Category Archives: Security

FusionStorm Boosts Its Cloud Computing Offering with Peak’s Enterprise Cloud and NetApp Storage Platform

Peak announces that it will bring its world-class Infrastructure-as-a Service (IaaS) capabilities to FusionStorm to give the IT solution provider a more robust cloud solution.

“FusionStorm specializes in helping our clients connect their employees, partners and customers by building solid foundations for their IT infrastructure,” states Mike Souza, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing for FusionStorm. “We know that the cloud has become a key component in delivering resources, increased capabilities and flexibility to our clients, and Peak’s cloud is unmatched in terms of technology and their hands-on expert support at all levels. Peak’s cloud also allows us to easily integrate a NetApp storage component, which is key for our customers.”

Read the Press Release.

Zentera Systems Teams with Microsoft Azure to Bring Electronic Design Automation to the Cloud

Zentera Systems has announced a partnership with Microsoft Azure to offer security enhanced, hybrid cloud infrastructure for Electronic Design Automation.

“Zentera Online for Microsoft Azure is changing the way industries are approaching the leap to the cloud. Our virtual appliance based solutions let enterprise customers quickly deploy hybrid-cloud virtual infrastructures without having to change the underlying corporate IT infrastructure,” said Jaushin Lee, Founder and CEO of Zentera. “Our solution enables enterprise to capitalize on the business benefits of the cloud while retaining their security policies and control.”

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Atos Acquires Bull in Bold Move to Bolster Cloud Computing Capabilities

Over at Binary Tribune, the staff has reported that IT services provider, Atos, has purchased Bull for $844 million to bring them to the HPC market as well as shore up its cloud and Big Data offerings.

“The Chief Executive Officer of Atos SE – Mr. Thierry Breton, who was also part of the Bull’s team in the period from 1993 to 1997, said in the statement, which was cited by Bloomberg: “Bull’s highly recognized teams in advanced technologies such as high computing power, data analytics management, and cybersecurity ideally complement Atos’ large scale operations.”

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Interview: Mateo Meier of Artmotion Talks About Why Switzerland is the Country of Choice When it Comes to Security

When the PRISM scandal broke in the US awhile back, many concerns were raised over the security of the information in our data centers. Artmotion, based in Switzerland, stepped in with lock-down security and saw an increase in revenue of 45% almost immediately. We sat down with Mateo Meier to discuss why his company saw such incredible gains and to learn more about Artmotion’s offerings.

inside-cloud: What does your company do exactly?

Mateo Meier: Artmotion is located in Switzerland and specializes in secure IT solutions, with a focus on data center and server offerings. I founded the company in 2000 and since then the company’s services attract an international clientele looking to benefit from Switzerland’s central location, respect for confidentiality and tax advantages. Beyond that, Artmotion focuses on customers with high quality standards, who look for demanding security and confidentiality levels. For example customers like trading firms, banks and healthcare organizations with “secret” research or development needs. At the moment Artmotion’s customer base is from about 30 different countries around the globe and their main interest is secure hosting.

inside-cloud: The PRISM scandal was shocking here in the US. What was the reaction in Europe and specifically in Switzerland?

Mateo Meier: The NSA PRISM scandal had ambivalent effects on the Swiss hosting market. Speaking for Artmotion, after the first leaks were published we had an increase of 45 per cent in revenue and were able to grow with the scandal. Particularly, we were able to acquire new customers form the United States. As diverse online magazines state, in the worst-case-scenario the U.S. cloud market is about to lose approximately $35 billion to non-U.S. markets by 2016 (more details see: http://www.zdnet.com/u-s-cloud-industry-stands-to-lose-35-billion-amid-prism-fallout-7000018974/).  Unfortunately, I cannot give you more numbers as those, as the effects of the scandal are still ongoing.

inside-cloud: How did this affect your business?  

