Report: Exploding Use of Cloud Services Raises Security Risks

A report released today by Skyhigh Networks paints a scary picture of the exploding cloud services space, with rising security risks, huge exposure to malware, too much Windows XP use and no safe haven in Europe for companies concerned about government spying.

The quarterly "Skyhigh Cloud Adoption and Risk Report" from the Cupertino, Calif.-based "cloud visibility and enablement company" collates data from more than 8.3 million users in more than 250 companies. It's the third report since the series started last fall.

The number of cloud services in use since last quarter increased 33 percent, from 2,675 to 3,571. On average, organizations used 759 cloud services, compared with 626 last quarter, a 21 percent increase. More

Posted by David Ramel on 05/07/2014 at 2:18 PM0 comments

IBM Enterprise Cloud Marketplace Launches

Big Blue is buying into this cloud thing in a big way, having invested $7 billion in 17 cloud-related acquisitions since 2010, leading up to this week's announcement of the IBM Cloud marketplace, which is chock-full of services from the company, its partners and others.

Chasing a $250 billion cloud market opportunity, IBM debuted the new one-stop shopping destination targeting enterprise developers, IT managers and business leaders. It features all kinds of "x-as-a-service" offerings, including the traditional Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) -- and some new ones such as Capabilities as a Service and even IBM as a Service. The marketplace will serve as a place where members of the targeted groups can learn, try software out before purchasing and buy services from the company and its global partner ecosystem. More

Posted by David Ramel on 05/01/2014 at 11:21 AM0 comments

Cloud Security Tool Helps Control Runaway 'Shadow IT'

Similar to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) problem that enterprise IT and security managers have to deal with, today's plethora of cloud-based applications and services presents another security problem.

To deal with possible security risks from unauthorized use of the cloud, CipherCloud on Wednesday announced the CipherCloud for Cloud Discovery solution, designed to give enterprises real-time and granular visibility into whatever cloud applications might be in use throughout an organization. More

Posted by David Ramel on 05/01/2014 at 9:44 AM0 comments

IBM Readies New Power Servers for Cloud, Big Data

Like most cloud providers, the SoftLayer service IBM acquired last year for $2 billion is made up of commodity x86/x64-class compute servers. Having recently said it will add compute infrastructure based on its high-performance and more scalable Power processors to the SoftLayer cloud, the OpenPOWER Foundation IBM established this week released technical specifications of the next iteration of the platform.

In addition to launching three new Power servers aimed at processing big data analytics, IBM claims its latest Power-based systems can process data 50 times faster than x86-based systems based on its own tests. The company also said some customers have reported Power can process queries 1,000 times faster and within seconds rather than hours. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/23/2014 at 3:39 PM0 comments

Windows, Flash Storage Converge

Microsoft wants to test the limits of flash storage. To that end, the company has been working with startup Violin Memory to develop the new Windows Flash Array, a converged storage-server appliance which has every component of Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 including SMB 3.0 Direct over RDMA built in and powered by dual-Intel Xeon E5-2448L processors.


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/23/2014 at 12:41 PM0 comments

OpenStack Targets Enterprise Workloads with Icehouse

The OpenStack Foundation on Thursday released its planned Icehouse build of the open source cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) operating system.

New OpenStack builds are released in April and October of every year, and the latest Icehouse build boasts tighter platform integration and a slew of new features, including single sign-on support, discoverability and support for rolling upgrades. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/17/2014 at 1:35 PM0 comments

SAP Releases Business Suite, HANA as Cloud Services

Of all the major software companies, SAP is regarded as a laggard when it comes to transitioning its business from a traditional supplier of business applications to offering them as a service in the cloud. Lately, it has stepped up that effort.

SAP this week took the plunge, making its key software offerings available in the cloud as subscription-based services. Specifically, its HANA in-memory database is now available as a subscription service. Also available as a service is the SAP Business Suite, which includes the company's ERP, financial and industry-specific applications. The SAP Business Suite also runs on HANA, which provides business intelligence and real-time key performance indicators. The HANA-based SAP Business Warehouse is also now available as a service. The company announced its plans to offer the SAP Business Suite and HANA as a service last year. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/10/2014 at 11:54 AM0 comments

Microsoft Puts Spotlight on Azure at Build

Microsoft has strong ambitions for its Azure public cloud service, with 12 datacenters now in operation around the globe -- including two launched last week in China -- and an additional 16 datacenters planned by year's end.

At this week's Build conference in San Francisco, Microsoft showed how serious it is about advancing Azure.  More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/04/2014 at 1:21 PM0 comments

Study: Security Remains a Barrier to Cloud Migrations

Some of the largest enterprises are moving from monolithic datacenter architectures to private and hybrid clouds, according to the third-annual Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) membership survey (.PDF).

More than half of the ODCA's members (52 percent) are actively shifting their application development plans with cloud architectures, and are already running a significant portion of their operations in private clouds. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/03/2014 at 1:02 PM0 comments

Microsoft Hits Back at Amazon with Azure Price Cuts

The price war between Microsoft and Amazon continued Monday, when Microsoft responded to Amazon's recent round of cloud compute and storage price cuts by slashing the rates for its Windows Azure -- soon to be Microsoft Azure -- cloud service.

Microsoft is lowering the price of its Azure compute services by 35 percent and its storage service by 65 percent, the company announced. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/01/2014 at 1:02 PM0 comments

Amazon Launches Virtual Desktop Service, Slashes Prices Again

Amazon Web Services (AWS) this week made its new cloud-based Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering generally available.

The release of Amazon WorkSpaces, announced in November at its re:Invent customer and partner conference in Las Vegas, will provide a key measure for whether there's a broad market for DaaS. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/27/2014 at 4:43 PM0 comments

Google's New Managed VMs Combine Best of IaaS and PaaS

Google is the latest major IT provider looking to gain wider usage of its enterprise cloud services with the addition of new Managed Virtual Machines, designed to offer the best attributes of IaaS and PaaS.

The company also added several new offerings to its cloud portfolio, and -- looking to make a larger dent in the market -- slashed the price of its compute, storage and other service offerings.  More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/26/2014 at 9:30 AM0 comments

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