13
Apr 17

Arthur Cole – The New Cloud and the Old Data Center

What do your business requirements tell you about your best data center or cloud solution?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s a trite saying but appropriate for today’s cloud infrastructure market, which seems to be evolving along much the same vendor-defined trajectory as the data center before it.

According to new data from Synergy Research Group, the top three vendors duking it out for cloud dominance are … wait for it … Dell EMC, Cisco and HPE. This may come as a surprise to some, considering commodity manufacturers in the APAC region are supposed to be taking over. But according to the company’s research, the new Big Three each hold about 11.5 percent of the market, while an equal share went to multiple ODMs in the Pacific Rim. Microsoft and IBM each held smaller shares, which means that more than a third of the market is divvied up between numerous small to medium-sized vendors.

More of the IT Business Edge post from Arthur Cole


11
Apr 17

Data Center Knowledge – Finding the Sweet Spot for Your Data Center

There’s certainly no shortage of options for expanding data center capacity these days. You can renovate an existing facility or add a modular unit onsite or offsite, build one from scratch, lease data center space, or move non-critical data and applications off your servers and into a cloud … and just about any combination of the above.

Which scenario is right for your company? Whatever makes the most sense for the business, said HPE’s Laura Cunningham during her Data Center World session, “Finding the Sweet Spot for Your Data Center.”

So, it’s imperative to know the future direction and financial preferences of your company before meeting face-to-face with a CIO, CEO or CFO to ask approval for any IT project.

More of the Data Center Knowledge post from Karen Riccio


10
Apr 17

ZDNet – VMware shifts away from public cloud hosting with sale of vCloud Air to OVH

VMware exits the public cloudinfrastructure game as it shifts focus onto hybrid and cross-cloud software.

VMware is selling its infrastructure-as-a-service offering vCloud Air to global hyperscale cloud provider OVH.

VMware launched vCloud Air Network in 2014 with the aim of providing greater flexibility to users of VMware technology. Three years on, its public cloud business is set to be bought by French cloud computing and web hosting company OVH.

In an interview with Fortune, VMware chief executive Pat Gelsinger said the sale will include vCloud operations and sales staff, datacenters, and customers. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, and the buyout is expected to be completed during the second quarter of this year.

More of the ZDNet article from Danny Palmer


06
Apr 17

The Register – Researchers steal data from CPU cache shared by two VMs

A group of researchers say they can extract information from an Amazon Web Services virtual machine by probing the cache of a CPU it shares with other cloudy VMs.

A paper titled Hello from the Other Side: SSH over Robust Cache Covert Channels in the Cloud (PDF) explains the challenges of extracting data from CPU cache, a very contested resource in which the OS, the hypervisor and applications all conduct frequent operations. All that activity makes a lot of noise, defying attempts to create a persistent communications channel.

Until now, as the researchers claim they’ve built “a high-throughput covert channel [that] can sustain transmission rates of more than 45 KBps on Amazon EC2”. They’ve even encrypted it: the technique establishes a TCP network within the cache and transmits data using SSH.

The results sound scarily impressive: a Black Hat Asia session detailing their work promised to peer into a host’s cache and stream video from VM to VM.

The paper explains that this stuff is not entirely new, but has hitherto also not been entirely successful because it’s been assumed that “error-correcting code can be directly applied, and the assumption that noise effectively eliminates covert channels.”

More of The Register article from Simon Sharwood


05
Apr 17

CIO Insight – Despite the Cloud’s Value, Funds Are Often Wasted

On average, the IT pros surveyed said their organization wastes 30% of its cloud spend.

With its days as an emerging technology behind us, the cloud is now firmly established in the fabric of modern companies: Nearly all organizations are investing in the cloud in some way, according to a recent survey report, “State of the Cloud,” from RightScale. The hybrid cloud has emerged as the most preferred option, followed by the public cloud. Regardless of the chosen cloud pathway, companies are reaping the rewards of faster access to infrastructure, greater scalability, higher availability, quicker time to market and more assured business continuity. Challenges linger, however, especially in the form of security concerns and a lack of needed staffing expertise.

More of the CIO Insight slideshow from Dennis McCafferty


15
Mar 17

The Register – It’s time for our annual checkup on the circus that is the Internet Governance Forum

Unaccountable? Check. Pointlessly bureaucratic? Check. Blocking reform? Check

It’s March again so it must be time for an annual checkup on the Internet Governance Forum – the United Nations body that is tasked with working through the complex social, technological and economic issues associated with a global communications network, and runs an annual conference to that end.

