December 2013


2014 Looks Bright for Cloud Services

27 Dec 2013, Posted by admin in Blog

white-cloudsDespite recent revelations regarding the NSA’s extensive surveillance of email messages, Internet traffic and mobile communications, no one expects people or businesses to discard these essential habits and tools. In fact, I believe cloud-based alternatives to traditional, on-premise software and systems will continue to expand in 2014, as providers offer more deployment choices.

The skepticism surrounding the “cloud” terminology among some IT and corporate decision-makers is increasingly being converted into measurable business benefits by organizations that have adopted Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service solutions.

As a result, fewer corporate executives are wondering what the cloud is or why they should consider cloud-based services. Instead, they are now examining where, when and how they should take advantage of these on-demand alternatives.

The Thinning Of The Datacenter

25 Dec 2013, Posted by admin in Blog

Microsoft-datacenterOn the eve of the millennium, a shot was fired that barely registered inside the walls of datacenters. Launched in 1999, would go from being yet another dotcom to reshaping the way businesses buy and deploy software. Its “no software” campaign really meant no software running in your datacenter.

It pushed CRM software out of the datacenter and into the cloud. In its wake, a new category would emerge. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) quickly spread way beyond CRM to assimilate other software packages, leaving behind a graveyard of once-mighty software empires. Siebel who? But plenty of big iron remained in place, unruffled by the limited power available to software that runs too far away from the datacenter, where most data still lives. In the end, SaaS has only managed to capture a sliver of the data necessary to run most businesses.

intel-white-box-bladeA new report from research firm Dell’Oro Group on the server market shows that demand for white-box servers is growing, driven by cloud and service providers, and as servers and networks converge.

Global server shipments reached 2.47 million units in the three months ending Sept. 30, a 3% increase from the third quarter of 2012, but revenue slipped by 3% to $12.5 billion, Dell’Oro reported.

Notably, one of the growth areas in the server market is of white-box servers that companies manufacture without bearing a brand name like Dell or HP.

Together, white-box manufacturers added up to about 10% of the market in the third quarter, based on shipments, said Sameh Boujelbene, a senior analyst at Dell’Oro. She believes that white-box sales are coming at the expense of the more established brands and that the competition put downward pressure on average selling prices.

According to Boujelbene, white-box server vendors’ ability to supply “customized servers at compelling prices” gave them a competitive advantage in the cloud and service provider markets. Even though overall server shipment growth is slowing down, Dell’Oro expects server shipments to cloud and service providers to reach 50% by 2017.

Traffic_lightGigamon announced new applications and features that are designed to improve traffic visibility for enterprises and service providers. However, a networking expert predicts many of the capabilities are likely to become integrated into software-defined networking products.

Huy Nguyen, Gigamon’s senior director of product management, said the company’s focus is on providing fabric-wide, integrated software applications that send the right data to the right tools so enterprises can optimize their tools infrastructure, including network and application performance monitoring. He said these tools must keep with the volume, speed and variety of data that is being driven by virtualization, SDN, cloud and the adoption of 100Gb, without adding more overhead.

Box Has Been Thinking Outside of the Cloud

18 Dec 2013, Posted by admin in Blog

blog_image_enterprise-securityMany people think of Box as a cloud company. But really, it’s a collaboration company, says Vikrant Karnik, senior vice president of enterprise cloud consulting services for systems integrator Capgemini, a newly minted Box partner.

Box has been a poster child for the cloud computing movement, along with companies such as DropBox, and Amazon Web Services. And it’s been on a roll recently: This winter it secured a $100 million funding round to bring its total fundraising to more than $400 million. It’s expanding globally and rumored to be looking toward an IPO.

untitled23Hosting services giant enters cloud sector, aims to differentiate itself from competitors with high-speed, performance-guaranteed block storage.

Internap Network Services moved into the public cloud realm in November with its AgileCloud, and it is now offering compute and storage services from its data centers located in key worldwide communications hubs.

Internap is known as large supplier of hosting services from its datacenters; it is responsible for the infrastructure, and its customers supply an application to run on it. Its services include both virtual servers and bare-metal servers dedicated to a single customer. It’s been edging up to cloud services since it bought Voxel, with its automated management software, in late 2011.

On Nov. 21, it announced it now offers “hybridized cloud services.” In its lexicon, this means it is offering customer self-service for infrastructure-as-a-service that could include multitenant hosts or bare-metal servers. Either option could be activated by customers through the OpenStack set of cloud APIs. If a customer uses Internap to build out a private cloud on bare-metal servers, it could operate with multitenant servers in a hybrid fashion. “Hybrid cloud” usually means a public cloud service working with a private cloud, often built in an enterprise datacenter.

Internap charges $0.07 an hour for a single-core, 2-GB RAM virtual server.

imagesDistributed denial-of-service attacks against financial firms and other industries have been mounting, so today the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) announced it is establishing the Anti-Bot Working Group to help fight this threat.

The CSA, the organization formed to set standards for best practices and security in cloud-based services, has set up the Anti-Bot Working Group because crippling DDoS attacks launched against business web sites and networks often originate within hosting facilities that have been compromised. It happens when attackers remotely take over the hosting provider’s servers in order to direct streams of destructive traffic at a target.

Shelbi Rombout, senior vice president and partnership executive for cybersecurity at US Bank, is chairing the CSA’s Anti-Bot Working Group, and she describes it as an effort to raise awareness about the problem and push for ways to prevent attacks from occurring through cloud-based facilities.

“Ten thousand servers can generate (a large) amount of traffic,” said Rombout, explaining how the compromise of a hosting facility’s customers’ computers can be exploited by attackers to generate hundreds of megabytes of attack traffic. Botnets of server-based attack traffic end up being much more intense than the botnet-based attacks from compromised desktops.