Category Archives: SaaS

Women and Cloud Computing, Part III: Spotlighting the Top Laureled Ladies

Women and Cloud Computing, Part III: Spotlighting the Top Laureled Ladies

This past Valentine’s Day, CloudNOW (NOW an acronym for “Network of Women”), the leading organization of women in cloud computing, gathered to celebrate its own.

Helmswoman Jocelyn DeGance Graham led CloudNOW’s first ever formal awards ceremony, which this year focused on offering praise to 10 exceptional women in the cloud. The event took place at the Cloud Connect Exposition held in Santa Clara, California.

Frequently regarded as the preeminent event for members of the cloud computing community, Cloud Connect provided a sterling backdrop for the feting of individuals who’d made an indelible impact on the current state of the cloud; that they were women has both nothing and everything to do with the magnitude and durability of their cloud contributions.

This week, we’ll shed additional light on three of the women laureled by CloudNOW. Future “Women in Cloud Computing” articles will eventually cover all the brilliant professionals honored.

Jamie Dos Santos

As President of the Verizon company Terremark, Ms. Dos Santos is clearly an expert at identifying and deploying pinpointed cloud technology as it benefits the whole of an organization. Training at the University of Florida and Harvard buoyed her through 25 years of excellence at companies like Bellsouth and SAIC. Dos Santos is also well-regarded for her opinion on security in the cloud; President Obama appointed her to his National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

Padmasree Warrior

As the Chief Executive Officer of Motorola, Ms. Warrior finds herself in an apt and powerful position to affect the direction of cloud computing. Her career launched in the ’80s at Motorola, eventually working her way up to the company’s executive vice president post. The President awarded her a 2004 National Medal of Technology, a company first. Piquantly, Warrior evidences a healthy balance between art and science in her career, serving on the boards for both the Joffrey Ballet and Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Lauren States

Ms. States enjoys what might be the most envied position in the cloud: Chief Technology Officer of Cloud Computing at IBM. She came up through the Wharton School, studying actuarial science; she nabbed a gig as a systems engineer at IBM and never failed to impress along the way to her current job. Perusing on of her blog posts proves that States does not take her estimable career lightly, and that she views the status quo of cloud computing with a clear, realist eye. Although “cloud is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” she writes, it can still “reinvent business” and reconfigure our concept of IT.

By Jeff Norman

Amazon Releases The Simple Workflow Service (SWF)

Amazon Releases The Simple Workflow Service (SWF)

Amazon Releases The Simple Workflow Service (SWF)

Amazon Simple Workflow Service (Amazon SWF) is a workflow service for building scalable, resilient applications. Whether automating business processes for finance or insurance applications, building sophisticated data analytics applications, or managing cloud infrastructure services, Amazon SWF reliably coordinates all of the processing steps within an application.

With traditional development approaches, it is both time-consuming and costly to build and track processing steps that run at different times and have different durations, while ensuring they are executed reliably and without duplication. When the execution of applications is distributed across multiple systems, the coordination of processing steps across those systems presents an added challenge. Using Amazon SWF, developers can structure the various processing steps in an application as “tasks” that drive work in distributed applications, and Amazon SWF coordinates these tasks in a reliable and scalable manner. Amazon SWF manages task execution dependencies, scheduling, and concurrency based on a developer’s application logic. The service stores tasks, reliably dispatches them to application components, tracks their progress, and keeps their latest state.

Amazon SWF is a fully managed service, with no hardware or software to administer, scale, tune, patch or upgrade. Amazon SWF provides simple API calls that can be executed from code written in any language and run on your EC2 instances, or any of your machines located anywhere in the world that can access the Internet. On-premises machines can simply open an Internet connection to request tasks from SWF APIs, requiring no changes to firewall rules. Detailed reporting on the current status and execution history of your workflows is available through the AWS Management Console.


Implementing SaaS In Education In The United States

Implementing SaaS in Education in the United States

The United States has always encountered problems with regards to the competitiveness of its population. Indeed, this particular problem has been even more emphasized today, especially with the crushingly intense global competition. Fortunately, Software-as-as-Service (SaaS) tools, along with other cloud computing services have dramatically grown in the last couple of years which have, so far, been sufficient to fill up the needs of the schools (Kaplan, 2010).

