijacking. Heightened public awareness of the cloud has led to oddly intuitive feelings of insecurity – if data resides off-site, it must surely be less secure.

Though it’s hard to imagine cloud providers with shield raised against whatever virtual attack might breach a client’s peace, there’s an increasing need for solid cloud security – cloud chivalry, even – which defends otherwise helpless company data from attack. Public and private providers have responded; in many cases, cloud deployments are now more secure than local servers.

Here are three simple ways spot knight-like providers.

Secure Priorities

All cloud deployments require trust. Companies entrust their provider with critical data and expect a measure of care in return. Because cloud computing is still a maturing technology, standard wording does not exist for security in most service-level agreements, meaning company IT professionals need to evaluate providers on a case-by-case basis.

The first sign of a trustworthy provider is their willingness to talk about security concerns. Not only should responsibilities be spelled out in an agreement – with clear expectations for both provider and customer – but there should be evidence of careful thought in security design. Cloud computing offers fertile ground for startup providers and tempting fruit for tech giants; secure providers are those who commit fully to the cloud, rather than attempt to tack on services bit by bit. Look for the total package.

Optimal Protection

Once you’ve identified a tentative provider, consider specifics. While the physical security of an off-site storage location is important, including 24/7 monitoring and controls to prevent data loss or damage – it’s important that storage architecture goes beyond the basics. This means taking measures to isolate workloads in shared tenancy, in turn preventing accidental cross-contamination on a physical server. Providers should be aware of not only potential threats from beyond a storage facility but understand the interconnected nature of their compute offering: what affects a single customer affects many.

Administrative Access

It’s also important to consider access. While cloud chivalry includes a certain amount of trust extended to third-party providers, these providers need clear-cut access polices. Company IT pros should always have access to their data, and provider admins should only need data access for specific circumstances. No access should ever go unrecorded, and companies should always be kept in the data-use loop.

Cloud security is simpler than much media hype makes it seem. Providers are crucial in the defense of data, and it’s getting easier to separate knaves from knights.

By Doug Bonderud,

Doug Bonderud is a freelance writer, cloud proponent, business technology analyst and a contributor on the Dataprise Cloud Services website.

Steps To Secure Data In The Cloud

Steps To Secure Data In The Cloud

Steps to Secure Data In the Cloud

Cloud computing and storage security is often one of the main stumbling blocks cited by those who’d like to reap the benefits of moving to the cloud, but believe they cannot. Data security is extremely important, but for many enterprises and markets, there can be no compromise in security. For those businesses, the idea of compromising security, even just a bit, in return for the vast benefits of going to the cloud were not possible.


Data security in the cloud is not impossible. Many industries that were previously unable to use cloud services for data storage are now able to do so thanks to new, real-world ways of securing data. There are real, practical methods for securing data in the cloud. When taking these steps, two things must be kept in mind:

  • Protecting data in real-world environments
  • Compliance requirements

Protecting data in the cloud involves many of the same requirements the data administrator will have when protecting data in a closed network. Sticking to CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability) as the root protection method is still the best way to keep data secured. Analyzing and mitigating the most common security threats to your data requires considerations of the location of the data as well as its regulation within the scope of compliance.

Location of Data

Meeting compliance requirements for whatever standards regulate your business or industry is a serious obligation. For cloud storage, the biggest problem here is the location of the data. In most public cloud systems, your data’s geographic location may be random and is often unknown. It’s not unusual for single entry in the database to actually have multiple homes in the cloud, which can complicate the use of public cloud – or even make it impossible in some cases. Private clouds, however, often do not have this issue with locations of data being fixed (within certain parameters) or at least identifiable.

