Enterprise IT Watch Blog

October 27, 2010  8:56 AM

Amazon Web Services serves up a free lunch come November 1st

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

Starting November 1st, Amazon will grant all new customers one year of running an EC2 instance for free. They’ve got some side dishes too: You can leverage that free usage tier across Amazon S3, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, and AWS data transfer. The sky’s the limit: launch new apps, see how your current apps stand up in the cloud, or sort out all of the hype surrounding AWS firsthand.

But what’s their angle? Continued »

October 25, 2010  1:29 PM

Despite Interop hype, cloud heads to trough of disillusionment

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

Image Source: Gartner, Inc.

Despite IT’s general disinterest in all things cloud, conferences such as last week’s Interop NY dedicated the majority of their sessions to the subject: 40 of over 100 sessions and expo floor presentations centered around the cloud. But according to Gartner Inc.’s 2010 Hype Cycle Report, released earlier this month, IT professionals everywhere can finally exhale. Continued »

October 22, 2010  1:59 PM

Automation and the Four Phases of Data Center Virtualization

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

You’re not going to wake up one morning and discover you’re in the private cloud. Just as there required planning to create your current infrastructure, there are certain steps you need to take before changing it. This year at Interop New York, the focus on the private cloud starts first with virtualization, and the key to getting the most out of virtualization is automation.

This method of managing provisioning and configuration involves codifying something that you’re currently doing manually. This will require different tools and levels of management as your infrastructure evolves. Continued »

October 22, 2010  9:26 AM

How Amazon Web Services protects your data

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

It’s true that the number of data breaches are decreasing. But as CEO of CyberRiskPartners Drew Bartkiewicz pointed out, the number of records compromised per breach is increasing. This observation seems to be the contributing factor to what Infosecurity refers to as a product of our economy shifting to more information-based:

Theft of information assets was reported by 27.3% of companies over the past 12 months, up from 18% in 2009. In contrast, reported incidences of theft of physical assets or stock declined slightly from 28% in 2009 to 27.2% in 2010, according to the survey [from the Kroll Annual Global Fraud Report].

So with all of these numbers scaring the enterprise into holding tighter to their users’ information than ever before, is it actually the cloud’s fault? Continued »

October 21, 2010  10:33 AM

Data protection and the cloud, huh!?

Kevin Beaver Kevin Beaver Profile: Kevin Beaver

I just received an email from CREDANT Technologies – the data protection company specializing in encryption and related endpoint security solutions – requesting my participation in their “cloud” survey. When I saw this I thought, huh!, what does the cloud have to do with what they do??

Apparently there’s something in the cloud for them. I actually followed up with CREDANT and found out that they’re looking to get a quantitative view of the market and see how they can help their customers who are asking more and more about the cloud. Very interesting.

I suppose what we’re seeing is the metamorphosis of traditional network environments inside our own four walls to ones that are spread across data centers throughout the world…even for endpoint protection. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around what the intent is and how everything will end up 10-15 years from now.

Call it simple curiosity, vendors trying to jump on the bandwagon or whatever apparently this cloud thing is reaching further and further into enterprise. Certainly worth keeping our eyes on it. Not that I buy into managed services, I mean application service providers, I mean software as a service, I mean the cloud. Whew – sometimes it really does make me tired.

Kevin Beaver is an independent information security consultant, expert witness, author, and professional speaker with Atlanta-based Principle Logic, LLC and a contributor to the IT Watch Blog. You can reach Kevin through his website at www.principlelogic.com and follow him on Twitter at @kevinbeaver.

October 21, 2010  8:00 AM

The Interop user revolt against cloudy clouds: More solutions, less pixie dust!

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

I made the trek to Interop New York yesterday morning, and jumped right into my first breakout session: Measuring Cloud Performance. I know what you’re thinking: More marketing mumbo jumbo on the buzz word that’s lost all meaning. And there were definitely moments of that, especially with a VP of product marketing on the panel, but during the predominantly question-and-answer forum, there were also moments of frustration and frank discussion on the state of the cloud computing industry.

The Panel

Moderated by Hooman Beheshti, a VP at Strangeloop, the discussion was led by panelists David Link, CEO of ScienceLogic; Randy Bias, CEO of Cloudscaling; Jason Read, founder of CloudHarmony; Russell Rothstein, VP of Product Marketing for OpTier; and Alex Polvi, CEO of CloudKick.

