Category Archives: Cloud Computing

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Just Google It!

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Just Google It!

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Just Google It!

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By David Fletcher

Our comic collection has simply taken the light side of cloud computing to a whole new level.  So after a long day’s work in the cloud, you can stop by our comic library for that much deserved moment of fun before you call it a day. Review the full library

For the reuse of our CloudTweaks comic images for print, web or related, please contact us regarding.

Mimecast Outage “Cloud Kettle Calling The Pot Black”

Mimecast Outage “Cloud Kettle Calling The Pot Black”

UK based cloud continuity and security vendor Mimecast today suffered what is looking like from many customers tweets an outrage of over 5 hours effecting customers email flow.

Customers appear to have 1st noticed the issue at 11am UK time when news appeared that customers inbound and outbound email had come to a halt.

The real issue here is that Mimecast positions themselves as a business continuity provider, a cloud system that protects customers from email outages. Whilst they filter email and provide archiving their key differentiator been delivering continuity to ensure always on email delivery to users no matter what and underpinned by a 100% SLA!

Customers have unsurprisingly taken to twitter throughout the day and reported the woes of pain felt and the promised quick fixes that didn’t come. Cloud invariably delivers high availability and resilience for clients and a consistent more successful outcome than building it yourself on network. Across the industry cloud has improved the reliability of IT, however occasional blips like this do tent to reflect badly on the cloud industry as a whole, worrying customers and putting the negative above all the good that cloud delivers.

Mimecast has a strong record of service delivery over many years, but unfortunately their customers will quickly only remember the pain of today, emphasized further from being sold on using Mimecast to gain assured email continuity.

What may really hurt Mimecast is they proudly promote a great deal of large legal firms relying on their service, with users being lawyers who demand always on email that they rely on for critical matters.  I wonder were any court proceedings effected today by lawyers not getting information they needed when it was required and what the knock on implications and discussions ensuing from this with the their IT departments will be over the next few days?

Mimecast has already to their due posted an open service update for customers and promised a more detailed follow up from their CEO later today.  In the instance of an issue responsiveness and openness with clients is key to mitigate the bad feeling that rapidly spreads in these days of open social media.

Unfortunately for Mimecast they have made a strong rod for their own back in very public touting of their 100% SLA which customers are touting thick and fast on Twitter.

There will be more cloud stories like this invariably as the world is not perfect, whether you have on network IT or in the cloud. What we do need though is more of the positive stories reported of “I have used my cloud service for 2 years now without any issues or outage” boring to read, but validating what it is all about. The negative stories are always more interesting and certainly create more impact, but cloud does far more good than bad and has changed our expectations and the flexibility we get from IT in our lives at a price all can afford.

Guest Article By Ian Moyse,

Sales Director, Cloud CRM Vendor Workbooks

5 Tips For A Worry-free Cloud Storage Backup

5 Tips for a Worry-free Cloud Storage backup

With so many cloud storage backup services available on the market today, people can sometimes become complacent with their data and assume that because they are already having a cloud backup, all their data is safe and secured. Well, this is usually the case, but problems can still arise due to negligence. Here are some tips and best practices that will ensure you will get the maximum benefit from your cloud storage backup.

  1. Determine Service Accessibility. What would be the point of having backup if you can’t actually access it? This should be the first thing to consider. Services like Dropbox and Google Drive have desktop applications that allow you to sync data with any computer, making it available even when there is no internet connection. All backup services offer web-based file management but not all of them offer the desktop application yet.

  2. Scalability. Most backup services offer free subscription for a very limited amount of space and if you want more, you would have to pay tiered pricing. The ability to increase storage capacity is not the only thing we mean by scalability. Its pricing should scale as well, meaning it should increase proportionally and not exponentially as storage needs grow.

  3. Security is king. We have debunked that cloud computing is less secure than traditional enterprise computing and established that it is just as secure if not more so. But that is not an excuse to turn your attention from overseeing the security of your backup. Make sure that the service provider highlights their security measures and if you happen to get into an SLA with them, make sure that security the will provide is on par with industry standards or to your own.

  4. Disaster recovery. One of the purposes of online backup is for disaster recovery, you know just in case. But your service provider is not immune to disasters so also make sure that you know exactly how and when you can get your backup in case both you and your provider are hit with disaster. If you have valuable data that needs to be restored in a moment’s notice when something fails, you should be able to work with your provider on how to do this automatically and quickly so you will not have to worry about extended downtime.

