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Category Archives: Cloud Computing
Posted: August 6, 2017 at 3:41 am
Ransomware attacks take two forms, according to Kaspersky Lab’s Emm. One form is extortion, where data is encrypted until the victim pays to get it back, and the other is targeted attacks focused on damaging data, such as the “ExPetya” attack.
“It wasn’t possible to get the data back, so clearly this was an attack designed to eradicate data rather than to try and squeeze money out of victims,” he said.
It is dangerous to pay the ransom as victims are unlikely to get the data back anyway, Emm says. The key to dealing with ransomware is limiting exposure and mitigating the risk. For instance, limiting data access rights within an organization reduces exposure. Segmenting the network and having a back-up of data will also achieve these aims.
Emm recommends the “No More Ransom” collaboration between Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, the Netherlands’ National High Tech Crime Unit and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, which helps ransomware victims to retrieve encrypted data. He says they have been able to decrypt data in around 30 percent of cases and helped around 29,000 people.
Cloud computing is still at risk from cyberattacks, warns Emm. While the cloud provides a good back-up of data, there’s a risk depending on when the cloud synchronizes with data affected by ransomware; if it synchronizes at the wrong time, the encrypted data could overwrite the clean data in the cloud.
“I’m not saying don’t use that as a storage medium. I would say maybe have different approaches. But definitely include in that mix a back-up to a physical storage device, such as a USB or a server somewhere, but bear in mind that any ransomware on a system could look around at what drives are connected and encrypt data there too,” he says.
Posted: at 3:41 am
Cloud computing is well established now and everybody knows everything they need to know about it, right?
If that’s not ringing true to you, this list should help. Here are five books on cloud computing that IT leaders should read:
1. Architecting the Cloud: Design Decisions for Cloud Computing Service Models by Michael J. Kavis
If you’re confused by all the service models, this book gives you an in-depth look at the fundamentals of cloud computing to help you figure out which services may be right for you.
SEE: Special report: The art of the hybrid cloud (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
2. Why Buy the Cow? How the On-Demand Revolution Powers the New Knowledge Economy by Subrah S. Iyar with Cindy Gordon
Even at 10 years old, this book by the founders of WebEX can help you overcome your own or co-workers objections to buying over building your own.
3. Cloud Computing: From Beginning to End by Ray J. Rafaels
This books gives an overview of not only technical but the business aspects of cloud computing, with case studies to help you prepare for your own migration.
4. Business in the Cloud: What Every Business Needs to Know About Cloud Computing by Michael H. Hugos and Derek Hulitzky
How does your business strategy change once you’re in the cloud? This book covers that, as well as broader implications on things like organizational structure.
5. Cloud Computing: Concepts, Technology and Architecture by Thomas Erl, Zaigham Mahmood, and Ricardo Puttini.
What tools do you need to run things in the cloud? You’ll get some specific advice in this one.
Now you can get your head out of the clouds, and put your data and computing there instead!
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Posted: at 3:41 am
Custom cloud computing appliances can be accessed from most devices. (Image courtesy of PBS Works.)
Users can mix and match resources to configure their HPC
Engineers can configure and manage cloud resources using PBScloud.io. (Image courtesy of PBS Works.)
You can try PBScloud.io for free at this link, or learn more about the solution on the PBS Works website.
Engineers can connect engineering analysis with system models by adding the ModelCenter tool from the HyperWorks simulation platform. Users can create and automate a multitool workflow within the framework of ModelCenter to integrate analysis performed using different platforms and using tools from multiple vendors. Users can select the optimal analysis or simulation tool from preferred vendors and interconnect the input and output data to form a single unified workflow.
Engineers can customize workflows with ModelCenter. (Image courtesy of Altair.)
Engineers can connect the engineering analysis to the systems model using the ModelCenter MBSEPak. With this model-based systems engineering (MBSE) approach, users can combine preprocessing, solving, post-processing, visualization and reporting tools from various sources to enable multidisciplinary analysis, validation and simulation.
Users can integrate their preferred tools from nearly any software application into the ModelCenter workflow. For example, user-generated tools, legacy FORTRAN programs, C++ applications, spreadsheets, mathematical models, databases, models from CAD tools, CAE models, and others can be combined into the workflow. Users can then optimize the workflow to use HPC resources, iterate part or all of the workflow with different data, and manage the results. Engineers can very quickly explore and optimize performance, cost, reliability and risk for a number of different design alternatives using this approach.