Mateo Meier: As mentioned before, Artmotion had an increase of 45 per cent in revenue, since the first leaks were published and regarding this case we were able to grow with the scandal. On the other hand, many of our customers felt insecure about the security of their data and still feel unsettled about the matter. At the moment, Microsoft is updating their TOS, in order that the Cloud Service accommodates to the Swiss law instead of the US law. In general, there’s been a huge movement in this sector and the market has been changing intensely for the past couple months.

inside-cloud: Everybody talks a big game when it comes to security and privacy in the data center. What sets Artmotion apart? What sets Switzerland apart from other counties in this realm?           

Mateo Meier: Its location! One of the main reasons for companies to choose Switzerland as their hosting locations are Switzerland’s neutrality and independency, its low environmental risks and its long lasting political stability. As it is known, Swiss banks are governed by stringent laws, which also are a derivative of the nation’s privacy legislation. In consideration of data privacy and security issues, similar strict laws apply in Switzerland.  Moreover, Switzerland is a country outside of the EU and therefore is not bound by pan-European agreements to share data with other member states, or other non EU countries. As you can see, hosting data I Switzerland has many benefits.

inside-cloud: What challenges does the future hold for data management? What exciting products will your company have to meet these challenges?             

Mateo Meier: One of the challenges I believe most hosting companies are facing right now, are multiple security issues in general. At the moment we are being challenged by our new “Hosted Desktop Workstation” products and are developing an overall secure solution.

Codero Announces Fourth Data Center Now Open in Dallas-Fort Worth

Codero Hosting has announced the opening of its flagship data center in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX. The hybrid hosting services will allow customers unprecedented performance and provisioning and will provide full redundancy and enormous scalability.

“The new data center is all about serving customers requiring world-class performance, reliability and scalability running on the most advanced networking technology infrastructure. Whether it’s bare metal dedicated servers, public cloud, private cloud, or our patented On-Demand Hybrid Cloud technology, our expanded data center footprint supports it all,” said Robert Autenrieth, COO of Codero Hosting. “DFW is the hub of connectivity for U.S. bandwidth and offers the industry’s latest technology – everything from power and cooling to density, as well as a variety of choices in bandwidth providers, flexibility in labor pool and unbeatable power costs. All these factors combined to make it a natural choice for our fourth data center in the U.S.”

Read the Press Release.

Guest Post: Artmotion CEO Mateo Meier on PRISM Scandal, Security and the Swiss Data Center

Mateo Meier

Artmotion is one of those companies whose name doesn’t portray what it does. Mateo Meier lends his time to find out more about a company whose level of secrecy and its close connections to some of the world’s biggest banks and tobacco companies are a credit to the culture of neutrality of the Helvetians.

Swiss banks are known to be governed by stringent laws, which also are a derivative of the nation’s privacy legislation, and now – thanks to the PRISM scandal – the country is fast becoming the ideal location for those turning their back on the cloud, says Mateo Meier, director at Artmotion, Switzerland’s biggest offshore hosting company.

As a result of the recent leaks of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programme (PRISM), which sparked growing concern over data privacy, businesses are now turning to Switzerland for their data hosting needs.

Swiss hosting companies are seeing growth because privacy in Switzerland is enshrined in law. As the country is outside of the EU, it is not bound by pan-European agreements to share data with other member states, or other non EU countries. Artmotion, for example, has witnessed 45 per cent growth in revenue amid this new demand for heightened privacy.

Until now, the PRISM scandal has focused on the privacy of the individual, but surveillance undertaken by the NSA and Britain’s own GCHQ has spurred corporate concern about the risks associated with using American based cloud providers. Neelie Kroes, the European Commission Vice President went on to state that “the NSA scandal has had a chilling effect in Europe; businesses are worried about their resources being controlled by someone else.” It is especially troubling for businesses with data privacy issues, such as banks or healthcare organisations with ‘secret’ research and development needs.

However, the scandal has unearthed significant risks to data for businesses, as well as for their customers. With US cloud service providers, the government can request business information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act without the company in question ever knowing.