  5. Determine data permissions. If you have multiple kinds of users, make sure to have a clear understanding of who is able to access what and who cares for what. This makes things easier to manage when you know exactly who to go to when something needs to be done or needs fixing.

These are not absolute rules but will be essential in managing your data backups. Most of them are “industry common sense”, yes I made that up, meaning that those who are in this line of work do not need to be told these things because you should have already come up of this on your own. But in case you need a reminder, here they are.

By Walter Bailey

 

Russia May End Imminent Cloud’s ‘Ides of March’

Russia May End Imminent Cloud’s ‘Ides of March’

Russia May End Imminent Cloud’s ‘Ides of March’ as it Improves on International Scoreboard

Russia has a cloud and big data conference this October, in the central-European nation of Austria, just marches away from Latvia. The latter is the destination at which most Moscow cloud companies have set base for their cloud servers, to eschew persecution at home. Indeed, Latvia has been the telltale sign of where the legendary Ides of March, which signaled the end of a king in Shakespearian lore, would have come from, were it not for the encouraging news of an improvement in Russia. The large country that stretches from Eastern Europe to the far lands of Asia currently ranks highly, on the global cloud scoreboard.

Forbes.com recently ranked the country position 14, ten slots down from the United States, signaling a great improvement. This means that despite the close watch at home of what cloud computing companies are doing, Russia is also relaxing its grip on the various resources that power the operations of server-based technology.

The improvement is due to a consciousness about IP. The report stated that Russia was instrumental in ratifying Internet Protocol concessions, thus expanding the horizon of identity for would-be users of the cloud in the country. It is worth to find the Russia’s story quite progressive, in contrast to half-a-dozen other continental nations that had negative growth, in the same report.

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The latest news, however, May 12, points out to a continuing erosion of major firms from the country that are working from within but whose servers are in, mainly, Latvia. A single data warehouse in the latter nation says that it has five hundred projects, from Russia and its scion, Ukraine.

The above development is easy to confirm. Over the weekend of May 11-12, the web went awash with how Russian law enforcement personnel visited a cloud center and demanded to have a chat with the staff, before confiscating equipment. This, however, does not prevent work from continuing for most of the nation’s cloud resources, including servers, software, and apps, all have infrastructural base in neighboring nations.

The saving hand of cloud technology in the last remaining bastion of the former USSR, where policy matters may steal a march on technology, is manifest in the ease of forfeiting capital-intensive machinery. Cloud requires none of the common bulky hardware to enable one operate from a typical work base. What matters is a data center, which can be external, an email service, file-sharing applications and storage-scaling equipment, all of which need not be in-house. At least this is how most Russian kingpins of the cloud do in order to keep their data secure.

Russia Cloud Conference

In spite of these policy distractions, the country’s tech community is still on the fast lane of technological commitment. The best epiphany is the Russia Conference, for big data and cloud computing that will occur in Central Europe on the seventh day of October of the year. The major focus will be on the issue of security, advantages of the cloud, as well as, limitations of computing, and the entrepreneurial appropriation via the cloud, among others. The conference, interestingly, also has the helping hand of the authorities since the national and local administrations will be in attendance, besides Chief Technology Officers.

By John Omwamba

(Image Source: http://cloudscorecard.bsa.org/)

Cloud Infographic: Hosting Your Clinical Applications

Cloud Infographic: Hosting Your Clinical Applications

Cloud Infographic: Hosting Your Clinical Applications

Like any kind of outsourcing, hosting clinical and pharmacovigilance systems in the cloud with an experienced service provider allows pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies, in addition to clinical research organizations and academic institutions, to reduce costs and operate more efficiently.

View this infographic to learn:

  • How hosting helps you be efficient with your money
  • How hosting helps you save your resources
  • Which applications you can host in the cloud
  • Additional features and benefits of hosting

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Infographic Source: BioPharm

IBM Makes Cloud Computing “Fashionable” With L’Oréal Deal

IBM Makes Cloud Computing “Fashionable” With L’Oréal Deal

NEWS: IBM Makes Cloud Computing “Fashionable” With L’Oréal Deal

It is wiser to find out than to suppose.”