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Posted: at 3:41 am
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ –MissionOG announced today the successful exit of Cloudamize, a leader in cloud computing analytics, following the completion of an acquisition by Cloudreach, a leading global cloud enabler for enterprises. Together the companies provide best-in-class software and services for the migration and management of cloud infrastructure.
Cloudamize is a leading technology platform that can automate in-depth cloud infrastructure data collection and analytics.The solution collects billions of data points, analyzes them, and presents the findings in a simple way so that customers can make data-driven decisions.
The growth and successful acquisition of Cloudamize validates a MissionOG investment thesis that enterprises will accelerate the migration of applications and storage from data centers to public cloud, and will also require detailed analytics to efficiently manage the cloud lifecycle.
“The founders, Khushboo and Stephan, and the Cloudamize team have consistently innovated their platform based on market needs and delivered high value to their enterprise clients,” noted George Krautzel, managing partner of MissionOG. “By providing an easy means to understand complex infrastructure data, they have simplified the migration process and helped enterprises start to realize the potential of the cloud.”
“We greatly valued the investment and strategic guidance from George and the MissionOG team,” said Bob Moul, CEO of Cloudamize. “MissionOG’s operational support and strong network made them an ideal investment partner.” MissionOG led several investment rounds for the company. The proceeds from the exit represented a 52% IRR.Krautzel served on the board of directors along with MissionOG advisor Jonathan Palmer.
According to Gartner, spending on Infrastructure-as-a-Service will expand from $24 billion in 2016 to $75 billion in 2020.Cloudreach and Cloudamize are respective leaders in accelerating this growth in adoption.
MissionOG has invested in 15 companies since its founding in 2012.The firm invests in technology and software-related B2B businesses with a specific focus on financial services, payments, SaaS, and data platforms.
AboutCloudamize Cloudamize is a cloud computing analytics platform that provides data analysis and recommendations to speed and simplify cloud migration and cost management. Our platform helps you choose your best-fit cloud vendor; automates application discovery and dependency mapping to design a precise migration plan; analyzes your performance metrics and usage patterns on an ongoing basis to ensure your cloud is always right-sized; and provides clear visibility into cloud costs for better control. Armed with these insights, you can more quickly make accurate cloud decisions, achieve cost-performance optimization, and maximize the value of your cloud investments. Cloudamize is proudly located in Philadelphia. For more information, please visithttps://www.cloudamize.com.
About MissionOG MissionOG provides capital to early and growth stage B2B technology companies. We apply our experience and capabilities to a group of highly skilled and passionate entrepreneurs whose businesses are on the cusp of exponential growth. Headquartered in Philadelphia, MissionOG is managed by entrepreneurial operators who have effectively built early to growth stage businesses and guided them through successful acquisitions. For more information visithttp://www.missionog.com.
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Posted: July 14, 2017 at 5:44 am
Google announces London cloud computing data centre – BBC News
Google has revealed it has built a London data centre for the cloud computing services it rents to third parties. The facility is its second in Europe, after Brussels, …
Google Cloud Sets Up Shop In London
Google moves to Europe for its cloud computing after establishing itself in US and Asia
Google opens first London cloud data centre as competition with Amazon and Microsoft heats up
Posted: at 5:44 am
The cloud in cloud computing originated from the habit of drawing the internet as a fluffy cloud in network diagrams. No wonder the most popular meaning of cloud computing refers to running workloads over the internet remotely in a commercial providers data centerthe so-called public cloud model. AWS (Amazon Web Services), Salesforces CRM system, and Google Cloud Platform all exemplify this popular notion of cloud computing.
But theres another, more precise meaning of cloud computing: the virtualization and central management of data center resources as software-defined pools. This technical definition of cloud computing describes how public cloud service providers run their operations. The key advantage is agility: the ability to apply abstracted compute, storage, and network resources to workloads as needed and tap into an abundance of pre-built services.