The desire for privacy has therefore seen a surge in corporations turning to ‘Silicon’ Switzerland to take advantage of the country’s renowned privacy culture. Mateo Meier said: “Unlike the US or the rest of Europe, Switzerland offers many data security benefits. For instance, as the country is not a member of the EU, the only way to gain access to our data hosted within our Datacentre is if the company receives an official court order proving guilt or liability. This procedure applies to all countries requesting any information from a Swiss datacentre.”

About Artmotion

Founded in 2000, Artmotion specialises in secure IT solutions located in Switzerland, with a focus on data centre and server offerings. The company’s services attract an international clientele looking to benefit from Switzerland’s central location, respect for confidentiality and tax advantages. Strong demand for these solutions has helped Artmotion record an annual growth rate of over 45 per cent.

 

Oracle Solaris 11 and the Modern Data Center

Certainty most organizations now understand the value of cloud computing and what it can bring to day-to-day operations. Oracle’s Solaris 11 utilizes Unix to bring robust, reliable and secure solutions to the enterprise cloud.

“With server virtualization, virtual hosts, virtual storage, and virtual networks can be created, allocated, and deallocated as needed, increasing hardware utilization and offering greater operating flexibility. Virtualization is the key. To users, it appears as if they have their own private server somewhere on the internet or within a company’s private cloud. They really do not need to know where the server is physically located, what it looks like, or how to maintain it. It’s just there as long as they need it. In reality, the host OS has spawned itself into shared environments that appear to multiple simultaneous users as their own fully functional and private virtual computer.

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The NSA is Looking for a Cloud Developer in our Job of the Week

The National Security Agency (NSA) in Fort George G. Meade, MD is looking for a Cloud Developer in our Job of the Week.

“The Mission Technology Development and Deployment (MTD) group within the Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) is seeking a full time Software Developer to join the Transformational Technologies Division, Cloud and Sensor Development Branch.  The mission of MTD is to equip IAD cyber missions with state-of-the-art tools and capabilities needed to harden and defend the Nation’s security systems.  Whenever IAD is called upon to assess the security posture of a customer’s network, deploy a team to investigate a cyber intrusion, or keep watch over the Nation’s most sensitive networks; the technologies developed by MTD are at the forefront of the action.

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Happy Birthday Amazon Web Services–The Service Turns 8 Years Old

Over at InfoWorld, David Linthicum writes that cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) has now been offering Storage as a Service (SaaS) for eight years. Not only did AWS re-define how the cloud was used, it is now in a position of domination in the arena.

“The unique aspect of AWS is that Amazon.com pushed ahead with its own way of doing cloud, rather than try to replicate the work of others. Storage as a service was around then, but AWS’s use of well-defined APIs made the difference. Moreover, AWS presented the value case to developers, helping embed the notion of storage services into actual software. Finally, the Amazon name mattered greatly, thanks to the company’s reputation for having excellent internal technology that supported an amazing scale of operations.

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NewCloud Networks Announces Nationwide Data Center Expansion for 2014

NewCloud has announced an ambitious plan to open data centers throughout the US. The company’s plan comes on the heels of a four consecutive years of growth and will give users cloud-based services that utilize provisioning, recovery and security.

“This is a high quality architecture that provides robust infrastructure for Could Computing,” says Sam V. Kumar, President of NewCloud Networks. “We are standardizing on this design for all of our future cloud Pod locations across the country.” In addition to Phoenix, NewCloud has plans to deploy Cloud pods in Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas and New York/New Jersey. All of these Cloud pods will be tied together with a redundant private MPLS back bone with 10 Gig bandwidth. Kumar says this will give NewCloud “seamless nationwide coverage not only for back up and disaster recovery, but also for virtual servers and desktop-as-a-service deployments.”

Read the Press Release.

MathWorks is Looking for a Senior Software Engineer in our Job of the Week

MathWorks in Natick, MA is looking for a Senior Software Engineer in our Job of the Week.

