Cloud security: Sorry, what was that?

LAS VEGAS -- IT pros at the Enterprise Cloud Summit confirmed the essential obstacle for enterprises considering cloud computing: security. whilst evangelists and cloud vendors made attractive pitches on cost and simple access – the term "business agility" is usually heard -- attendees made clear that they're going to need quite an enthusiasm to require to participate. For one thing, many enterprise users don't face immediate computing technology A network architect at a Canadian telecom company said her firm was within the middle of a knowledge center consolidation effort, which she was there to find out a number of the nuts and bolts of the cloud, but anticipated no enter cloud until her company started its next upgrade cycle, years down the road.

A January 2009 IDC poll bears out this type of delay, showing that while the economic slowdown pushed 2% of enterprises into greater cloud adoption, 61% of companies said it might haven't any impact or maybe reduce the pace that they moved into cloud computing cloud security concerns pose adoption hurdle But the attraction is real; the pharmaceutical sector is keen to use cloud infrastructure services to alleviate acute IT scaling issues, but concerns over security and compliance have prevented these companies from jumping in 
Almac Clinical Technologies is growing fast - the dimensions of its clinical trials has jumped from many people to tens of thousands of individuals during a matter of months. call center technology Getting the infrastructure deployed to support these trials during a timely way is nearly impossible, consistent with Jack Kosowsky, the director of systems development at Almac. But he said protecting the company's property within the cloud is "critical" before he can even think about using a service like Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

During the event, cloud proponents warned that enterprises might find frustrated developers and users doing an sweep around too-cautious IT management by beginning projects within the cloud themselves. One attendee outlined his firm's prescription for early adopters; he said that MasterCard ordering of cloud services was immediate grounds for termination at his company. Liability is another unknown within the cloud computing world: businesses considering using cloud services will got to protect themselves against "information malpractice," consistent with Drew Bartkiewicz, the VP of cyber-risk and new-media markets at the Hartford insurance firm . He said that companies should stand back from cloud providers that aren't hospitable discussing contractual, legal, privacy and compliance concerns. Michelle Munson, co-founder, and developer of Aspera thinks that reliability "is a way bigger issue than people are letting on.

" She went on to mention that liability and security aside if cloud computing consolidates into too few providers, it might represent a worldwide security concern of the very best order. Munson points to natural disasters as a primary consideration, just like the Middle Eastern undersea outage in 2008 and to Google's 2-hour May 14th outage, saying companies might not realize their exposure until after the very fact. "Wait until the primary 12-hour outage from a serious [cloud] provider," she said. Overall, the consensus is clear: The cloud's promise of easy, elastic computing power isn't enough for users with established IT organizations. That's to not say the interest isn't there -- it's , but real-world concerns far outweigh lofty ideas at now . Carl Brooks is that the Technology Write for. Executive Editor Jo Maitland provided additional reporting for this story. Cloud billing triggers anxietyLAS VEGAS -- Anyone that's opened a monthly telephone bill is acutely conscious of the angst it can trigger when charges are wildly out of wack with expectations.

 Variable-rate pricing for cloud infrastructure services can begin just these sorts of anxiety attacks among IT managers and CIOs who are wont to the fixed costs related to owning hardware themselves. Adding another billing model on top of what a CIO is already handling adds some friction," said Jesse Robbins, the co-founder and CEO of Opscode, a cloud infrastructure management startup, during a panel session on cloud costs and billing models at the Enterprise Cloud Summit here in the week . Paying for servers by the CPU per hour isn't something we all know the way to allow, "information technology degrees said an attendee at a worldwide food services company. "There must be more metering … a capability to manage usage departmentally to stay close control of it," he said. Microsoft's Amitabh Srivastava, the senior vice chairman of Windows Azure, agreed that the pricing and billing aspect of cloud services may be a "very genuine worry" among customers. Azure is going to be available during a pay-as-you-go model but also feature discount pricing for commitment up-front, and corporations can cap it, he said.

 additionally, the Azure pricing model is going to be folded into enterprise agreements in order that companies aren't managing different pricing schemes that might make it harder to trace and plan budgets. Weighing cloud billing options But if thresholds are established on usage, attendees worried that users would be stop within the middle of doing important work. Where's the visibility and control?" asked Daryl Ford, the director of communications and infrastructure services at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Scott Clark, a senior manager of engineering systems at Broadcom Corp., said that he must be ready to show his management a flat rate. "Either my budget is staying an equivalent and that I get tons more for it or it's taking place ," he said Clark is trying to find a cloud infrastructure provider which will save him the cost on equipment, something Broadcom spends many dollars on. "If [cloud providers] do things at bigger economies of scale, I shouldn't need to pay a premium for those services. … I would like to understand what they're doing to form sure their costs are visible which the important price savings are becoming back to me," he said.