                                                              – Mark Twain (1835-1910), legendary author and humorist.

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There was once a time when businesses were done through intelligence guesswork – you guessed what your customers would like and you provided it, you guessed what the demand will be and you procured accordingly, so and so forth. Now, “estimating” may have been the word used instead of “guessing”, but it was still an art, and an imperfect and error-prone one at that, until analytics emerged as a science.

With the use of analytics, businesses could predict the future with a greater degree of accuracy, resulting in lesser wastage, faster turnarounds and improved performance – thereby affecting both the top line and the bottom line. Now, with cloud analytics as offered by IBM, all this is possible at a lower cost than ever before.

This is where L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company, has seen value. Always a leader in the beauty industry, L’Oréal now stands as a leader among companies looking to leverage the tremendous power of cloud analytics in everyday operations. It made its intentions known by signing a major three-year agreement with IBM for expert procurement services using an advanced cloud analytics solution that will transform the way L’Oréal USA, the cosmetics giant’s wholly-owned subsidiary, buys from its network of North American suppliers.

With this agreement, L’Oréal will gain access to a powerful portfolio of IBM procurement services, consulting and analytical expertise including a new analytics tool developed by IBM Research, as well as IBM SmartCloud commerce solutions. This will completely revolutionize the entire supply chain management system in the cosmetics industry and may well see L’Oréal’s competitors following suit with similar initiatives. At the end of the day, while the company will benefit from cost efficiencies, L’Oréal’s loyal customers will benefit from new products appearing faster on the shelves.

Explaining the rationale of this agreement, Rich Ullrich, Vice President Indirect Procurement at L’Oréal USA said, “With our rapid growth and expansion, we  needed deep category knowledge across all spend areas as well as the assurance of compliance with all buying processes in order to realize true savings. IBM was unparalleled in its ability to deliver cutting-edge data analytics, the best cloud commerce solution and the strategic sourcing and technology services needed to make it happen.”

IBM, understandably, is quite pleased at this high-profile development. Lori Steele, General Manager IBM Global Process Services, commented, “As one of the leading names in the beauty segment of the consumer products goods market, L’Oréal has long understood that attention to detail drives bottom line improvement,” said “We’re pleased L’Oréal USA is able to combine the best of IBM’s research-rich expertise and cloud-based analytics to gain control over total supplier spending, and thereby transform its procurement function from a corporate cost center to strategic company asset.”

With this deal, L’Oréal has shown its appreciation of the “beauty” of IBM’s cloud analytics solution; others should soon follow.

On the subject of IBM, do check out this free webinar  dealing with software asset and license management. It has an interesting title, “Has Anyone Ever Returned an Unused Software License?”, and brings together views of experts from Deloitte and Frost & Sullivan. Registration is short and free but numbers are limited.

By Sourya Biswas

The Cloud Is Killing The PC, And Giving It New Life

The Cloud Is Killing The PC, And Giving It New Life

The Cloud Is Killing The PC, And Giving It New Life

For several months we have been hearing about the imminent demise of the Personal Computer. After all, new computer sales dipped 14% last year, so surely the industry must be doomed, Doomed, DOOMED!

The personal computer industry has certainly slumped, but these are dynamic companies. It is probably unwise to write them off because of a slump. Looking at the reasons for the slump is instructive. Some believe that the market is being lost to mobile and cloud applications. This school of thought holds that the newer, smaller, and faster technology has rendered the PC obsolete.

No Reason To Upgrade In Today’s Economy

One of the most popular theories is that the personal computer industry is slumping because the rest of the economy is slumping. There is certainly merit to this assumption. In some ways, the personal computer industry has made itself redundant. Gamers, professional video editors, and computer scientists want and need the latest and fastest machines. The average computer user wants to check email, update their social media, input sales data or other spreadsheet type application at work, and maybe play a few hands of solitaire while the boss is looking the other way.

Unfortunately for computer manufacturers, five year old processors are more than able to do the job. In the past, new computer sales were driven by the need to upgrade hardware to keep up with the newest applications. The “Killer App” phenomena has always been a driver of technology sales. The current Killer App is the Cloud, and for now, the Cloud does not need a new personal computer to be useful.