“Play a key role in designing, architecting, and developing MATLAB services and Cloud infrastructure. Collaborate in a fast paced Agile environment with a highly cross-functional team. Design and implement software and infrastructure to support high-availability and high-scalability. Create requirements, design specifications, and participate in code reviews. Share ideas, ask questions and contribute to team growth through technical mentoring

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Red Hat Refreshes Private Cloud Stacks for the Enterprise

Over at ITWorld, Joab Jackson writes that Red Hat has revamped a number of offerings for the enterprise to better run private clouds.

“The journey to the open private cloud has got multiple stages. We’ve got offerings to help you along every single step of the way and today we’ve refreshed all these offerings so you can take these capabilities into your environment and get to an open private cloud sooner rather than later,” said Radesh Balakrishnan, Red Hat’s general manager for virtualization business, in a Wednesday webcast detailing how the new products could be used in enterprises.

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Dropbox Experiences Downtime but Quickly Gets to Work Restoring Services

Over at ITworld, Jeremy Kirk reports that Dropbox went down for awhile on Friday and immediately got to work to fix the outage and as of Sunday 99% of the users could access their files.

“One of the issues revolved around photos. It disabled photo sharing and turned off a “Photos” tab on dropbox.com. Photos were still available through the desktop client and the “Files” tab on dropbox.com, it (blog post) said. The Photos tab remained disabled on Sunday. “Were continuing to make a lot of progress restoring full service to all users, and are doing so in careful steps,” it said. Service outages and probes by cyberattackers are some of the biggest concerns for users of cloud-based services.

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Intuit is looking for a Principal Security Engineer–Cloud Infrastructure in our Job of the Week

Intuit in San Diego, CA is looking for a Principal Security Engineer–Cloud Infrastructure in our Job of the Week.

“The candidate should have extensive experience working with large scale deployments of networks and systems, while remaining vendor agnostic; skilled in seeing past vendor sales discussions, and engineer a durable environment. They should be able to perform risk assessments in network, system and application areas. This person should be an expert with networking concepts like routing, filtering, and proxy technologies. Extensive knowledge of host and application security controls are a must.

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Interview: Ben Golub of Docker Discusses Containerization and Getting Away from the Sandbox Mindset

In this interview, Ben Golub, CEO of , talks about why the Baidu Application Engine folks chose Docker as the go-to platform for building and developing its applications. These applications are deployed as a light-weight, nimble and self-sufficient container that will run in most any environment.

inside-cloud: Could you give us some background on Baidu – specifically its BAE environment, and what issues the company was trying to solve by leveraging Docker?

Ben Golub: Baidu is the market-leading language Internet search provider in China. The Baidu Application Engine (BAE) PaaS platform for developers initially utilized sandbox technology, but the company was faced with the high costs of platform development, maintenance and application migration. With a sandbox approach, you have to build a completely new environment for each language. This requires a lot of time and can lead to security issues if sufficient resources aren’t spent digging into the specifics of each language environment. On top of that, you have to limit the capabilities of the app using a sandbox environment for security issues, creating additional problems for developers. As a result, Baidu searched for a solution that didn’t rely on sandboxing and became interested in the possibilities presented by containerization.

inside-cloud: What prompted them to land on Docker?

Ben Golub: When they began testing Docker, Baidu instantly grew impressed with the ease-of-use, agility and performance offered by the open source engine. By allowing developers to package, ship and run any application as a lightweight container that can run in almost any environment (bare metal, virtualized, public or private cloud), Docker was able to deliver a solution that was truly interoperable. Docker enables processes to run in an isolated and secure environment without restricting what the language or framework is capable of doing. With sandboxing processes and studies no longer required, Docker greatly simplifies adding a new language. Each language is simply packed into a Docker container, leading to reduced costs of platform development, management, and maintenance, as well as application migration and development.

inside-cloud: Now that BAE will be based on Docker, what benefits can users expect to gain?

Ben Golub: Now that Docker is used in place of traditional sandboxing, there are two main benefits for the user:

  • There won’t be security restrictions applied to the languages themselves. Since the language is not limited, developers will be able to uncover the full capabilities of whatever language they decide to use.
  • Instead of spending months studying and developing a new sandbox to address the specific language, Baidu will be able to add more languages with different versions at a much faster rate. As a result, more developers will be able to use the PaaS.

inside-cloud; What makes containerization a desirable solution in comparison with the other technologies on the market?