According to Kaplan, the United States’ government has been aggressively criticized by some organizations and politicians for not doing much to solve the decline of the standard of education in the country. Indeed, it is highly ironic, even paradoxical, that a country as rich as the United States, is unable to effectively raise the quality of education to the highest level possible.

However, it must be understood well that there are several factors at play in the molding of the population. In other words, there are several things which affect the overall quality of education. Sure, teachers and other facilities are particularly important. But, there are other factors which can also significantly affect the manner and the degree through which learners actually learn. In fact, schools in the country, or anywhere in the world for that matter, need to have highly efficient systems and databases which will allow the teachers and school administrators to perform their functions more efficiently (Kaplan, 2010).

It is very fortunate that most educational institutions in the country have recognized the need to actually integrate and employ SaaS into their systems. In fact, according to a survey conducted last 2009, more than half of all participating schools were using SaaS.

One interesting SaaS innovation which is highly favored by some prominent schools and universities in the country is the Google Apps. According to a survey conducted by the software giant, Google, 61 of the top 100 universities in the United States as well as in Europe are actually making use of the applications developed by Google for the education sector. Indeed, this software is able to teach learners a great deal of things about how the actual world works – both in the real and the digital sense. Learning about how the real world really works would have been an utter impossibility without the application of these Google SaaS systems.

It is also very fortunate that the vast majority of the new and young teachers currently employed in the schools in the United States are highly competent with the use of these applications. With their expertise, coupled with the inherent curiosity of the learners and the unique and practical app designs by Google, learning in these US schools are more effective than the others.

They are, in fact, so effective at the delivery of basic services that the New York government actually passed a bill which would guarantee total state support to the procurement and maintenance of SaaS systems in the top performing schools in the said state.

Of course, Google apps still has a long way to go before they reach true education-based software. For now, however, the system that they have will definitely make things better for schools and their clients.

By Cenon Gaytos

HP CloudSystem Matrix: Benefits of Private Cloud and Infrastructure as a Service Today

HP CloudSystem Matrix: Benefits of Private Cloud and Infrastructure as a Service Today

HP CloudSystem Matrix: Benefits of Private Cloud and Infrastructure as a Service Today

Get the freedom and flexibility to provision infrastructure and applications in minutes rather than months. HO Offer

If you are like most companies, you have been adding servers, storage, and networking devices to keep pace with your business demands. You could be spending upwards of 70 percent of your IT budget on operations and maintenance, which means you are spending 30 percent or less on innovation that is critical to growing your business. You don’t have to be captive to unmanageable IT sprawl. Solutions are available today to help you realign traditional technology silos into virtual pools shared by any application and flexible enough to change as business needs evolve. HP CloudSystem Matrix offers a self-service infrastructure portal for auto-provisioning and built-in lifecycle management to optimize infrastructure, monitor applications, and increase uptime for your cloud and traditional IT.

This solution brief will help you understand the benefits of the HP CloudSystem Matrix which provides a unified solution for physical and virtual environments that’s perfectly suited as an IT consolidation platform.

Receive Your Complimentary Solution Brief NOW!

And the Cloud Computing Grammy Goes To…

And the Cloud Computing Grammy Goes To…

And the Cloud Computing Grammy Goes To…

Plaudits en masse for Adele, who swept last Sunday’s Grammy awards with six golden trophies — a huge honor that even your grandmother likely saw coming from fifty miles away. The prodigious vocal titan ignited an international musical movement that managed to sweep both average Joe pop lovers and obnoxious highbrows off their feet with equal adoration. She came to stand for actual God-given talent coupled with an uncanny ear for searing lyrics that zap the heart directly, and nothing but a night of receiving gong after gong could more appropriately award the now classic starlet.

In the spirit of golden winners and a return to artful craftmanship, we wanted to propose a similar scenario of laurels in the cloud computing music community. To wit: which of the innumerable cloud music apps and features out there would win an inaugural Grammy for Cloud Music Excellence?

Here are our prospective nominees:

SoundCloud Music X-Ray

Let’s be brief about it: in the frenetic pace of today’s music industry, there is no more efficient or professional way for an up-and-coming music act to reach the business’ power brokers than via this application. Music X-Ray links with a user’s SoundCloud profile to assess its tunes and automatically match them with an industry pro who might fancy the tracks.