From a customer perspective, the public cloud offers a way to gain new capabilities on demand without investing in new hardware or software. Instead, customers pay their cloud provider a subscription fee or pay for only the resources they use. Simply by filling in web forms, users can set up accounts and spin up virtual machines or provision new applications. More users or computing resources can be added on the flythe latter in real time as workloads demand those resources thanks to a feature known as auto-scaling.
The array of available cloud computing services is vast, but most fall into one of the following categories:
This type of public cloud computing delivers applications over the internet through the browser. The most popular SaaS applications for business can be found in Googles G Suite and Microsofts Office 365; among enterprise applications, Salesforce leads the pack. But virtually all enterprise applications, including ERP suites from Oracle and SAP, have adopted the SaaS model. Typically, SaaS applications offer extensive configuration options as well as development environments that enable customers to code their own modifications and additions.
At a basic level, IaaS public cloud providers offer storage and compute services on a pay-per-use basis. But the full array of services offered by all major public cloud providers is staggering: highly scalable databases, virtual private networks, big data analytics, developer tools, machine learning, application monitoring, and so on. Amazon Web Services was the first IaaS provider and remains the leader, followed by Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Cloud.
PaaS provides sets of services and workflows that specifically target developers, who can use shared tools, processes, and APIs to accelerate the development, test, and deployment of applications. Salesforces Heroku and Force.com are popular public cloud PaaS offerings; Pivotals Cloud Foundry and Red Hats OpenShift can be deployed on premises or accessed through the major public clouds. For enterprises, PaaS can ensure that developers have ready access to resources, follow certain processes, and use only a specific array of services, while operators maintain the underlying infrastructure.
Note that a variety of PaaS tailored for developers of mobile applications generally goes by the name of MBaaS (mobile back end as a service), or sometimes just BaaS (back end as a service).
FaaS, the cloud instantiation of serverless computing, adds another layer of abstraction to PaaS, so that developers are completely insulated from everything in the stack below their code. Instead of futzing with virtual servers, containers, and application runtimes, they upload narrowly functional blocks of code, and set them to be triggered by a certain event (e.g. a form submission or uploaded file). All the major clouds offer FaaS on top of IaaS: AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and IBM OpenWhisk. A special benefit of FaaS applications is that they consume no IaaS resources until an event occurs, reducing pay-per-use fees.
The private cloud downsizes the technologies used to run IaaS public clouds into software that can be deployed and operated in a customers data center. As with a public cloud, internal customers can provision their own virtual resources in order to build, test, and run applications, with metering to charge back departments for resource consumption. For administrators, the private cloud amounts to the ultimate in data center automation, minimizing manual provisioning and management. VMwares Software Defined Data Center stack is the most popular commercial private cloud software, while OpenStack is the open source leader.
A hybrid cloud is the integration of a private cloud with a public cloud. At its most developed, the hybrid cloud involves creating parallel environments in which applications can move easily between private and public clouds. In other instances, databases may stay in the customer data center and integrate with public cloud applicationsor virtualized data center workloads may be replicated to the cloud during times of peak demand. The types of integrations between private and public cloud vary widely, but they must be extensive to earn a hybrid clouddesignation.
Just as SaaS delivers applications to users over the internet, public APIs offer developers application functionality that can be accessed programmatically. For example, in building web applications, developers often tap into Google Maps API to provide driving directions; to integrate with social media, developers may call upon APIs maintained by Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Twilio has built a successful business dedicated to delivering telephony and messaging services via public APIs. Ultimately, any business can provision its own public APIs to enable customers to consume data or access application functionality.
Data integration is a key issue for any sizeable company, but particularly for those that adopt SaaS at scale. iPaaS providers typically offer prebuilt connectors for sharing data among popular SaaS applications and on-premises enterprise applications, though providers may focus more or less on B-to-B and ecommerce integrations, cloud integrations, or traditional SOA-style integrations. iPaaS offerings in the cloud from such providers as Dell Boomi, Informatica, MuleSoft, and SnapLogic also enable users to implement data mapping, transformations, and workflows as part of the integration-building process.
The most difficult security issue related to cloud computing is the management of user identity and its associated rights and permissions across private data centers and pubic cloud sites. IDaaS providers maintain cloud-based user profiles that authenticate users and enable access to resources or applications based on security policies, user groups, and individual privileges. The ability to integrate with various directory services (Active Directory, LDAP, etc.) and provide is essential. Okta is the clear leader in cloud-based IDaaS; CA, Centrify, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Ping provide both on-premises and cloud solutions.
