Category Archives: Security

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.”

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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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Senior Director of Cloud at Logicalis Talks Cloud Migration Strategies

Over at CloudTweaks, Kevin Gruneisen of Logicalis writes about employing a plan to get your company to the cloud. Mr. Gruneisen believes that leap should start with a thorough assessment of your current IT environment and should also include technology considerations along with businesses objectives as well.

“A detailed assessment will identify what resources are being used effectively as well as where there are inefficiencies associated with server sprawl. A large enterprise I visited recently had multiple, highly-virtualized server farms. An examination of how these resources were being used, however, revealed that one was only operating at 20 percent capacity and another one the same size was only 30 percent utilized.

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Google Introduces Project Shield to Protect Non-Commercial Websites

Over ITworld, Jeremy Kirk reports that Google has introduced Project Shield–a service that is designed to keep static websites for human rights, election and news groups online by keeping distributed denial-of-service attacks at bay.

“Small independent sites are particularly at risk since a small flood of traffic can push them offline, Google said, but its infrastructure can handle the largest attacks. Google is also offering access to PageSpeed Service, which optimizes websites and hosts copies of sites on Google’s infrastructure for faster loading.

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Amazon and Microsoft Azure have Competion in the Data Center World

Cloud giants AWS and Microsoft Azure are facing competition from up-and-coming players like SoftLayer, Tier 3, and ViaWest in cloud-driven data centers.

“The latest move comes from ViaWest, which launched an enhanced channel partner program today. The goal: Promote colocation services as a stepping stone to cloud and managed services, both for channel partners and their customers. ViaWest Senior VP of Sales and Marketing Christopher Rajiah is driving the partner program. He’s a familiar name across the cloud and IT channel markets. Rajiah previously led Rackspace’s (RAX) partner program, and earlier he drove channel engagements at Extreme Networks.

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The Cloud of the Future–What will it Take?

Over at Data Center Knowledge, Aaron Patrick reports on the future requirements of the cloud and its successful deployment. These attributes include disaster recovery, cross-connection and security–among others.

“A huge component of this success will be dependent on where your organization’s cloud infrastructure is housed. The data center that your cloud calls home will have certain capabilities and features that may be the difference in whether your cloud keeps pace or falls behind. Uptimes, network bandwidth and security are some of the most important aspects of the data center infrastructure that companies must take into account.

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Enterprise is Defining the Cloud in its own way According to 451 Research Summit

Over at Forbes, Louis Columbus reports that at the 451 Research Hosting and Cloud Transformation Summit  in Las Vegas last week, a number of details on trends in the cloud computing world emerged. Among these trends: enterprise is pushing cloud strategies, the top SaaS applications in future will be dominated by enterprise and off-premises hosting deployments will be huge to IaaS.

“One of the most passionate and knowledgeable people I’ve ever met in infrastructure and IT research is Martin McCarthy, Chairman and CEO, The 451 Group.  He told me he’s seeing more pressure than ever for edge-to-core integration in the enterprise, which is forcing CIOs to be strategists over experts in cost reduction.  “Digital infrastructure will be the backbone enabling enterprise transformation in coming years. To blaze this trail, organizations need an ‘edge to core’ digital infrastructure playbook,” he said.

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