Cloud API Battle Enters a New Phase

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 16, 2014 10:10:00 AM

With the acquisition of Eucalyptus by Hewlett-Packard the whole debate over APIs in the cloud just got a whole lot more nuanced.

Eucalytpus got its start by promoting the adoption of private clouds based on the same APIs that Amazon Web Services (AWS) uses in its public cloud service. The basic idea is that in a hybrid cloud computing world it would be simpler to move workloads between private and public clouds if they shared the same API.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Celebrity nude photo hack proves little about cloud security

Posted by Ron Miller on Sep 3, 2014 8:38:00 AM

As though to prove that news breaks, even over a holiday weekend, word leaked Sunday about a huge release of celebrity nudes apparently taken from their iCloud accounts. For what it's worth, several of the hacking victims have suggested these are Photoshopped fakes, but whatever the truth, there remain many unanswered questions about how this could have happened. One theory that's been circulating suggests it was an iCloud hack.

And while Apple looks into the matter, and if it's at fault, it announced it closed a hole in the Find my iPhone tool where brute force protection was not implemented. This hack was published shortly after the photo release and Apple closed it shortly thereafter.

Other theories have suggested that it was a simple case of guessing passwords or using phishing schemes to gain access to accounts. That could account for one or two accounts, but it’s hard to imagine that all these starlets fell for a phishing scheme or use simple passwords.

All that said, there is so much we still don't know, but before you use this for your anti-cloud rant, step back, take a deep breath and understand this isn't necessarily a case of lax cloud security so much as proof of the sheer relentlessness of hackers.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Navigating the nuances of cloud pricing models

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 27, 2014 9:15:55 AM

For all the hype surrounding the cloud, the number of pricing options relating to how infrastructure as a service (IaaS) actually gets consumed has been fairly limited. In general, organizations could either commit to consume a specific amount of resource per month or be billed by the hour. Both approaches have significant drawbacks in terms of actually delivering what the customer really wants and what the cloud service provider needs to be be profitable.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Cloud 5: Has cloud killed on-prem software, the enterprise cloud wars, and cloud computing and scale

Posted by Ron Miller on Aug 22, 2014 9:06:22 AM

Welcome to The Cloud 5, our weekly feature where we scour the web searching for the five most intriguing and poignant cloud links we can find.

Before we jump into this week's links, please have a look at one of our most recent blog posts, If SMBs aren't in the cloud today, what are they waiting for? A recent survey found just 37 percent of small businesses have fully embraced the cloud. In my view if you're starting a business today, you should be 100 percent in the cloud. There's no reason beyond regulatory requirements to start dealing with software in-house and all that entails.

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links:

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Cloud 5: The CIA's AWS cloud, execs warm to the cloud and Rackspace waves buh-bye to IaaS business

Posted by Ron Miller on Aug 8, 2014 8:46:41 AM

Welcome to The Cloud 5, our weekly feature where we scour the web searching for the five most intriguing and poignant cloud links we can find.

Before we jump into this week's links, please have a look at one of our most recent blog posts, Amazon Web Services Marketplace could be its ace in the hole. AWS has become everyone's favorite whipping boy as they face stiff competition from some serious companies including Microsoft, Google and IBM, but before we write off AWS altogether, they might have an advantage nobody considered.

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links:

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Amazon Web Services Marketplace could be its ace in the hole

Posted by Ron Miller on Aug 7, 2014 2:29:35 PM

Amazon Web Services had the distinct advantage of being first to market, but as competition has increased, it's been a popular notion to write off AWS and suggest that the competition is going to push them aside.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

AWS feels sting of market maturity

Posted by Ron Miller on Jul 29, 2014 8:18:27 AM

It probably goes without saying that being first to a developing market is a huge advantage. but once the competition sets in, it requires the ability to pivot and meet those challenges head on or risk losing the advantage completely. It's hard a lesson that cloud infrastructure pioneer Amazon Web Services has been learning lately.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Software licensing rebellion starts to ferment

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 24, 2014 11:05:21 AM

The complexity of software licensing has always been one of the great inhibitors of IT adoption. But for all the complaining about software licensing over the years, things have only become even more complicated in the age of the cloud.

Now there’s a nascent rebellion under way in the form of a new user advocacy organization that is calling for not only more clarity in software licensing terms, but also for a standard set of procedures for resolving software licensing conflicts between customers and software providers.

As the newly appointed CEO of The Campaign for Clear Licensing non-profit organization, Mark Flynn says that things have become so bad that many IT organizations are afraid to negotiate licensing terms with software vendors for fear of triggering an audit. Given the complexity of the licensing terms, most organizations are violating those terms to one degree or another.

By applying the collective weight of an organized campaign, Flynn says standard licensing terms would go a long way towards reducing the anxiety that exists between software vendors and the customers they serve.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Time to move customer service into the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 9, 2014 9:52:00 AM

Billions of dollars have been spent on customer service applications running on premises that, at the end of the day, have done little to genuinely improve the average customer experience. Thankfully, with the rise of advanced analytics and a plethora of social networking options, that’s all changing for the better.

The only question now is where best to deploy the next generation of customer service applications. Organizations can either invest billions of dollars in retrofitting their existing applications or they can modernize their customer service operations almost overnight by moving the entire infrastructure needed to support those applications into the cloud.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Three-year upgrade cycles no longer make sense in cloud-mobile age

Posted by Ron Miller on Jun 25, 2014 9:49:00 AM

For years IT has lived on the notion of stability. You get something working and you ride it until you absolutely have to change. And that made a lot of sense in the mainframe, mini and client-server ages, but it ceases to make sense in a cloud-mobile world.

Monolithic enterprise software packages - whether ERP, CRM, content management or anything else - took years to procure, install and configure. They required huge investments in money and manpower, and once you had them installed and working, you didn't want to mess with them.

Sure, you would apply patches and some updates, but overall if it wasn't broken? You weren't going to fix it.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology