Total Defense Extends Cloud Security Protection for Businesses in Europe

Total Defense, Inc., a provider of solutions to combat the growing threat of cybercrime, today announced the launch of Total Defense Cloud Security, an integrated cloud based SaaS (Security as a Service) solution for Web and email protection, for businesses in Europe. This new offering provides organizations with a powerful and versatile Web and email security platform that protects users anytime and anywhere.

The widespread use of the Web as a business tool, coupled with an increasingly mobile workforce, has enhanced corporate productivity, but it has also created new security challenges for companies that must balance providing access with protecting critical corporate assets and data.

“The days of the typical business user accessing the Internet solely from the safety of a protected corporate network are over. Today’s workers are connecting from an array of different devices through a multitude of private and public networks, Wi-Fi hotspots and home networks. Traditional appliance-based Web and Email security solutions are unable to address the evolving security needs of modern businesses,” said Paul Lipman, CEO of Total Defense.

read more

Singapore Gets New Cloud Center

The island-nation of Singapore, located in the southwest of the ASEAN region, competes with Hong Kong more than 1,500 miles to the northeast for business and attention. It is now also competing with the Chinese special administrative region (SAR) as an emerging cloud-computing center.

A recent development comes from Citic Telecom International CPC Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company that’s launched what it calls a SmartCloud center in Singapore. The center joins similar facilities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China.

The company expects cloud services to grow to 20-25% of its overall business within three years, according to a statement from company CEO Stephen Ho.

This is a complex facility, belying any belief one might have that cloud is simple. It incorporates technology from Dell, Riverbed, VMware, and HP (which is adding security management into the mix).

The Riverbed technology, designed to optimize performance, is a key aspect of Citic’s implementation. A local Riverbed spokesperson said the company’s technology will address “the vagaries of the Internet” with the idea of maximizing QoS (quality-of-service) issues.

Citic says Singapore will be its “communications hub” for Southeast Asia, and also says it will extend its presence to Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines in the near future.

The Singaporean government has been an active supporter of cloud computing, encouraging investment and developing an aggressive government cloud program that provides XaaS cloud services to local businesses. A non-profit organization in Hong Kong called Asia Cloud developed a “Cloud Readiness Index” last year that aggregated several factors into an Asian ranking. Hong Kong slightly topped Singapore, followed closely by Australia.

I prefer to be in Manila for many reasons, and think there is potential for any of the large-to-massive cities of the region – Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok – to emerge more fully. Sydney and Melbourne are present in regional-hub discussions as well.

With Singapore as its communication hub for the ASEAN region, Citic plans to extend its presence to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in the near future. Apart from Singapore, it has deployed more than 50 points of presence already in the Greater China and Asia Pacific, including Malaysia, Vietnam and Australia.

Several network-security vendors are also involved with the project, including Certes Networks, Juniper Networks, Fortinet, and McAfee. The goal is to get Citic’s regional centers to work as disaster-recovery centers for one another.

Note that the technology vendors named here are all US Companies. Is anybody in Washington listening when we plead for them to pay more attention to the great and vast US cloud-computing innovation culture?

read more

Speed Awareness Month Highlights Why Split Seconds Count on the Web

A consortium of web-performance industry companies today launched SpeedAwareness Month, a web-based educational program designed to help site owners learn about the importance of improving their website download speeds.

Speed Awareness month will run through the month of August 2012.

Research shows that many consumers will abandon a site if it takes longer than two seconds to load.  Similarly, slow website speeds can impact search engine rankings, can increase pay-per-click advertising costs, reduce sales conversions and, in the end, decrease revenues.

Maximizing the performance of a website is as essential to site operators as having the right content and marketing program. On the Speed Awareness Month website, site owners can find regular blog posts, best practice recommendations, tutorials and free or trial services and tools they can use to boost website speed.

Speed Awareness Month is a collaborative effort organized by the following industry leading firms: Dyn Inc., MaxCDN, and More companies are expected to join the effort through the month.

Best practice and thought leadership content will come from the sponsors and more than 20 other industry thought leaders.