Around this time every year, the IGF’s organizing group the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) meets in Geneva to decide how the annual conference will be structured and what topics it will cover, and to set the rules for how sessions and the conference itself will be run.

And we are pleased to announce for another year, the IGF remains a circus, an unaccountable and pointlessly bureaucratic organization that goes to great lengths to pretend it is open to everyone’s input and even greater lengths to make sure it isn’t.

At the two-day meeting, the IGF’s three core issues again took pride of place at the event:

  • Fantasy of democratic representation
  • Opaque decision-making and finances
  • Bureaucratic blocking of any efforts at reform

Let’s take a look at each:

More of The Register article from Kieren McCarthy


28
Feb 17

TheWHIR – 3 Steps to Ensure Cloud Stability in 2017

We’re reaching a point of maturity when it comes to cloud computing. Organizations are solidifying their cloud use-cases, understanding how cloud impacts their business, and are building entire IT models around the capabilities of cloud.

Cloud growth will only continue; Gartner recently said that more than $1 trillion in IT spending will, directly or indirectly, be affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years.

“Cloud-first strategies are the foundation for staying relevant in a fast-paced world,” said Ed Anderson, research vice president at Gartner. “The market for cloud services has grown to such an extent that it is now a notable percentage of total IT spending, helping to create a new generation of start-ups and ‘born in the cloud’ providers.”

More of TheWHIR post from Bill Kleyman


16
Feb 17

Continuity Central – Report looks at the prevalence of business-critical custom applications

At the 8th Annual Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Summit at RSA in San Francisco, Skyhigh Networks unveiled its ‘Custom Applications and IaaS Report 2017’ report.

Conducted in partnership with the CSA, the report is based on a broad survey of software development, IT administration, IT security, operations and devops professionals across the Americas, EMEA and Asa Pacific, involved in developing, deploying and securing custom applications. While respondents forecast rapid IaaS adoption, they at the same time expressed numerous unresolved concerns about the security and compliance of their custom applications in IaaS platforms.

“Custom applications are a core part of how our business operates, and moving these to the cloud provide IT an opportunity to ‘start fresh’ with the right visibility, controls and overall security, without getting in the way of business operations,” said Stephen Ward, CISO, TIAA. “Meeting our security requirements for our applications, as well as our IaaS environment, is absolutely critical to accomplishing our business goals for cloud and overall software programs.”

Some of the key findings from the survey include:

Every company is a software company. Every company has developers writing custom code to improve engagement with employees, partners and customers.

More of the Continuity Central post


10
Feb 17

SearchCloudComputing – For enterprises, multicloud strategy remains a siloed approach

Although not mentioned in this article, enterprise cloud providers like Expedient are often a key player in the multicloud mix. Enterprise clouds deliver VMware or HyperV environments that require little or no retraining for the infrastructure staff.

Enterprises need a multicloud strategy to juggle AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform, but the long-held promise of portability remains more dream than reality.

Most enterprises utilize more than one of the hyperscale cloud providers, but “multicloud” remains a partitioned approach for corporate IT.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to dominate the public cloud infrastructure market it essentially created a decade ago, but other platforms, especially Microsoft Azure, gained a foothold inside enterprises, too. As a result, companies must balance management of the disparate environments with questions of how deep to go on a single platform, all while the notion of connectivity of resources across clouds remains more theoretical than practical.

Similar to hybrid cloud before it, multicloud has an amorphous definition among IT pros as various stakeholders glom on to the latest buzzword to position themselves as relevant players. It has come to encompass everything from the use of multiple infrastructure as a service (IaaS) clouds, both public and private, to public IaaS alongside platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).

More of the SearchCloudComputing article


09
Feb 17

CIO Insight – Deep Insecurities: Things Just Keep Getting Worse

Ninety-three percent of companies’ security operation centers admit they’re not keeping up with the volume of threat alerts and incidents, putting them at risk.

Cyber-threats
Despite a growing focus on cyber-security—along with gobs of money and staff time thrown at the task—things just seem to get worse. According to a December 2016 report from McAfee Labs, 93 percent of organizations’ security operation centers admit that they are not keeping up with the volume of threat alerts and incidents, putting them at significant risk of moderate to severe breaches.

Altogether, 67 percent of the survey respondents (more than 400 security practitioners spanning multiple countries, industries and company sizes) reported an increase in security breaches. Yet, on average, organizations are unable to sufficiently investigate 25 percent of security alerts.

More of the CIO Insight article from Samuel Greengard