Regulation of Data


As an example of protecting data while meeting compliance requirements, personally-identifiable information is often regulated quite differently from one jurisdiction to another – even country to country. In the U.S., any personally- identifiable information stored within the country borders must be available to law enforcement under the USA Patriot Act. In Canada and several European countries, however, that data must be kept away from foreign jurisdictions at all times, making it illegal to store some personally-identifiable information of Canadian, French, or other citizens on U.S.-based servers. Further, all of these jurisdictions have differing requirements for storage security.

Steps Towards Securing Data In the Cloud

To move to the cloud, database professionals will first need to identify what types of compliance requirements they may have. Some data may have to remain in-house while other might be a good candidate for cloud services. If you have contracts that cover some of your data in regards to privacy policies, storage for clientele, etc., you will also need to review those contracts to be sure that the data can be stored off- site without breaching agreements.

Solutions for this may include finding services that guarantee storage of data only within a specific jurisdiction. For example, Amazon Web Services has “regions” for cloud storage and those who opt to keep their data within a specific geographic region (the U.S., North America, specific areas of the U.S. or Canada, etc.) may find that this keeps them in compliance. It comes with risks, however as witnessed by the area-wide outages some Amazon customers have had in the past.

Data Protection Points

Once data is flagged to be moved into the cloud, protection becomes critical. For cloud storage, there are generally three locations that the data will be at any given time:

1. At its fixed data storage locations

2. At the virtual machine doing the processing

3. In transit from the fixed storage to the virtual machine

Because of this less-central setup, administrators need to consider security of the data not only in storage, but also while in transit and in use. This requires three things:

1. Access control lists to secure who gets access to what data and when – already SOP for most databases stored centrally, but now to include some off- site administrative personnel from the storage provider.

2. Encryption during transit to ensure that the data is secure during transit to and from the processing machine and the database’s storage location. In this case, the data should be treated as if it were being accessed by remote personnel even if the processing machine is on-site.

3. Encryption at storage, in order to ensure access by cloud services provider personnel is limited to data movement only to avoid giving them access to potentially sensitive information. This provides another level of security that may also give better compliance for many types of very sensitive data such as personally-identifiable information and financial information storage.


By taking steps to classify and securely transmit and store information, the database administrator and management are likely to find that they are in compliance with most of the requirements they have. Carefully securing contracts that hold location compliance requirements in mind and encrypting it when it is stored on servers you do not control, you also protect yourself from liabilities that could come from others’ gaining access through legitimate methods but without your authorization – namely the staff at the contracted storage facilities for your cloud services.

By Michael Dorf,

Michael Dorf is a seasoned software architect and instructor with a M.S. in Software Engineering and a dozen years of industry experience. He is a co- founder of LearnComputer (, an IT/Open Source training school based in San Francisco Bay Area. Our one-day Big Data Overview course is designed for IT managers who need a fast track to Big Data solutions available on the market today.

Cloud Governance Should Be Prioritized

Cloud Governance Should Be Prioritized

When businesses move existing applications and resources to the cloud, they always do it in phases, moving the most stable applications first in order to minimize down time. The transition is a slow process which enables users to have enough time to adapt to the new system. Because of this, cloud governance is also staggered per application or phase. The problem here is that people will get used to the staggered way governance is being implemented with many people overseeing governance for each different application. The correct method is a centralized approach to managing cloud services including monitoring of usage, security, uptime, and compliance of SLA’s.

Cloud infrastructure is particularly complex, and therefore needs to be abstracted in order for the resources to be used productively. This dictates the importance of a management or governance system between the people and the different systems consuming resources. This will also be a key element into finding out exactly how much benefit is being brought by the cloud-based monitoring system.

If your business is moving to the cloud, you should consider the following questions:

1. What should you be preparing for right now?

2. Are you looking at the overall picture? Implementation as well as completed migration of the essentials.

3. How well will everything fit together, and will you be in control of every aspect of the system?

4. Will you be able to check every type of monitoring data that you require or may require in the future?

5. And most importantly, will you be able to control the distribution of resources in a way that all of it is used efficiently and positively impact productivity?

