October 2013

 

Cisco Checks on the Cloud and Confirms That It’s Getting Bigger

20 Oct 2013, Posted by Rayboy Insider Search in Blog

FGC-arrow_304Ever heard of a zettabyte? I’m going to use that word a few times in this story, so it will probably help if I define it first.

You know its smaller siblings, the gigabyte, the terabyte, and maybe petabyte and exabyte. Your average PC hard drive is usually a terabyte or two, and external hard drives are now hitting six terabytes. Big companies with data centers routinely deal with data at the petabyte level. Earlier this year, Facebook said it was setting up an exabyte-scale cold-storage facility at its data center in Prineville, Ore., intended to hold photos of its members forever.

But a zettabyte is second-to-last of the words we have to quantify data storage. If you think of a terabyte as 1,000 gigabytes, then a zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes. Beyond that is one more word, yottabyte, which would be a quadrillion gigabytes. After that, there are no more words that have yet been agreed upon.

So, here’s why I’m getting into all this: Cisco Systems today put out another one of its big trend surveys meant to blow your mind a bit and start you thinking long-term about the demands being put on your network and data center. It’s called the Global Cloud Index, which it says measures the combination of three types of data in motion: Traffic between real people and data centers, surfing video and websites, and the like; traffic between data centers, using shared resources; and traffic within a data center. (Cisco explains its definition and methodology in agonizing detail here.)

Jive and Okta Team Up in the Cloud

12 Oct 2013, Posted by Rayboy Insider Search in Blog

Jive, the social enterprise and collaboration software company, and Okta, the cloud-based identity management outfit, said today that they’ve formed a strategic alliance to integrate their platforms.Real_Estate_Team

What this means is that if you’re a Jive customer, you can start using Okta’s wide-ranging single-sign-on and identity-management service with it. From there, it’s probably a pretty easy pivot toward using it across all your other cloud and on-premise applications. Groupon was named as an early customer.

By my count, this is the second such strategic integration for Jive. The last I can remember is one announced in April with Box, the fast-growing enterprise file-sharing and collaboration platform.

It’s another step in building what they call the “new cloud stack,” and also an interesting move on the chessboard vis-a-vis other cloud companies, namely Salesforce.com.

Salesforce, the biggest cloud software company by revenue, has been agitating both Jive and Okta. Salesforce has been competing against Jive for some time, positioning its Chatter social collaboration app against Jive and Microsoft-owned Yammer. And, two days ago, Salesforce launched its Identity product, which is clearly aimed at competing with Okta.

google-logo-photoOver its years as an Internet behemoth, Google has learned a lot about fighting hackers who would knock its services off the web. Now it’s offering its muscle to a far more vulnerable set of targets.

On Monday the company announced that it will offer free protection for websites against so-called “distributed denial-of-service” cyberattacks that flood them with junk traffic from hundreds or thousands of computers, taking them offline. The project, which is part of the company’s Google Ideas initiative to take on global problems, has already been working for months with at-risk sites around the world in countries like Iran, Syria, Burma and other places where sites with political content are often subject to attack, and will expand in its initial phase to hundreds of sites.

“We’re able to take the people who face the greatest threats to [distributed denial of service] attacks and get them behind our protection,” says CJ Adams, an associate with Google who announced the Shield project at a company summit in New York. “If they face an attack, it has to get through us first, and after years of working on this we’re pretty good at stopping these attacks.”

Among the beta users of Project Shield are the Persian-language political blog Balatarin, a Syrian website called Aymta that provides early warnings of scud missile launches, and an election monitoring website in Kenya called the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission. Adams said in his talk at the summit that Project Shield had enabled the Kenyan site to stay online through a Kenyan election for the first time in its attack-ridden history.

“The thing that can take many of these sites offline is so small to us. We can absorb it,” says Adams. “That’s made this something we can provide fairly easily…It has a huge impact for them, and we can take the hit.”