Collaboration solutions such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and HipChat have become vital messaging platforms that enable groups to communicate and work together effectively. Basically, these solutions are relatively simple SaaS applications that support chat-style messaging along with file sharing and audio or video communication. Most offer APIs to facilitate integrations with other systems and enable third-party developers to create and share add-ins that augment functionality.
Key players in such industries as financial services, healthcare, retail, life sciences, and manufacturing provide PaaS clouds to enable customers to build vertical applications that tap into industry-specific, API-accessible services. Vertical clouds can dramatically reduce the time to market for vertical applications and accelerate domain-specific B-to-B integrations. Most vertical clouds are built with the intent of nurturing partner ecosystems.
The clouds main appeal is to reduce the time to market of applications that need to scale dynamically. Increasingly, however, developers are drawn to the cloud by the abundance of advanced new services that can be incorporated into applications, from machine learning to internet-of-things connectivity.
Although businesses sometimes migrate legacy applications to the cloud to reduce data center resource requirements, the real benefits accrue to new applications that take advantage of cloud services and cloud native attributes. The latter include microservices architecture, Linux containers to enhance application portability, and container management solutions such as Kubernetes that orchestrate container-based services. Cloud-native approaches and solutions can be part of either public or private clouds and help enable highly efficient devops-style workflows.
Objections to the public cloud generally begin with cloud security, although the major public clouds have proven themselves much less susceptible to attack than the average enterprise data center. Of greater concern is the integration of security policy and identity management between customers and public cloud providers. In addition, government regulation may forbid customers from allowing sensitive data off premises. Other concerns include the risk of outages and the long-term operational costs of public cloud services.
Yet cloud computing, public or private, has become the platform of choice for large applications, particularly customer-facing ones that need to change frequently or scale dynamically. More significantly, the major public clouds now lead the way in enterprise technology development, debuting new advances before they appear anywhere else. Workload by workload, enterprises are opting for the cloud, where an endless parade of exciting new technologies invite innovative use.
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Posted: at 5:44 am
Spotinst, a service that helps businesses optimize their cloud utilization and reduce their cloud computing cost through the use of Amazons EC2 spot instances, today announced that it has raised a $15 million Series A round led by Intel Capital, with participation from Vertex Ventures and Springtime Ventures. This brings Spotinsts funding to date to $17 million.
The original idea behind Spotinst is pretty straightforward. Running workloads on spot instanceson AWS and Azures low-priority VMs (which are a bit different in concept but also allow you to gain cheap access to Azures excess compute capacity) is significantly cheaper than renting a traditional virtual machine but with the disadvantage that Amazon may shut them down at any time. Spotinst aims to overcome this issue with its Elastigrouptechnology, which blends on-demand, reserved and spot-instances to create a cluster thats always available, even if it mostly relies on spot instances. The service is cloud agnostic, but the companys focus still seems to be mostly on AWS.
Spotinst doesnt solely focus on spot instances, though. It also helps AWS users better utilize their reserved and on-demand instances. Too often, after all, companies waste quite a bit of money by not fully utilizing the compute performance they have already paid for.
Spotinst says that its business grew 30 percent month-over-month in the last year and that it now manages hundreds of millions of computing hours for its customers.
When we floated the idea of virtual cloud infrastructure two years ago, many said that it could not be done, said Amiram Shachar, Founder and CEO ofSpotinst, in todays announcement. But since then companies and developers voted with their workloads. We appreciate their confidence and support from our investors.The proceeds will helpSpotinstgrow, and take us closer to our vision of a cloud of clouds.
The company is getting even closer to this idea of a cloud of clouds with the launch of its Spotinst Functions service, which competes with Amazons Lambda serverless platform. Like Lambda, Azure Functions and Google Cloud Functions, the idea here is to allow you to only run your code when a certain event happens. That way, you only pay for having the service execute your code and you dont have to worry about managing your servers either. This new service, which is currently in private beta, is platform agnostic and supports the three major public clouds as well as Packet, and will soon also work with IBM and Oracle.
