Archive for the ‘News’ Category

 

Building private cloud infrastructure

Friday, July 5th, 2013 by

Although the proliferation of public cloud computing technologies has encouraged a large portion of the business world to migrate resources to an off-site environment, many decision-makers believe managing their own assets can be more beneficial. For this reason, among others, enterprise executives often prefer to leverage a private cloud architecture that enables them to satisfy numerous goals that cannot be met while using only the public cloud.

Building a private cloud infrastructure

Building a private cloud infrastructure

Yet constructing a private cloud is not a simple one-and-done process. A recent InfoWorld report highlighted how constructing a private infrastructure is similar to building a data center, though it is distinct in several ways. For one, the management layer capabilities are different in a private cloud than they are in a premise-based virtualization architecture.

InfoWorld noted that private clouds, for the most part, will offer some level of self-service, which is important for organizations that need to manage various solutions throughout their life cycle. Unlike conventional data centers, however, these management capabilities must be available to business units, not just the IT department. This is because it is often too time-consuming to have business teams consult with IT every time servers must be commissioned or other processes need to happen.

By working with a trusted service provider, companies can be sure they implement private clouds with the appropriate management capabilities for the workforce as a whole.

Leveled security
In traditional IT environments, IT controls the majority of security controls, which makes administrative considerations unnecessary. Because the private cloud enables individuals to decommission, deploy and manage servers on their own, decision-makers need to ensure they have the ability to protect sensitive information and resources during these procedures, InfoWorld noted.

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Report: A third of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 by

Cloud computing is transforming the business world, allowing companies of all sizes to implement advanced software and embrace innovative IT trends with fewer concerns and bigger savings. At the same time, however, not everything that can benefit from the cloud is doing so, as there are many technologies that have yet to make the transition to the hosted environment.

33 percent of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

33 percent of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

Unfortunately, the transition of many technologies, such as office systems and email, is slower than many advocates predicted. Gartner recently highlighted this occurrence, noting that only 8 percent of all office system users are in the cloud. Still, analysts believe this is a progressing market, noting that 33 percent of these tools will be in the cloud by 2017.

This market will gain significant momentum after 2015, Gartner noted. This is likely because the cloud will be more familiar to most organizations by then and employees will demand the ability to access mission-critical resources from anywhere.

“Despite the hype surrounding migration to the cloud, big differences in movement rates continue, depending on organizations’ size, industry, geography and specific requirements,” said Tom Austin, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “While 8 percent of business people were using cloud office systems at the start of 2013, we estimate this number will grow to 695 million users by 2022, to represent 60 percent.”

What factors weigh into cloud decisions?
Analysts noted that email is one of the world’s most significant collaborative tools, as it provides individuals with the ability to share information across networks and platforms. In many organizations, the option to move email to the cloud is among the biggest decisions, weighing into moving the entire office system to the cloud or not. Gartner believes that at least 10 percent of all email users will be based in the cloud by the end of next year, a number that will triple by the end of 2017.

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Cloud computing improves security for SMBs, studies reveal

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 by

For the past several years, cloud computing has been disrupting the business world by providing organizations with innovative ways to save money, improve operations and gain access to next-generation applications. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have begun to recognize that the benefits of the cloud have reached their organizations as well. Still, some fears about the hosted services held many companies back. A recent study of US SMBs by Microsoft, however, revealed that many of these concerns are not backed by data but are really just misconceptions about the technology.

Cloud computing improves security, not impairs it

Cloud computing improves security, not impairs it

The survey found that 60 percent of organizations that have not yet adopted the cloud because of security concerns. Other SMBs that have not embraced the cloud said the fear of unreliability or loss of control over sensitive data held them back.

Conversely, businesses that have adopted the cloud have experienced benefits in all of these categories, suggesting the shroud of uncertainty surrounding the cloud should not be an obstacle.

“There’s a big gap between perception and reality when it comes to the cloud. SMBs that have adopted cloud services found security, privacy and reliability advantages to an extent they didn’t expect,” said Adrienne Hall of Microsoft. “The real silver lining in cloud computing is that it enables companies not only to invest more time and money into growing their business, but to better secure their data and to do so with greater degrees of service reliability as well.”

