UC Berkeley researchers have outlined their view of cloud computing, which they say has great opportunity to exploit unprecedented IT resources if vendors can overcome a litany of obstacles.MORE ON CIO.comThe Case Against Cloud ComputingIBM Partners with Amazon EC2: What It Means To Your Cloud Plans10 Virtualization Vendors to Watch in 2009The 11 researchers' cloud computing forecast is documented in a paper called "Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing." The research group works in the Reliable Adaptive Distributed Systems Laboratory (RAD Lab), a 3-year-old outfit funded by companies such as Google, Microsoft, IBM and Sun."We argue that the construction and operation of extremely large-scale, commodity-computer datacenters at low-cost locations was the key necessary enabler of Cloud Computing," they write.But to take full advantage of the opportunity, vendors need to rethink the way they build their products. Application developers need to ensure their offerings can not … [Read more...] about The Promise and Peril of Cloud Computing
Security of cloud computing
This past week's Microsoft-T-Mobile-Sidekick data loss mess is the latest in a string of high profile cloud computing outages that have grabbed headlines over the past couple of years. Inevitably, the coverage of the initial outage (as well as cloud security breaches) is followed by explanations of why the outage happened (human error, network equipment, hackers, etc.) and analysis stories pointing out the pitfalls of putting your faith in the cloud. Cloud Computing Definitions and Solutions Here's a short history of cloud computing SNAFUs:Microsoft Danger outage: Contacts, calendar entries, photographs and other personal information of T-Mobile Sidekick users looks to be lost for good following a service disruption at Sidekick provider Danger, a Microsoft subsidiary. The amount of data and number of users affected wasn't disclosed by Microsoft or T-Mobile, but Sidekick support forums were buzzing with pleas from users looking for tips on how to restore their devices or get their … [Read more...] about From Sidekick to Gmail: a Short History of Cloud Computing Outages
Increasing your use of cloud computing? Great! Making these common security mistakes? Not great!Automation, cost savings, and data redundancy--no wonder cloud adoption is tempting. The CISO can rest easy knowing there is no vice in moving to the cloud to reap these rewards. What may keep her up at night is not knowing how many missteps the enterprise is making in the process.Outlook 2013: Growing confidence in cloud securityHere CISOs and security buffs round up seven security sins that can undermine cloud computing's benefits.Failing to check IDs at the doorThe only secure way to log in to the cloud is through enterprise identity management systems. Though many cloud services permit just about anyone in the organization to sign themselves up, create their own IDs and passwords without registering these with the enterprise, and then connect these credentials to personal email addresses, that does not mean that IT or the business should let it happen."While it is easy to start out this … [Read more...] about 7 deadly sins of cloud computing
While organizations continue to embrace cloud-computing platforms, surveys find organizations are concerned about security and their very ability to manage it in the cloud.It's no secret that organizations are concerned about their ability to secure and to maintain an adequate regulatory compliance posture in their cloud deployments.However, just as concerns around credit card security didn't seem to noticeably stall the adoption of e-commerce on the Web, security hasn't stopped or noticeably even slowed cloud adoption. A recent Forrester ForrSight survey shows that 67 percent of large enterprises are using cloud computing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platforms to support production applications. That's greater than the 61 percent saying they use IaaS for testing and development.Such evidence is mounting that enterprises are no longer using cloud primarily for testing, training, and demonstrations but in crucial production systems. That's why it was interesting to read the recent … [Read more...] about Clouds of anxiety: Companies worry about security of cloud computing
The U.S. government's increasing use of cloud computing services could lead to new data security risks, with agencies compelled to put their trust in vendors' security efforts, several lawmakers and a government IT expert said Thursday.Cloud computing will likely give the U.S. government several benefits, including significantly lower IT costs, but agencies are moving their data to the cloud before the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and supporting agencies have developed a governmentwide security strategy, said Gregory Wilshusen, director of information security issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)."The use of cloud computing can also create numerous information security risks," Wilshusen told the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "These risks generally relate to dependence on the security assurances and practices of a service provider and the sharing of computing resources."IT executives at 22 of 24 major … [Read more...] about Lawmakers Question the Security of Cloud Computing
Is there a next phase for cloud computing? During the past few years, cloud computing has become a mainstream element of modern software solutions just as common as websites or databases. The cloud computing market is a race vastly dominated by four companies: Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM with a few other platforms with traction in specific regional markets such as AliCloud in China. In such a consolidated market, it’s hard to imagine a technology being disruptive enough to alter the existing dynamics.Artificial intelligence (AI) is the type of technology with the potential to not only improve the existing cloud platform incumbents but also power a new generation of cloud computing technologies.The thesis of a new generation of cloud computing platforms might seem ludicrous at first but it also presents a very intriguing argument. As a technology trend, AI has not only created a brand new generation of programming frameworks but also influenced a new generation of hardware … [Read more...] about The AI-First Cloud: Can artificial intelligence power the next generation of cloud computing?