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Posted: at 5:44 am
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Posted: at 5:44 am
The Private Company Council discussed the implementation costs of cloud computing during a meeting Tuesday and is asking its associated organization, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, to provide guidance on how to account for those costs.
During the meeting, PCC members confirmed that accounting for implementation costs in a cloud computing arrangement is a prevalent issue for private companies. A PCC member also recommended FASB provide application guidance to specify the types of implementation costs that may be appropriate for capitalization.
Two years ago, FASB issued Accounting Standards Update 2015-05, which provides guidance about a customers accounting for fees paid in a cloud computing or hosting arrangement. In general, an entity evaluates a cloud computing arrangement to determine whether the arrangement provides the entity with control of a license to internal-use software. In comment letters on the exposure draft that led to the update, some of FASBs stakeholders expressed concerns, however, about the scope of some of the amendments, and asked for more guidance on accounting for implementation costs associated with cloud computing arrangements that dont meet certain criteria and are instead considered service contracts.
They argued that, without explicit guidance, diversity in practice would continue when accounting for implementation costs such as setup and other upfront fees. The costs can include training, creating or installing an interface, reconfiguring existing systems, and reformatting data. Companies have looked at different parts of the standards for guidance on how to account for such implementation costs in cloud computing arrangements that are considered a service contract because there is no explicit guidance on them right now.
At a FASB meeting in May, the board decided to add the matter to the agenda of the Emerging Issues Task Force. The EITF plans to discuss it at a meeting next Friday.
Also at Tuesdays PCC meeting, FASBs staff delivered updates and the PCC provided feedback on a number of other FASB projects, including targeted improvements to the related-party guidance for variable interest entities during consolidations. PCC members commended FASB for proposing an alternative for private companies to provide a scope exception from the application of the VIE guidance to companies that are under common control, when certain requirements are met.
PCC members also supported FASBs plans for targeted improvements in liabilities and equity to simplify the accounting of financial instruments with down rounds. The PCC also offered feedback on FASBs proposal for nonemployee share-based payment accounting improvements and expressed support for the private company alternatives within the proposal.
Many PCC members lent their support to FASBs continuing implementation and education efforts for recently issued standards but suggested the board should keep in mind the pace of change when considering possible new projects.
A majority of PCC members recommended FASB finalize its proposed guidance on the balance sheet classification of debt, along with some minor improvements on balance sheet presentation. The members also expressed interest in helping FASB decide on the appropriate transition provisions to make and educational efforts.
FASB and the PCC plan to hold a Town Hall meeting on August 31 in conjunction with the Georgia Society of CPAs. The next PCC meeting will happen on September 19.
Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.
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Posted: at 5:44 am
More CIOs and CTOs are choosing to architect and deploy hybrid multi-cloud computing environments in 2017. The trend is being driven by growing demand to support digital transformation projects that are led by the C-suite.
Newly released results from the CloudView Survey 2017 reveal the top drivers of cloud adoption – include improving agility and security, as well as standardising IT infrastructure.
As multi-cloud environments and hybrid cloud become more prevalent, the survey revealed that 87 percent of cloud users have adopted some capabilities for a hybrid cloud strategy – that’s an increase of 17 percent compared to 2016, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).
“Beyond adoption and maturity, a series of questions on ‘why are’ or ‘why aren’t’ respondents moving more workloads to the cloud makes up a key part of the study,” said Benjamin McGrath, senior research analyst at IDC.
Additional findings from the study include:
“When we look at the shift in IT spend over the next 12-24 months to more of a mix of multiple types of cloud deployments, we see each type of organisation take a different journey,” added McGrath.
The study gathers data on the journey to cloud and how it differs by vertical and micro-vertical by country, by company size, company age, and by job title.
What industry-specific projects are moving to the cloud? What are end-users looking for from their vendors in each country? How will all that change over time?
CloudView 2017 encompasses thousands of surveys from line-of-business cloud buyers and IT operations staff on cloud adoption rates, trends, and attitudes.
Survey respondents are from more than 6,000 organisations worldwide, all of whom are current users of cloud services.
To gain a complete picture of potential cloud customers along the journey, data is also collected from respondents at organisations who are not currently utilising cloud.
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