Mobile and Cloud

Part of the wonder of Cloud computing is that most of the actual computing, processing and storage, takes place “in the Cloud”. This means the end user enjoys better and more up to date services without the need to continually upgrade hardware. This is bad news for companies which depend upon sales of new computers.

Another factor thought to be eating away at traditional PC’s is the rise of touchscreen mobile devices. Touching and swiping seem to be a more elegant way to interface than being tied to an old fashioned, clunky keyboard and mouse. Mobile devices are also a terrific way to interface with Cloud applications- their small size and relatively limited storage often require an Internet Cloud connection for maximum usefulness.

Is Bill Gates dream of a Windows PC on every desk top in the world becoming a thing of the past? Probably not. Although sales are slumping, the personal computer will remain an important tool for work, entertainment, and communication. Granted, most of the things that are done on a desktop personal computer can also be done on an inexpensive smartphone. As slick as a touch screen seems, for many important applications, the PC can be a more efficient interface.

By Pete Knight

CloudTweaks Comics
The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement In recent years, Big Data and Cloud relations have been growing steadily. And while there have been many questions raised around how best to use the information being gathered, there is no question that there is a real future between the two. The growing importance of Big Data Scientists and the…

Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

Big Data and Financial Services Cloud Banking Insights Series focuses on big data in the financial services industry and whether it is a security threat or actually a massive opportunity. How does big data fit into an overall cloud strategy? Most FI’s have a positive mind-set towards cloud IT consumption as it not only enables…

Cloud Infographic: Programming Languages To Build Your Cloud

Cloud Infographic: Programming Languages To Build Your Cloud

Programming Languages What programming languages are the building blocks to help develop and facilitate these present and future cloud platforms? Where can we learn and develop these skills in order to help us build our own careers? A couple of options would be to visit sites such as Stackoverflow which can provide you with a good source of information.…

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Small Business Cloud Computing Trepidation is inherently attached to anything that involves change and especially if it involves new technologies. SMBs are incredibly vulnerable to this fear and rightfully so. The wrong security breach can incapacitate a small startup for good whereas larger enterprises can reboot their operations due to the financial stability of shareholders. Gordon Tan contributed an…

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Big Data To Analyze Using Big Data to Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential For those who are regularly involved with SMEs, venture capital, and company valuations, it is common knowledge that start-ups that exit for more than $1 billion dollars are extremely rare – often termed ‘unicorn’ companies. Despite their rarity, it should…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Computing And SMEs SMEs (Small/Medium Sized Enterprises) make up the bulk of businesses today. Most cloud based applications created today are geared toward the SME market. Accounting, Storage, Backup services are just a few of them. According to the European Commission, cloud based technology could help 80% of organisations reduce costs by 10-20%. This infographic provided…

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry If you start talking about big data to someone who is not in the industry, they immediately conjure up images of giant warehouses full of servers, staff poring over page after page of numbers and statistics, and some big brother-esque official sat in a huge government building…

Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service?

Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service?

Cloud Storage Services Not using cloud storage for your business yet? Cloud storage provides small businesses like yours with several advantages. Start using one now and look forward to the following benefits: Easy back-up of files According to Practicalecommerce, it provides small businesses with a way to back up their documents and files. No need…

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

The Internet of Things Is About To Explode By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide. It’s an astoundingly large figure given that the sector barely existed three years ago. We are now rapidly evolving toward a world in which just about everything will become…

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Monetizing Internet Of Things There are many interesting ways in which companies are looking to connect devices to the cloud. From the vehicles to kitchen appliances the internet of things is already a $1.9 trillion dollar market based on research estimates from IDC. Included is a fascinating infographic provided by AriaSystems which shows us some of the exciting…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

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

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

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…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

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…

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…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

Hybrid-Cloud Approach For over 20 years, organizations have been attempting to secure their networks and protect their data. However, have any of their efforts really improved security? Today we hear journalists and industry experts talk about the erosion of the perimeter. Some say it’s squishy, others say it’s spongy, and yet another claims it crunchy.…

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

Individuals and Password-Sharing With the 1980s came the explosion of computing. In 1980, the Commodore ushered in the advent of home computing. Time magazine declared 1982 was “The Year of the Computer.” By 1983, there were an estimated 10 million personal computers in the United States alone. As soon as computers became popular, the federal government…