Regardless of whether or not that pro chooses to do business with the user, she is still guaranteed written feedback; Music X-Ray has even spawned fruitful mentorships between talent and Grammy-winning contacts. This app reveals the cloud as its music best: forging connections of value within a creative community. It almost makes us wanna take up a guitar.

Artist Growth

The closest rival to Music X-Ray in terms of efficacy for actual music makers, Artist Growth aims to seriously improve how musicians are managed and pursue careers in the long term. Entrepreneurs seasoned in the storied enclaves of Nashville created the application to empower fellow musicians in maintaining their finances and, in a Madonna-like move, to keep pace with or stay ahead of the latest sound trends in the industry.

The cloud allows AG users to profit from such features as its “Action Packs,” career-creating agendas devised by successful pros, and the Indie Bible, brimming with more than 30,00 industry contacts to communicate with.


The music industry can be a huge downer for a budding talent, which is why Lana Del Rey, Tyler the Creator, Theophilus London, and others are doing it for themselves. Yet no man is an island, and the most effective way to hit it big is to hone in a community of artists that sustains one’s imagination and output. Enter tumblecloud, an ingenious application that allows musicians to directly partner with artists from other disciplines, such as photographers and journalists.

To be fair, tumblecloud does not directly target the music community. Yet as a platform for “digital storytelling,” as the collabo between Gabriel Quinn and Jessica Lehrman evinces, tumblecloud cannot be trumped.

And the Winner Is….

Up to you! We’d like you readers of CloudTweaks to jockey your opinions and let us in on who’d you like to take home the first ever Cloud Grammy. Which of these applications has done for the cloud what Adele done for the music world at large?

By Jeff Norman


Learning VirtualDub — Free 216 page eBook

The complete guide to capturing, processing, and encoding digital video.

Security Questions To Ask Your Cloud Service Provider

Security Questions To Ask Your Cloud Service Provider

Moving software, websites, hardware needs and important services to the cloud is not without its risks. While cloud service subscribers can save a lot of IT budget funds in areas like software licensing, hardware costs, power charges and staff salaries, close attention must be paid to risk management. From general risks like not knowing who you’re really dealing with to very specific dangers like security and encryption, cloud customers must comprehend exactly what they’re dealing with and how to ask the right questions. This will allow them to choose the cloud service provider that will limit their risk and present the best possible service.


This isn’t exactly a risk. It’s more of a rule of thumb right out of the gate. A cloud service provider must offer complete transparency, honestly answering all questions and supplying all information the client requests. So much of the risk management tips to follow flows from this need for transparency. There are questions to ask and if the cloud provider refuses to answer or is vague, it’s best to move on.

Who is Managing My Data?

From the engineers who manage network performance to the policy makers who direct IT departments, companies have the ability to scrutinize their prospective workers before hire. Background checks, calls to referrals and employment history verification can all be conducted by the employer beforehand. That ability is somewhat surrendered by moving to the cloud, but cloud customers are well within their rights to inquire about the qualifications and backgrounds of the cloud company’s staff, including qualifications and backgrounds. These administrators have privileged access to your data and you should know who they are.

What Access Controls are in Place?

Flowing from the need to know who manages your data is the need to know how and why. By moving to the cloud, companies give up their ability to limit physical access. Just because physical control is being transferred doesn’t mean companies give up their right to know what controls are in place to limit risk, though. Cloud companies need to disclose the exact data access control processes that dictate their administrators’ actions. Cloud subscribers should have a full understanding of who can access what data and under what conditions.

Is the Data Secured?

Security concerns don’t just come from people. Cloud providers can offer cost savings in part because, by nature, cloud storage environments are shared. Your company’s data, hosted web site, applications and more will usually live on the same server and storage area as many other companies’ information. A good cloud service provider needs to clearly explain how vital business data is segregated and secured. Encryption is a good start, but the provider must provide evidence that their encryption and other security methods have been tested, fine-tuned and proven effective.

Can they Pass Muster with Auditors?

Every business has certain conditions they must meet for regulatory compliance. This is especially true for law offices, accounting firms and companies who do a fair amount of business with local and federal governments. Regulations need to be met and annual IT audits must be performed to satisfy security concerns and ensure compliance with regulations. Customers need to find out whether the cloud provider conducts regular security audits and what their processes are for accommodating the needs of the customer’s auditors as well.

Where is the Data Actually Located?

The Internet has made the world smaller and has broken down barriers to entry in many fields. Cloud computing is one such industry. Anyone can buy shared hosting, put in some administrative time and offer server space and cloud services. Do you know what country your data actually lives in? You should, especially when it comes to local privacy laws and regulations. It’s important to find a cloud provider that will commit in writing to the specific storage location you need in order to ensure the data privacy requirements of your given jurisdiction.

Are they Here to Stay?

What happens to your data if your cloud service provider goes out of business or is bought out by another company? This is a crucial consideration, especially in a volatile economy full of shut downs, mergers and acquisitions. What guarantees can your cloud provider give regarding its long-term viability? What mechanisms are in place to guarantee the return of your data in the event of a bankruptcy or other business shutdown or turnover? Just like all the other risks outlined here, lifetime data assurance must be explained and put in writing to mitigate risks before any service agreement can be made with a cloud computing provider.

By Arthur Clyne

Arthur is a Montreal-based web and technology consultant for several local area businesses who occasionally handles freelance writing for local tech and telecom companies.

No Smartphone? Never Fear – Apps For All Are (Hopefully Soon) Here

Never Fear – Apps For All Are (Hopefully Soon) Here

Explicating the trendiness and popularity of intelligent mobile devices these days, smartphones such as the iPhone and Android smack of technological superiority. They flaunt generously sized display touch screens; only they are entitled to the Internet-surfing speed and power of the 4G network; those who shell out the big bucks to buy them can also enjoy new video conferencing features, such as FaceTime on the iPhone.

But easily the clearest indicator of status change between a smartphone and a lesser “dumb phone” entity is the capacity to delve into the can-do-everything-for-you world of applications, or apps.

Technically termed as application software, there is no shortage as to the number of apps available for users of smartphones of every stripe. The Apple store now advertises at least 500,000 different apps for the iPhone, while the iPad still profits from a more modest figure of 140,000 such programs. Droid adherents select from a nearly equally impressive selection of 400,000 apps for their devices.

The most popular apps tend to balloon beyond the mobile device community and aim for a place in the popular zeitgeist. Such hit apps as “Angry Birds,” which massacres the fervent competition for number-one status, strike chords both on and away from the phone. Applications for Facebook, Skype, and Google Maps are nearly as popular, as they prove incredibly useful in on-the-go situations with a cell phone in tow.

Sad news for those of us sans smartphones: the lack of a proper operating system, or OS, bars us from this world of delicious attractive apps aplenty. Or, at least it did.

Word broke last month that the Finnish start-up called Blaast has devised the technology needed to create an OS catering toward non-smartphones, enabling them to partake in the app craze. It’s only fitting that our beloved cloud computing is behind this potentially monumental shift in the status quo of mobile technology and the social politics of the smartphone / “dumb phone” debate.

Blaast rightly attacks the smartphone craze, its manifesto declaring that they “are just too expensive for emerging markets.” As Blaast seeks to capitalize on “the next billion people who will [access the Internet for the first time via] a mobile phone,” the company has created a cloud-based operating system, empowering much more affordable non-smartphones to do every app-lovable that smartphones can, on the cheap.

Like everything good and beta-testable, Blaast’s breakthrough offering unfortunately won’t launch in the sink-or-swim mobile climate of America. Instead, founder Joonas Hjelt has opted to develop his cloud-mobile revolution in the more tenable market of Jakarta, Indonesia — a move that will also let Hjelt and co. refine their commitment to low pricing for this vital, technologically democratizing service.

By Jeff Norman

Outsourcing Hyper-Hybrid Cloud Integration New Way To Go

Cloud Integration New Way To Go

Cloud Computing has diversified so much now that it isn’t just about the Private Cloud vs Public Cloud debate (which continues to simmer). Many Cloud Computing proponents are now advocating Hybrid Clouds as the way to go. According to some, Hyper-Hybrid Clouds fit the bill better though, adding even more complexity to an already complex Cloud integration situation, or does it?

Instead of opting for just a private cloud, Hybrid Clouds incorporate at least one private cloud with one public cloud service. This solves the problem of limited scalability in a private cloud while providing top-notch on-premise security that a public cloud lacks. According to Deloitte Consulting in their Elevate IT for Digital Business report,Along the way, leading organizations moved from cautious exploration to the reality of multiple individual cloud offerings handling critical pieces of their business operations-and sourced from multiple public and private providers.”

Indeed, rather than having to contend with just a private cloud integration, it makes more sense to also include public cloud services into the mix. As such, Hyper-Hybrid Clouds incorporate multiple public cloud services based around a core private cloud. This burden of integration no longer has to fall entirely on the shoulders of existing IT staff though, as a more mature Cloud Computing market has seen the emergence of cloud brokering services. Rather than handle the integration themselves, businesses can now outsource their Hyper-Hybrid Cloud integration to these Cloud brokers. Many have already done so as illustrated in the Tech Trends 2012: Elevate IT for Digital Business report with Mohawk Fine Papers as a fine example of Hyper-Hybrid Cloud brokering. This brings up the now familiar list of ways to find a good Hyper-Hybrid Cloud Broker.

As always, best practices for the industry remain in place so businesses looking for such brokers should look for:

  • those with proven track records
  • good reviews and testimonials
  • service plans or packages that fit with what their business is looking for particularly in terms of security, contingency, backup and so forth

All in all, while Hyper-Hybrid Cloud Computing does seem the way to go, integration no longer seems to be all that difficult. All businesses really need to focus on is providing a solid core Private Cloud and even then, new offerings such as Piston’s pentOS OpenStack Private Cloud operating system and other upcoming OpenStack offerings help to streamline this process even further.

By Muz Ismial

CloudTweaks Comics
Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Security, Security, Security!! Get use to it as we’ll be hearing more and more of this in the coming years. Collaborative security efforts from around the world must start as sometimes it feels there is a sense of Fait Accompli, that it’s simply too late to feel safe in this digital age. We may not…

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

Cloud Infographic – DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms

Cloud Infographic – DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms

DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms Above DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms, malware is the most common incident that security teams reported responding to in 2014, according to a recent survey from SANS Institute and late-stage security startup AlienVault. The average cost of a data breach? $3.5 million, or $145 per sensitive…

Update: Timeline of the Massive DDoS DYN Attacks

Update: Timeline of the Massive DDoS DYN Attacks

DYN DDOS Timeline This morning at 7am ET a DDoS attack was launched at Dyn (the site is still down at the minute), an Internet infrastructure company whose headquarters are in New Hampshire. So far the attack has come in 2 waves, the first at 11.10 UTC and the second at around 16.00 UTC. So…

Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

DDoS Knocks Out Several Websites Cyber attacks targeting the internet infrastructure provider Dyn disrupted service on major sites such as Twitter and Spotify on Friday, mainly affecting users on the U.S. East Coast. It was not immediately clear who was responsible. Officials told Reuters that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau…

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

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

A New Era for Cyber Crime Last September, the website of a well-known security journalist was hit by a massive DDoS attack. The site’s host stated it was the largest attack of that type they had ever seen. Rather than originating at an identifiable location, the attack seemed to come from everywhere, and it seemed…

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks!

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks!

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks! So we are all cheering as the FCC last week made the right choice in upholding the principle of net neutrality! For the general public it is a given that an ISP should be allowed to charge for bandwidth and Internet access but never to block or somehow…

How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

Fast Data Analytics In today’s constantly connected world, customers expect more than ever before from the companies they do business with. With the emergence of big data, businesses have been able to better meet and exceed customer expectations thanks to analytics and data science. However, the role of data in your business’ success doesn’t end…

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Hybrid Cloud Environments After several years of steady cloud adoption in the enterprise, an interesting trend has emerged: More companies are retaining their existing, on-premise IT infrastructures while also embracing the latest cloud technologies. In fact, IDC predicts markets for such hybrid cloud environments will grow from the over $25 billion global market we saw…

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

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…

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Competing in a Digital World Telecoms, otherwise largely known as Communications Service Providers (CSPs), have traditionally made the lion’s share of their revenue from providing pipes and infrastructure. Now CSPs face increased competition, not so much from each other, but with digital service providers (DSPs) like Netflix, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, all of whom…

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

Embracing The Cloud We love the stories of big complacent industry leaders having their positions sledge hammered by nimble cloud-based competitors. chews up Oracle’s CRM business. Airbnb has a bigger market cap than Marriott. Amazon crushes Walmart (and pretty much every other retailer). We say: “How could they have not seen this coming?” But, more…


Sponsored Partners