You must develop a strategy that accommodates a growing resource pool and always assume that there will be more users and more resources added in the future. In short, be flexible. The problem is that most companies do not think this way. They are often acting in reaction to the present problems which will eventually push them towards more control and governance with very little importance given to productivity, and hence less value. What I mean is they will arrive at a system that may not provide resource allocation on the fly and will require sign off from several high-positions before the resource can be allocated. Too much control, less productivity, and ultimately diverges from one of the concepts of cloud computing, which is flexibility and resource allocation on the fly.

By Abdul Salam

Are Choices Clouding The IT Department?

Are Choices Clouding The IT Department?

As consumers, we are exposed to an infinite amount of choices in what we buy, wear and eat – whether this is a consequence of globalization or our dependency on the internet is irrelevant, but it has now begun to represent a real challenge for the IT department or administrator. For years, IT has created efficiency and reduced the support overhead by creating “standard” environments and platforms, effectively creating an underlying IT infrastructure with one size fits all mentality. With the rise of cloud technologies and services, the IT consumer is already presented with the choices that they want. IT has found it hard to adapt and become the enabler in providing that same choice to their customers.

The IT department still needs to consider its own costs and efficiency. It is not as simple as creating multiple service offerings for the consumer. In the modern world, where the IT consumer expects choice and self-service the IT department needs a single platform that enables them to deliver just that! The technology world has transformed, there are various combinations of choices in compute, storage, networking and services that software will provide on top of that underling infrastructure. The IT department needs a single management platform that abstracts the consumer from the underlying complexity in those infrastructure technologies but still allows them to choose which is the right combination of technology for the task in hand, or service that they are creating. IT simply needs a single platform that offers multiple tiers of service.

We are naturally transitioning to a self-service cloud enabled world where we expect to have choices in order to customize our interaction with IT. We have that choice already through our smartphones and tablets, but more and more IT consumers expect to be offered real choice in the IT services that they consume.

For example, my development team are in the early proof of concept stage of a creating a new application. At this stage, they are in short development cycles, and their core requirement is agility. They don’t need high performance servers or the latest SSD storage. As the development of the application matures they need to start considering the performance and availability that is required in the production and their core requirements change. By creating multiple tiers of service the first environment would be on a low tier, using commodity hardware and storage, and perhaps a free hypervisor. As time goes on, its time to move the application to a higher tier in the stack. A hardware and software stack that mirrors production. The key here is providing the choice to the IT consumer through a single platform which enables them to make choose the service tier that they want through self-service.

So to answer my earlier question, are choices clouding IT, to that I would have to say no. More choice = more flexibility.

By Steve Rushen,

Steve Rushen, Sr. Director Services and Support at Abiquo which is focused on helping customers build successful Cloud services. To contact Steve for more information you can reach him at or on Twitter @SteveRushen

Virtualization Enables BYOD & Delivers IT

Virtualization Enables BYOD & Delivers IT

Virtualization Enables BYOD & Delivers IT


Services On-Demand to Any Device

With BYOD finding its way into the enterprise, the demand to deliver IT services to a plethora of devices while ensuring information security and keeping a centralized security policy are some of the real challenges which organization can no more ignore. Virtualization is an enabler which provides a viable solution to these and more challenges – simplifying IT infrastructure, cutting significant costs and allowing modern enterprise worker to use IT services on any device. The age of dedicated work stations with frequent software updates and its associated complexities are coming to an end.

Desktop virtualization adopts user centric approach in delivering IT services. It is a layer which sits between the device and native/virtualized applications running in any OS. The device becomes irrelevant; hence providing much greater coverage and support to the user. Previously, IT services needed to be individually installed on every workstation. The associated cost and complexity increased manifold when we brought maintenance and troubleshooting into account. Virtualization has been phenomenal in removing the need for dedicated hardware altogether. Now the user simply needs to have a thin-client on the device and start using applications right away as though they reside within the device.