The truth about the cloud
The underlying reality of a cloud infrastructure is that it is often more secure and reliable than traditional premise-based systems. Microsoft highlighted this truth when it found that a whopping 94 percent of SMBs using the cloud revealed that they acquired more security benefits using the hosted services than they did with legacy solutions. This meant having access to more innovative and up-to-date antivirus and data management tools.

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Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Friday, May 31st, 2013 by

When cloud computing first emerged, IT analysts had mixed feelings about the hosted services, unsure if they would be embraced or disregarded in the enterprise. Today, experts understand that the cloud now plays a central role in the ongoing development of the business world, providing decision-makers and employees with innovative solutions for growth and performance improvements.

Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Companies are using a mix of different cloud models, including Platform, Software and Infrastructure as a Service, all with positive results. In fact, a recent CA Technologies survey of IT decision-makers who have been using the cloud for at least a year found that the benefits of using the hosted solutions are exceeding many respondents’ expectations.

Many executives highlighted the cost-saving advantages of the cloud. This is because the ongoing use of the cloud is allowing decision-makers to become more familiar with the technology and, as a result, establish new goals and objectives. ”Cost is often considered an early benefit – or even a required result – in order for IT teams to justify moving in the direction of the cloud,” said John Michelsen, chief technology officer of CA Technologies. “Once they show that cloud computing improves the bottom line, they can shift their focus to innovation and other objectives, such as increased performance and enhanced security.”

Who is using the cloud?
CA Technologies found several unique distinctions between organizations planning to invest more in cloud servers and other solutions within the next year and firms that are still on the fence. First, businesses that have been using the cloud for four or more years are roughly six times as likely to spend more money on the hosted services in 2013 than their counterparts that are relatively newer to the environment. This suggests that companies that have done more than just tested the water are more comfortable with the cloud and are experiencing greater results.

Second, the study found that organizations in the United States are more likely to invest in the cloud this year than businesses in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Benelux. In fact, 48 percent of U.S. respondents stated they plan to up cloud spending by up to 30 percent, while another 17 percent will invest even more. This is a stark contrast between the 42 percent and 4 percent, respectively, of European IT decision-makers.

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Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe

Friday, May 3rd, 2013 by

As businesses around the world continue to pursue mobile, social and cloud computing technologies in an effort to improve operations and stay competitive, more organizations are falling victim to sophisticated digital threats that are being reengineered with next-generation infrastructure environments in mind. To keep mission-critical resources safe, decision-makers will need to be vigilant and implement innovative solutions to reduce risk.

Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe

Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe

Unfortunately, the cloud risk landscape is not standardized, meaning organizations are often on their own when it comes to assessing and guarding against potential threats. A recent TechTarget report highlighted how a variety of consulting agencies have come forward during the past several years with documents containing information about the potential cloud threat landscape, although these resources may not provide companies with all the information they need to truly mitigate risk.

Understanding cloud security risk assessments
Enterprise executives need to develop a robust cloud risk assessment framework if they are to migrate mission-critical resources to the hosted environment without exposing those assets to malicious cybercriminals who are targeting the private sector with more enthusiasm than ever. For the most part, Cloud service providers are aware of the expanding threat landscape, however, and have adjusted their offerings to make them more defensive against problems, TechTarget said. Still, the overall risk of doing anything digital is growing, forcing companies to take initiative.

To begin, IT directors should develop a model that defines potential risks and the relationship between those incidents and the data center, the news source stated. This is an important first step because it enables decision-makers to understand what potential threats are associated with using a particular cloud infrastructure model or solution. This approach also allows IT managers to evaluate the residual risk after any controls have been implemented to reduce challenges.

Because every organization is different, each will have its own unique definitions and problems to be on the lookout for. Retailers, for example, need to be aware of payment card industry compliance requirements and how cybercriminals will be on the prowl for financial data. Meanwhile, healthcare institutions must be vigilant when protecting personally identifiable information, as failing to do so will leave existing and prospective patients at risk.

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