Ben Golub: Containers are lightweight and much faster than traditional VMs, making them very easy to launch (a few milliseconds compared to minutes for VMs) and move around from laptop to dev-servers, and from dev-servers to pre-production/production environments. While sandboxing technologies are difficult to master and lead to security issues, containers provide complete isolation of processes to ensure the capabilities of an app/language/process isn’t restricted.

Additionally, Docker brings ease of use, versioning (we are often compared to the git for devops), and also a standard. This enables Docker to provide a separation of concern for devs and ops. Developers can now build once and run anywhere and be carefree as to which version and which libraries are on the QA or the production servers. They simply pack their application inside a container and send it to the ops team. From that point, the Ops team can configure once and run anything. It no longer matters what the version or dependencies of the app are. They receive a standard container and they just run it.

All of this combined, plus the fact that containers have no overhead (compared to VMs), makes Docker cost-effective for the whole company.

inside-cloud: How do you see the current perception of containers factoring into the growth of Docker’s ecosystem?

Ben Golub: Developers are recognizing that there are alternative methods to traditional virtualization. The buzz surrounding Docker within the developer community is outstanding and it is lending us a great deal of momentum heading into the new year. Our user-base continues to expand with high-profile names such as eBay, Yandex, Baidu, Spotify, Rackpace, and more, and we are thrilled to have reached over 250 external contributors. Additionally, Docker containers have been downloaded over 250,000 times and received almost 8,000 GitHub stars. The community has played a prevalent role in our successes and we are thankful for what has been achieved. We look forward to expanding our ecosystem even further in 2014.

Salesforce.com and HP Join Forces to Offer Exclusive “Pods” in Data Center

Over at ComputerworldUK, Derek du Preez reports that Salesforce.com has enlisted the help of Hewlett-Packard to make so-called “Superpods” available to larger enterprises. The move will allow selected companies to have their own dedicated infrastructure in Salesforce.com’s cloud and will migrate away from the multitenancy model to create better security and customization.

“The Superpod was a particularly interesting announcement from Salesforce, given that in the past Benioff has consistently expressed the view that private cloud environments, which aren’t multi-tenant’, are not ‘real’ cloud environments. Denecken added that a ‘rip and replace with cloud’ approach for all areas of IT shouldn’t be the focus for enterprises, they should be looking at complete end-to-end business processes and using cloud where appropriate.

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CloudSigma Ups the Ante in Cloud Security with Enhanced Firewalls

Over at WhaTech, Jonathan Dolby writes that CloudSigma has announced the availability of forward-thinking cloud policy management. The new features allow customers  to create, manage and apply enterprise-ready policies while strengthening security.

“We take security very seriously, and so do our customers,” said Robert Jenkins, CEO of CloudSigma. “We’ve received many requests from our customers about offering this enterprise-grade firewalling. We listened and delivered. We didn’t want to deliver a half-baked product. By allowing customers to create policies independent of servers, multiple requirements can easily be maintained, adjusted and reapplied over time.”

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IBM to Acquire Fiberlink to Enhance its Mobile Technologies

Over at InformationWeek, Doug Henschen reports that IBM has announced the purchase of Fiberlink Communications which provides cloud-based mobile-management services. The acquisition will boost IBM’s play in the burgeoning bring-your-own-device (BYOD) market and give the company more of a stake in arenas such as financial services, healthcare and manufacturing.

“Fiberlink’s MaaS360 cloud services are used by financial services firms, healthcare organizations, and manufacturers worldwide, reportedly offering fast, self-service enrollment of BYOD in less than five minutes. IBM said the technologies will enable it to offer cloud-based or on-premise mobile device management, mobile content management, and mobile application management capabilities. The software can also separate personal from enterprise data and content on mobile devices.

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