Companies within the cloud computing billing market include Zuora Inc., except Inc. and OpSource Inc., among others. Rackspace attempts to retool hosting into cloudless VEGAS -- Lew Moorman, the Chief Strategic Officer at Rackspace, which hosts cloud provider Mosso, says his company can compete effectively within the cloud computing marketplace despite a considerable handicap in infrastructure compared with Amazon.
Rackspace is one among the most important hosting companies within the world, but it doesn't have the infrastructure in situ to match Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) compute offerings or Google Apps' seamless application platform, and it's struggling to make competitive offerings within the newly emerging cloud infrastructure market. Currently Mosso offers server instances like EC2, but it lacks the appliance programming interface and adaptability in server images that make Amazon successful.It also lacks the computing resources of Amazon; consistent with estimates, Amazon's deployed capacity at around 250,000 servers, although it's not known what proportion of that capacity is public cloud and the way much is for retail operations.

 Rackspace has 50,000 servers, and while Moorman says Rackspace can't invest on an equivalent scale, the corporate is large enough to ascertain an equivalent economies of scale. "We're a $500 million company; if we were $50 million, I'd be far more nervous," he said. Unlike larger cloud providers, Rackspace isn't building its own data centers but it's leasing or retrofitting available space, the newest scheduled to open July 2009 in Virginia. Moorman says they will increase capacity quickly and cheaply, since, "We're paying an equivalent for servers as anyone else.". regardless of what, Rackspace is well behind cloud leaders in spending: Amazon reportedly spent $86 million on infrastructure in 2008, and scientific grid provider Teragrid received $65 million publicly grants to create data centers. Trying to realize on EC2 Moorman claims that Mosso can profit within the near term by offering services and transparency that Amazon currently doesn't. "We're so won't to serving customers that are risk-averse, it's a plus to us," Moorman said. "But I do not think it is a long-term advantage." He says Amazon "won't even tell you where" its servers host data. "I think which will change, or … they will not get enterprise business.

"But skeptics note that if cloud infrastructure – CPU time and storage – is moving toward being sold as a utility, service won't mean much. Alistair Croll, an analyst at BitTorrent, compares this model to a telephone company . "I don't care about the service unless my phone's on fire", he said. "It just has got to work." Croll is additionally skeptical about Rackspace's ability to compete for incapacity. "Each one among Google's data centers is more efficient than the last," he said, explaining that data centers are evolving into commodities themselves. He cited Microsoft's portable shipping containerized data centers as examples. Croll said Rackspace's best bet is to draw on its roots as a service provider since it'll not be ready to compete in raw compute power. Moorman agrees, "It's about computing services for businesses," he said. "It's a replacement world, and there are new skills, but this is often hosting." how briskly Rackspace can retool to satisfy new-world demands remains to be is live!

Exciting news, the location I’ve been brought on to write down and report for launched today! There are many contents there already, including straight news, advice, and expert commentary. Many of the articles already there are backfill — old news — but definitely worth a glance at since it comes on the brink of gathering all of TechTarget’s cloud stories in one place. That’s not an inconsequential resource, and that I am fully pimping it bent anyone who reads this blog. Please do remember that it's soft launch, we all know there are dead links and a few funky items- it's in process and that we aren't making an enormous noise about it. Comments welcome on general look and feel. As a bonus, I feel it's nice. It’s clean and straightforward to urge around. It’s getting to be a blast. A cloudy, cloudy blast.
So that’s nice In other news, I finished the Eucalyptus Systems piece. I’ll link thereto when it’s officially call at the planet  Another piece about the so-called “Legal Cloud” is up. I feel it’s newsworthy because it’s a really clear-cut example of what I’m getting to call the “Cloud VAR” (you could even say “Cee-VAR.

” That’s a cool-sounding acronym, right?). What they’ve done is essentially fence off their own little patch of Rackspace (I don’t know to what level or many technical details) as a virtual private cloud and are selling cloud resources to law firms, exclusively. These guys have industry expertise — CEO Mark Hadfield hails from Workshare Deltaview, which makes software for handling legal documents, and therefore the CTO comes from Joyent. At now, they're long on concept and short on target record (one customer told me he thought the Legal Cloud was basically non-existent and in early testing), but these guys say they need to be out of beta and open for business in 3 months (!). Of course, they will do that because await it, they're using the cloud. If the model works, they only build up their Rackspace headroom; if it doesn’t, they simply close up the faucet. No waiting, no planning, nothing but cash over the barrel. So that’s a heady recipe when risk capital seems mighty looking forward to cloud companies: take one cloud/IT manager type, one industry wonk and one MasterCard and Presto! Cloud VAR open for business. “Nimble” seems to be taking over an entire new meaning out here in cloud-lan