The Hard-Hitting Cloud Questions: What is Cloud Performance?

Beheshti began the conversation with what seems to be the standard jumping off point for any discussion concerning cloud: What the heck is it? The panelists gave a few answers: The difference of app performance when moving to a multi-tenant environment. Paying attention to the performance changes that happen based on shared resources and oversubscription. Understanding the latency that happens between the business and the cloud and the cloud and the customer.

Continued »

October 19, 2010  8:18 AM

Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie leaves Microsoft: Is Azure another victim of Clippy?

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect, would be leaving the company, making him the latest in a line of visionaries to leave the Redmond campus. What is startling to so many isn’t that Ozzie’s going – his daring, cloud-first strategies runs counter to every prevailing stereotype about Microsoft – but that it seems Microsoft’s still betting big on its legacy business, which many have assumed would begin to whither sooner rather than later.

In other words, Microsoft is still placing many of its bets on the traditional Windows/Office powerhouse rather than on the Ozzie-led cloud Azure architecture, which has, as the New York Times’ Ashlee Vance points out, run into stumbling block after stumbling block:

Microsoft’s cloud story has been mixed under Mr. Ozzie’s leadership. The company has a number of huge services like Hotmail and Xbox Live and online versions of its corporate e-mail and collaboration software. But it took Microsoft years to build the Azure platform that stands as its highest profile cloud play, allowing companies like Amazon.com and Salesforce.com to strengthen their positions in the market.

But can you really blame Ozzie? Barbara Darrow saw the writing on the wall months ago, when she outlined coming fractures between Ozzie and the teams he was, in theory, supposed to lead but which he had little to no direct control over:

You’ve got to wonder how Ray Ozzie, the chief strategist brought in to forge Microsoft’s cloud thinking, can prosper in this environment where a half dozen company presidents report into the CEO, Steve Ballmer, but not to him.

And you’ve got to wonder if long-simmering rumors of discord between Ozzie and Sinofsky, mean trouble for Azure ahead. After all, if a mere tablet threatened Office, think what true cloud computing means to Microsoft’s ginormous on-premises operating systems and apps business.

So what’s Microsoft’s cloud strategy now? Do they even need one to make you, as a Microsoft corporate customer, happy? Let me know in the comments or directly via e-mail, listed below.

Michael Morisy is the editorial director for ITKnowledgeExchange. He can be followed on Twitter or you can reach him at Michael@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

October 18, 2010  7:53 AM

Will I see you at Interop New York 2010?

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

I just filled out my profile over at MyInterop and set up my tentative Interop schedule. Here are some of the sessions I’m excited about:

Wednesday, October 20th

Democratization of IT (Time permitting)

If I get into New York in time, I’d love attend Founder of Bitcurrent Alistair Croll’s talk on how cloud computing is changing the face of IT.

Measuring Cloud Performance

One of our favorite cloud computing tweeters, Randy Bias, is a panelist (alongside David Link, Jason Read, Russell Rothstein and Alex Polvi) on Measuring Cloud Performance. Hopefully they’ll dig into specific guidelines for enterprises moving into the cloud.

Is Cloud Security Risk Overstated?

Moderated by CEO of CyberRiskPartners, Drew Bartkiewicz, this panel discussion explores the other side of the cloud security debate. Does migrating to the cloud present any bigger threats than those posed from the inside of the enterprise?

Deploying Your First Amazon Application

CTO of Syntenic, Daniel Koffler will give us a walk-through of deploying first-time apps atop Amazon Web Services.

Thursday, October 21st

Building a Private Cloud in Today’s Data Center with Today’s Infrastructure

Ryan Shopp from CA Technologies is going to debunk the myths about heavy lifting involved in deploying the private cloud. From best practices, the private cloud’s benefits to fashioning one with new processes and automation, Shopp has a full agenda.

Using Clouds to Modernize the Enterprise

CSO at GCE, David Lucas, plans to share GCE’s government agency-wide overhaul of the Department of Labor’s financial system earlier this year and the resulting best-practices for the transition to, adoption and implementation of cloud-based systems that can utilized across the enterprise.

