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A Cautionary Government Cloud Story--UK's G-Cloud. Does The "G" Stand For Gone?

Grazed from InformationWeek.  Author: Ben Kepes.

Respected cloud computing commentator and consultant Ian Apperley has spent significant time studying the UK’s G-Cloud program. G-Cloud is a program introduced by the UK Government back in 2012 that aimed to offer public-sector organizations throughout the UK access to cloud infrastructure. The idea of the initiative was that the G-Cloud organization would negotiate agreements with suppliers, thus avoiding the need for individual organizations to complete a full procurement process. On top of that, G-Cloud created a “CloudStore” where public sector bodies could search for services covered by the G-Cloud supply agreements.

In a recent post, Apperley suggested that the UK Government cloud program is for all intents and purposes dead. Apperley has a professional interest in the G-Cloud story – he has studied the UK program as part of an assessment of opportunities that existed for New Zealand’s Departments of Internal Affairs. Apperley concluded that the G-Cloud model was a good one – it created a level playing field for suppliers, more generally used to favorites being played by departmental IT staff...

GSA Spends Over $100 Million for New Cloud Services

Grazed from Nextgov.  Author:  Frank Konkel.

The General Services Administration is the latest agency to commit big bucks to cloud computing, awarding Laurel, Maryland-based Aquilent a 5-year blanket purchase agreement for cloud services worth up to $100 million.

Awarded through GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, the contract will be a GSA-wide procurement vehicle, meaning any organization or department within GSA has a quick route by which to procure many variations of cloud services...

Microsoft: Cloud, Surface Rise While Profits Fall

Grazed from InformationWeek.  Author: Kelly Sheridan.

Microsoft's most recent earnings report indicates a fall in quarterly profit due to restructuring expenses and tax adjustments. While revenue increased 8% from the same quarter a year ago, net income fell by 10%. However, sales of its Surface tablet and the company's cloud computing business offered some bright spots.

The tech giant reported revenue of $26.47 billion during its quarterly earnings calls on Jan. 26. Microsoft's profit had fallen from the previous year, with numbers clocking in at $5.86 billion, or $0.71 per share, compared with $6.56 billion during the same quarter the previous year...

NAKIVO Honored as Coolest Cloud Computing Vendor by CRN

Grazed from BusinessWire.  Author: PR Announcement.

NakivoNAKIVO Inc., the fastest growing virtualization and cloud backup software company for VMware environments, today announced it has earned recognition on The Channel Company’s CRN 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors of 2015. This annual list recognizes some of the most innovative cloud companies supporting the IT channel today.

The 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors honor is presented to companies based on their approach to creating innovative products, services or partner programs that have helped channel partners transform into true solution providers, ultimately helping customers take advantage of the ease of use, flexibility, scalability and savings that cloud computing offers...

5 Cloud Contract Traps To Avoid

Grazed from InformationWeek.  Author: Joe Stangenelli.

Going to the cloud makes things easier, right?  Then why is it so complicated?  Cloud computing contracts are often full of traps for the unsuspecting customer -- traps that can compromise data and expose said customer to fines, lawsuits, and other problems.

These traps hurt not just cloud customers but the entire cloud industry. Organizations in highly regulated industries (such as healthcare and finance) are notoriously nephophobic because of the massive legal liabilities they face for data compromises. They fear handing control of their data (let alone encryption keys) to cloud providers -- and often for good reason, unfortunately...

Cloud Computing: Ravello Systems raises $28 million and announces major release of HVX

Grazed from CloudComputingInfo.  Author: Paola Cornacchiola.

Cloud computing startup called Ravello Systems announces to have secured $28 million funding and to have boost a total of $54 million capital led by Qualcomm Incorporated, through its venture investment group, Qualcomm Ventures, and SanDisk Corporation through SanDisk Ventures. Among the investors that participated in this funding round: Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Vintage Investment Partners.

Ravello Systems Founded in 2011 by the team that created the KVM hypervisor at Qumranet (now part of Red Hat) which is now emerging among enterprises as the third virtualization platform of choice. The company went into public beta in February 2013 and GA in August 2013...

DISA Releases Cloud Security Requirements

Grazed from FedWeek.  Author: Editorial Staff.

The Defense Information Services Agency has released new cloud computing security requirements for DoD and contractors to follow.  The DoD Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG), Version 1 supersedes the Cloud Security Model (CSM) V2.1.

The new SRG includes details on how to transition from the CSM for cloud service providers that are currently being assessed, or that have a provisional authorization. It also applies to all CSP offerings, regardless of who owns or operates the environments, according to DISA...

New Guidelines Highlight Importance of Cloud Computing Security

Grazed from MidsizeInsider. Author: Marissa Tejada.

Keeping sensitive data and information safe is top of mind for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The agency's new cloud computing security requirements are relevant for cloud computing vendors seeking to help midsize firms secure their data.

What the Guidelines Mean

The DoD's new Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide, released by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), replaces their previous Cloud Security Model. According to WHIR, the guide outlines an overall "security posture" that helps guide cloud service providers seeking to work with the DoD. These new guidelines were designed with agency security in mind, outlining how the public cloud can be utilized without compromising proprietary data...

Cloud Computing: Shedding Some Light on Shadow IT Management

Grazed from DataCenterKnowledge. Author: Tom Bice.

Shadow IT has been lurking in the dark corners of organizations for years now, but as BYOD and public cloud computing gain traction in the workplace more and more employees are stealthily adopting their own software and hardware without telling IT. When IT is left in the dark it makes it nearly impossible to mitigate potential risks, and in light of the recent barrage of data breaches executives are becoming increasingly concerned about the issue.

So what can you do? First and foremost, accept that shadow IT is here to stay. IDC found that the majority of information workers share files via email and other unsecure methods while only a small group, about 10 percent, use a service provided by their company. Rather than trying to squash all instances of shadow IT that pop up in your organization, put a plan in place to help manage it. The following tips can help get you started...

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Cloud Computing: SAP Asks Microsoft, Apple to Share Hacker-Fighting Intelligence

Grazed from Bloomberg. Author: Aaron Ricadela.

SAP SE is trying to marshal business technology’s biggest suppliers to gather hacker-fighting intelligence following a spate of security problems with open-source software. The biggest maker of business applications has contacted companies including Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) about sharing information on analyses of the weaknesses in open-source code, which is generally free to run and available for the user community to improve, according to Gordon Muehl, chief technology officer for security at Walldorf, Germany-based SAP.

More cooperation among the business-software makers could help stanch security flaws found in the open-source programs, which increasingly touch online services and devices used by billions of people. A flaw called Heartbleed, discovered last spring, left hundreds of thousands of servers and routers vulnerable to attack. Another one, Shellshock, emerged in September...