Cloud computing is growing increasingly prevalent, and IT leaders are rapidly learning the ins and outs of negotiating with cloud providers. From determining and enforcing service-level agreements, to planning disaster-recovery scenarios, cloud opens a raft of new challenges. One of the more difficult areas for IT leaders to come to terms with is the legal implications of cloud computing. What if sensitive customer data are stolen from your cloud provider? Who foots the bill if aliens abscond with your provider's servers? Who is liable when the lawsuits start flying?I sat down with Marcus Lee, an attorney at Moore & Van Allen who specializes in IT law. Marcus has recently worked with several large companies to negotiate their contracts with cloud providers, and I asked him what advice he is giving his clients on dealing with some of the legal aspects of cloud computing.Data security and ownershipOne of the critical concerns of cloud computing is data security. While you may think … [Read more...] about The “fine print” of cloud computing
We are living through a wave of cloud computing hype. It seems like there is a new cloud feature or product being launched by big technology companies almost every day - and sometimes concurrently - and the cloud is at the center of all the important tech industry discussions today, from job creation and destruction to the growth and decline of companies. This hype generates a number of false expectations and concerns that may lead companies into making bad decisions about the technology.The simple possibility of helping people avoid bad decisions would be reason enough to look into these "myths" that surround the cloud, but other advantages may also come from this exploration: a better understanding of fundamental concepts that can help in the dialogue between vendors, early adopters and those who are still holding back.For a few years before the 2008 crisis hit the world's economy, being green was even more fashionable for tech companies than being in the cloud is today. Green IT … [Read more...] about The five big myths of cloud computing
The modern Internet is millions of networks containing billions of hosts. The hosts are computers — small personal computers, big enterprise-size computers, and embedded computers. Digital cameras, MP3 players, and car electronics contain computers, but they are not usually hosts on the Internet. With the rise of IPv6, that will change. New devices will be hosts on the Internet. The Internet of Things is coming.I recently spoke to Ron Vetter of the IEEE Computer Society. Here's how he puts it: "The ‘Internet of Things' has to do with the large number of devices (things) that are currently or will be shortly connected to the Internet. The proliferation of smart sensors will greatly increase the number of things connected as well as the kind of information and control that will be available. For example, think about what happens when we connect most of our home appliances, HVAC controls, entertainment devices, etc. to the Internet. The quantity of information will explode, as … [Read more...] about Will the Internet of Things be the end of cloud computing?
Cloud computing can be a godsend for small businesses. You pay someone else to host your computing resources and IT services so you can focus on your business, not spend your time addressing IT issues. The trick is finding the right cloud solution provider.It's like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You want a solution that's just right. You shouldn't have to buy a prix fixe multi-course meal when all you need, want or can afford is an a la carte menu. Cafeteria-style pricing, where a customer can pick and chose and pay accordingly, would be an attractive option.That's the notion that Contegix, a cloud-hosting company , had in mind when it developed its MiraCloud customizable cloud platform. It offers a self-service, cafeteria-style menu of cloud-computing services and features that can be fine-tuned to a business's specific needs. It's particularly suited to the needs of small and seasonal businesses."It's like a built-to-order IT system," Matthew Porter, Contegix co-founder … [Read more...] about Small Businesses Get Taste of Cloud Computing, Cafeteria-Style