Connecting Private and Public Clouds

David Warm, CTO of Financial Services at Platform Computing, will bridge the gap between private and public clouds so the enterprise can improve elasticity, disaster recovery and cost efficiency.

What are some sessions you’re planning on attending? Any recommendations for can’t-miss panels?

Can’t Attend?

Let us know what you want to see from Interop New York, and we’ll go in your stead!

Let’s Meet Up!

If you’re planning on attending, send me an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com to meet up and have a chat. Follow my tweets @ITKE for videos, photos and opportunities to meet up and get some great ITKnowledgeExchange schwag.

Melanie Yarbrough is the assistant community editor at ITKnowledgeExchange.com. Follow her on Twitter or send her an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

October 13, 2010  9:53 AM

Bird-watching in the Cloud: SaaS & Cloud Twitter Pros

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

The cloud is shrouded in enough mystery, here are some pros and experts to help you navigate through the fog. Have some of your own to share? Send them over, and I’ll add them to our list!

@eekygeeky: A fellow TechTarget-er, Carl Brooks is a powerhouse of knowledge over at SearchCloudComputing.com.

@jamesurquhart: He authors the blog The Wisdom of Clouds over at CNET, and he’s always down for an enlightening conversation on the cloud. Check out his feed to eavesdrop on some great conversations between him and his followers.

@Beaker: Christopher Hoff is the Director of Cloud & Virtualization Solutions of the Security Technology Business Unit (take a breath) at Cisco, but this feed is his own personal soundstage. He also writes a great blog over at Rational Survivability.

@Clouderati: From one of Clouderati’s recent tweets: “FYI clouderati is not a never ending list of anyone who’s ever tweeted about cloud.” Get an up-to-date picture of who’s active in the cloud, where you can get answers, solutions and insight.

@cloudpundit: Lydia Leong is a Gartner analyst on Internet infrastructure. Contact her through Twitter, you never know what you’ll learn in 140 characters!

@randybias: CEO of Cloudscaling, Randy is all over the latest in cloud and SaaS in an engaging and conversational way.

@wattersjames: He’s a “passionate cloud practitioner” and writer. He’s in the Bay Area, so check him out for local cloud meetups.

@kloudlabs: Described as “an online resource and educational lab…an initiative to spread awareness about cloud computing and SaaS world,” KloudLabs is all cloud all the time.

@jhodge88: He’s an IBM Cloud Network Manager, and he’s got your updates on what IBM’s doing in the cloud.

@cloudysaas: It’s like having your own personal cloud and SaaS newsfeed.

@workinthecloud: A great compilation feed for quick news bits involving the cloud and SaaS.

@_StuartLynn: He works for Sage UK, but this is his personal feed on the cloud and SaaS.

When in doubt, make (Twitter) lists.

Discover more cloud front-runners by finding out who the pros are listening to(after the jump): Continued »

October 13, 2010  9:37 AM

Should you also prepare for customer no-service with cloud computing?

Kevin Beaver Kevin Beaver Profile: Kevin Beaver

It’s been exactly a year since I went on a rant about my experience with cloud computing and customer no-service. Here was a follow-up story I wrote as well: Email business continuity – this is funny…and ironic

So I was thinking about how things have changed since then. Well, I can say that I haven’t had any big issues with cloud providers and customer no-service lately. I am just a one-man shop so my setup isn’t all that complicated.

In the end, for me and my email continuity woes, things turned out OK. I moved on to Google’s Postini. Ironically, after a few months, THEY started dropping random emails of mine – for no apparent reason. I used my power of choice in the free market and have since moved on to a managed Barracuda solution and it’s working great. My fingers are crossed! Wish me luck.

My point is: imagine the trouble something like this would cause in a larger corporation, non-profit, or government agency. Folks, think long and hard about this kind of stuff (the rest of the story) before jumping on the cloud computing bandwagon. Once things are out of your control in the cloud, it’s a different story altogether.

Kevin Beaver is an independent information security consultant, expert witness, author, and professional speaker with Atlanta-based Principle Logic, LLC and a contributor to the IT Watch Blog. You can reach Kevin through his website at www.principlelogic.com and follow him on Twitter at @kevinbeaver.

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