Cloud Services

Amazon makes an undisclosed investment in cloud services company Acquia

Grazed from GeekWire.  Auhor: Tricia Duryee.

Amazon has made a rare investment in Acquia, a Burlington, Mass.-based digital marketing company that operates on Amazon’s cloud services.  The undisclosed investment piggybacks on a $50 million round closed in May from major investors, including Sigma Partners and New Enterprise Associates.

In all, the company has raised more than $100 million over several rounds of funding.  The company said the money will be used to help deliver an open cloud platform for content, community and commerce.  Investments made directly by Amazon, and not Jeff Bezos, are fairly infrequent. Recent examples include small investments in e-commerce companies in China or India...

What's a cloud services broker, and why do you need one?

Grazed from CIO. Author: Chris Carroll.

The proportion of cloud services purchased through cloud brokers is growing, and Gartner predicts it will soon make up a substantial portion of cloud purchases. The appeal of a cloud broker is obvious: It allows the enterprise to leverage specialized expertise to provision expensive and complicated services. But what is a cloud services broker (CSB), and why do so many companies need one? What’s the impact of CSBs on IT, and should brokering the cloud be done externally or can it be as an internal IT function?

The Role of a Cloud Services Broker

As organizations continue to turn to cloud computing, the demand for specialized expertise to provision the optimal cloud offerings for enterprise business and technical requirements is rapidly increasing. This has led to the swift emergence of CSBs, who help the enterprise with all things cloud: from evaluating cloud service providers to negotiating contracts and documenting cloud vendor deliverables...

How free cloud services become free, currency-mining, DDoS-attacking botnets

Grazed from Gigaom. Author: Derrick Harris.

It’s no secret that the cloud has the potential to be a hacker’s paradise, chock-full of all the password-cracking computing power a trove of stolen credit cards can buy. Surely, though, this type of bad behavior can’t be carried out without any direct financial investment. After all, the free tiers on most cloud computing services are pretty minimal — a single core (probably fairly weak) and maybe a few gigabytes of storage. What can anyone do with that? A whole lot, if they’re clever.

At the Black Hat security conference this week, a pair of professional penetration testers, Rob Ragan and Oscar Salazar of Bishop Fox, showed how they built a functional 1,000-node botnet by stringing together resources from a variety of services. They used it to mine some Litecoin and could have done a whole lot more if they weren’t trying to minimize harm to other cloud users (by being noisy neighbors) or cloud providers (by driving up power bills)...

Academic HPC and Cloud Services Start to Blur

Grazed from HPCWire. Author: Wolfgang Gentzsch.

Stuttgart HPC Center (HLRS) director Michael Resch will present the ISC Cloud keynote on “HPC & Simulation in the Cloud – How Academia & Industry Can Benefit,” at the conference this September. ISC Cloud, the fifth in the series, will take place September 29 and 30 in Heidelberg, Germany.

As an HPC cloud skeptic in 2011, Resch characterized cloud computing as hype and predicted it would eventually go away. In the following interview with Wolfgang Gentzsch, Chairman of the ISC Cloud Conference and President of the UberCloud, Resch explains why he has come to think much more favorably of HPC cloud over the last three years...

Mobile cloud services bring user convenience, but at what cost?

Grazed from TechTarget.  Author: Michael Finneran.

The combination of mobile devices and the cloud provides a vision of what computing may look like in the future. One of the most compelling reasons for individuals and enterprises to store data with mobile cloud services is continuous, ubiquitous access. Users who store files with cloud storage services can have immediate access to them anytime, anywhere and from any device -- assuming they have network connectivity.

 Millions have already taken their data to popular consumer-oriented mobile cloud services such as Dropbox, and some have taken the further step of synching many of their work files to those services. This leaves enterprise IT professionals wondering: How secure are these consumer services? And how can employees be restricted from using them?...

Sprint to resell Google Apps for Business cloud service

Grazed from ComputerWorld. Author: Mark Hamblen.

Sprint on Wednesday announced a partnership with Google to offer the Google Apps for Business cloud service, adding that customers of the service won't be required to use Sprint's wireless network or Android devices. The partnership helps move Sprint well beyond it's role as a basic wireless carrier for businesses to one that will bolster basic Google cloud service and access to Google apps with Sprint's own hands-on professional consulting, much of it free.

The announcement comes amid widespread reports that Sprint is in discussions to buy T-Mobile and just weeks after a six-month study of wireless carrier network performance found Sprint didn't finish first among national carriers in any of 125 U.S. cities. Sprint's resale of Google Apps for Business kicks off officially on Aug. 18...

Must-know: Cloud computing services and deployment models

Grazed from MarketRealist. Author: Anupama Shukla.

Huge investments and differentiated services provided by Cloud leave no doubt that it’s being aggressively used and adopted. However,every business is different and so are its applications, confidentiality, and the level of support required. As a result, cloud computing has different offerings and deployment models to suit varied business requirements.

The previous chart illustrates the cloud service models of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS that are built on the cloud computing essential characteristics. The cloud service models can be used either individually or in combination with other service models to create the cloud deployment models...

NetFortris Offers Cloud-Based Solutions for App, Data, Voice Services

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Dan Kobialka.

Cloud-based voice and data communications provider NetFortris yesterday unveiled new services for mid-sized, multi-location enterprises. NetFortris, previously known as Telekenex, is offering a Cloud Communications Platform (CCP) that manages application and network resources.

"The NetFortris CCP is a powerful platform upon which organizations can grow their business," NetFortris CEO Grant Evans said in a prepared statement. "We've built a world-class support infrastructure, giving companies the support they need as they build their IT infrastructure on the NetFortris platform."...

FBI seeks information about cloud services to store criminal justice data

Grazed from FierceGovernmentIT. Author: Henry Kenyon.

The FBI is seeking commercial cloud-computing options that can store vast amounts of criminal justice data. In a recent request for information, the bureau said it wants an on-site, infrastructure-as-a-service, "cloud in a box" system to support the Criminal Justice Information Services division in Clarksburg, W.Va., at multiple locations across the country.

In the request, the FBI said the system capabilities should include rent processing, storage, networks and other computing resources such as operating systems and applications. The cloud infrastructure would be run by a commercial provider, but its physical components such as servers would reside at FBI facilities. The bureau would also retain control over any "operating systems, storage, deployed applications, and networking components such as firewalls and load balancers."...

Fortinet Delivers On-Demand, Pay-As-You-Go Virtual Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) for Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Grazed from MarketWatch. Author: PR Announcement.

Fortinet -- a world leader in high-performance network security -- today announced enhancements to its existing FortiWeb-VM Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) for Amazon Web Services (AWS) to include on-demand, pay-as-you-go offerings. FortiWeb-VM for AWS helps AWS enterprise customers secure their cloud-based Web applications and meet PCI DSS compliance requirements.

FortiWeb-VM for AWS can now be utilized seamlessly on an hourly or annual subscription basis, complementing existing Bring Your Own License (BYOL) options. When procured via AWS Marketplace for on-demand delivery and integrated metering, billing, and payments, AWS customers can now consume "security-as-a-service" in the same simple and elastic manner as they would with the AWS infrastructure itself. A significant benefit of the new on-demand, pay-as-you-go model is scaling the solution to meet immediate needs, while still offering predictable cost models. The new AWS Marketplace annual subscription options potentially allow CAPEX savings of up to 40 percent when compared to hourly pricing over the same 12 month period...