At first, virtualization may seem like decentralization of IT infrastructure and services which may require a radical way to address security concerns. This is not entirely true because virtualization isolates the end-user device and treats it as an end-point to deliver services. IT services along with company data remain locked within the sandbox or thin-client running on the devices. This means a centralized IT policy now reaches enterprise user’s personal or company provided devices which may include laptop/PCs, smartphones or tablets.

So how does virtualization addresses some of the primary BYOD security concerns, for example, ensuring security and compliance of sensitive enterprise data residing on a personal device of a user? With a virtualized desktop for instance, the data does not reside on the device. The thin-client is actually a sandbox which streams the virtualized desktop over the network to any device which connects to it, hence making sure that any data which goes into the sandbox resides within the company’s own virtualized IT infrastructure and not the device. Now in case a device is lost, the sandbox which provides access to virtualized desktop can simply be disabled.

In addition to tremendously simplifying IT, virtualization also boosts productivity by diversifying device usage while addressing information security concerns, hence enabling true BYOD.

The upcoming Online VMware Forum 2013 will give you an opportunity to learn about Virtualization in action. Enroll for the event!

By Ben Harrison

Sponsored by VMware and Online VMware Forum 2013

Cloud Computing: Revolving The Business Industry And The Working Environment

Cloud Computing: Revolving The Business Industry And The Working Environment

Cloud Computing: Revolving the Business Industry and the Working Environment

Cloud Computing refers to a form of computing that works by sharing computing resources with no involvement of personal devices or local Servers to use and manage applications. The idea of virtual resources gives businesses an opportunity to grow quickly and achieve their goals much quicker than would otherwise be possible with traditional computing models.

Cloud Computing takes I.T administration and management to a whole new level. Let us have a look at a few points below:

Business Industry cloud

Cloud Computing and The Changing Business Environments

Cloud Computing to I.T industries may be compared to outsourcing services to the manufacturing companies. Cloud Computing involves leveraging your software, infrastructure and platforms to Cloud vendors that provide these computing resources virtually. People can tap resources as services without having to worry about any additional setup or hardware costs.

Companies of all sizes have to constantly worry about reducing operating costs, and they expect that I.T can bring more value at a lower cost. Cloud Computing can potentially help restructure the I.T budget by eliminating upfront I.T costs, enabling pay-per-use and transfer of key applications and services on the architecture. The Cloud Computing model is an inevitable situation in the connected world. The cost advantages, as well as the flexibility in the operation and implementation of informatics solutions make Cloud Computing an ideal solution for most companies and users.

The security risks contained in this technology are strong, and we believe that the impact of security incidents on this architecture will grow.

However, Cloud Computing is a trend in businesses that provides (and has been proven) to pocket significant savings and operational flexibility to businesses, whilst providing access to innovative Cloud–based built around security and efficiency.

How Can Cloud Computing Be Used?

Cloud Computing resources can enable clients to utilize the facility with enormous success and possibilities. It can be specifically useful for the following purposes:

  • It has found extensive use in new business start ups. It enables them to focus on the development while keeping their operational costs to a minimum by taking I.T to the Clouds.
  • It can help businesses grow in different dimensions. The Cloud will enable them to utilize the processing resources that were previously unavailable for the business.
  • Cloud fosters collaboration among your organization. Especially in the manufacturing sector. It enables the use of concurrent engineering in your organization.
  • It enables your employees to access data anywhere, and this increases the productivity of your organization.
  • I.T is extensively used by educational institutes in order to provide resources for research and development. Cloud enables integration of hundreds of users to collaborate and learn as a unity.
  • I.T also helps to uplift businesses that are running poor technology. Cloud Computing provides the opportunity to build businesses on its resources at extremely low costs. The economic factor is the most crucial one as it has compelled industries to utilize the technique.


1) Cloud Computing has been utilized by many of the government and non-government organizations throughout the world. The following list demonstrates the potential of Cloud Computing to grow significantly in the future:

2) The official website of the US Government will be migrating to the Cloud.

3) New York Times will be using the Cloud (Apache’s Hadoop and Amazon’s EC3).

4) The Chinese Railway system is migrating to the Cloud and is solving a complex set of problems along the way.

5) Higher Education institutions utilize Cloud Computing to provide networking resources to the students and teachers via Cloud computing.

6) Universities today host online libraries and are operating on open-source Cloud Computing.

7) The manufacturing sector utilizes Private Cloud Computing for their in-house operations and process optimizations.

8) Hospitals, electricity suppliers, and many other institutions are now going to the Cloud and getting rid of the extensive costs related to maintenance and operation of in-house computing resources.

The Future of Cloud Computing

The future of Cloud Computing is certainly bright, and it has a promising future. Although it would take a while to develop a standardized format and evolve a full-grown industry in itself, Cloud Service Providers have begun the march towards a unified system of distributed computing on a large scale.

Companies would have to make the shift tap into the unlimited source of I.T advancement and growth for their organizations, and leverage superior and endless computing power over the Cloud.

By Pere Hospital,

Pere Hospital (CISSP & OSCP) is the CTO and co-founder of Cloudways Ltd. He has over two decades of experience in IT Security, Risk Analysis and Virtualization Technologies. You can follow Pere on Twitter at @phospital, or learn more about Cloudways at

Recent Trends In BYOD Have Businesses Leaping Towards Wrong Decisions

Recent Trends In BYOD Have Businesses Leaping Towards Wrong Decisions

As I have been discussing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) for some time now, some of you might already be familiar with it. For those who are not, BYOD as the name suggests, is about bringing your own personal devices for work use, as opposed to employing a company issued device. This usually refers to mobile devices like laptops, tablets and smart phones; I doubt anyone would bring their home desktop to work. To cut it short, BYOD is going to give some corporate IT officers headaches in the future as they are driven to make some over zealous decisions now.

Many CIO’s and IT administrators might not have realized that they have made some wrong decisions. What I am talking about is the recent surge in the number of companies quickly adapting BYOD policies because it is seen as a perk that will help appease the employee population and entice potential employees. That is not bad at all as BYOD is expected to add to employee satisfaction and productivity and is an essential component for work-shifting. The problem lies with how companies are approaching it –like a band aid solution. They are trying to implement it quickly that they are considering using cheap and lightweight device management solutions or web-based tools in order to control these devices and add a measure of security and management. This is all well and good in the beginning, but it isn’t until they try to develop or implement apps into those devices that problems start cropping up everywhere.

BYOD is merely a name and does not dictate the method of implementation. Just because, it refers to devices does not mean that we have to concentrate on the device. New devices are being released very quickly and people are replacing their devices just as fast. It will simply be a hassle to secure the device itself, it would be easier to secure and maintain the mobile app so that it will be usable in any device without really doing anything to the device itself.

Mobile device management (MDM) experts agree that the future for enterprise mobility management (EMM) lay with mobile application management (MAM). You need to secure the application, even make it cross-platform so that no matter what kind of device, it is still usable. The employee does not have to sign any confidentiality agreement involving the device, and IT does not need to wipe the device or do more than simple tweaking of settings. It should be as non-invasive as possible.

By Abdul Salam

CloudTweaks Comics
Security and the Potential of 2 Billion Device Failures

Security and the Potential of 2 Billion Device Failures

IoT Device Failures I have, over the past three years, posted a number of Internet of Things (and the broader NIST-defined Cyber Physical Systems) conversations and topics. I have talked about drones, wearables and many other aspects of the Internet of Things. One of the integration problems has been the number of protocols the various…

The DDoS Attack That Shook The World

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The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

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Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

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

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Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

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Achieving Network Security In The IoT

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Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

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

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Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

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