“I am very excited to see how many companies and experts are participating in Speed Awareness Month. We hope to reach as many website owners as possible and make them aware of the importance of website performance for their business,” said David Henzel, Speed Awareness Month organizer and vice president of marketing for NetDNA/MaxCDN. “The tips and free tools offered during this month will be a huge help for web masters to find out where the bottlenecks of their sites are and how to remove them.”

Speed Awareness Month is designed for all developers, system administrators, eCommerce shop owners and everyone that has a passion for website development and improvement.

The event is open to content from any experts who want to participate and have a passion or spread knowledge about web performance optimization.  To contribute, contact David Henzel at

Cloud Expo Silicon Valley: Maintain Ultimate Control of Cloud Backups

Convincing your clients to add cloud-based backups to their business continuity plan is often thwarted by a fear of losing control over offsite data. With an army of StorageCraft solutions empowering you to quickly access your data in multiple ways, you can easily convince your clients to add this wise level of protection.
In his session at the 11th International Cloud Expo, Kimber Barton, Principle Sales Engineer at StorageCraft, will walks through offsite backup storage options, including StorageCraft Cloud Services, and the StorageCraft technologies that give you the power to maintain ultimate control over your offsite data.

read more

Consumer cloud storage ever-present in the enterprise

The popularity of storage products such as Dropbox is infiltrating into enterprise as users go against company policy to utilise cloud-based storage.

According to a recent report from social business network Spiceworks, 33% of organisations said that their staff was using personal storage products.

The report, entitled ‘The Cloud Barometer’, aims to give insight into SMEs and their usage of cloud-based file sharing software. Spiceworks interviewed over 300 users across North America and the Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) region.

The IT industry appears to have a mixed view on this acceleration, with 31% of companies surveyed agreeing that employees could use any provider they wished, yet 32% discouraged the behaviour.

Spiceworks noted that despite the accessibility, collaboration and convenience associated with cloud-based storage software, employers were still wary of the risks associated with file-sharing; evidently the type of data being shared and the usual bedbug, security.

Regarding specifics …

Amazon Web Services Launches High Performance Storage Option for Amazon Elastic Block Store

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Amazon Web Services today announced new features for customers looking to run high performance databases in the cloud with the launch of Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) Provisioned IOPS. Provisioned IOPS (input/output operations per second) are a new EBS volume type designed to deliver predictable, high performance for I/O intensive workloads, such as database applications, that rely on consistent and fast response times. With Provisioned IOPS, customers can flexibly specify both volume size and volume performance, and Amazon EBS will consistently deliver the desired performance over the lifetime of the volume. To get started with Amazon EBS, visit

Provisioned IOPS volumes are engineered to allow customers to develop, test, and deploy production applications and be confident that they will receive their desired performance. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can create an EBS volume provisioned with the storage and IOPS they need and attach it to their Amazon EC2 instance. Amazon EBS currently supports up to 1,000 IOPS per Provisioned IOPS volume, with plans to deliver higher limits soon. Customers can attach multiple Amazon EBS volumes to an Amazon EC2 instance and stripe across them to deliver thousands of IOPS to their application.

To enable Amazon EC2 instances to fully utilize the IOPS provisioned on an EBS volume, Amazon EC2 is introducing the ability to launch selected Amazon EC2 instance types as EBS-Optimized instances. EBS-Optimized instances deliver dedicated throughput between Amazon EC2 and Amazon EBS, with options between 500 Megabits per second and 1,000 Megabits per second depending on the instance type used. The combination of EBS Provisioned IOPS and EBS-Optimized instances allows customers to run their most performance-sensitive applications on Amazon EC2, giving them predictable scaling with the same ease of use, durability, and flexibility of provisioning benefits they expect from Amazon EC2 and Amazon EBS.

“AWS introduced Amazon EBS in 2008 to provide a highly scalable virtual storage service and now, four years later, our customers are running applications on Amazon EC2 using EBS volumes at tremendous scale,” said Peter De Santis, Vice President of Amazon EC2. “Customers have been asking for the ability to set their performance rate to achieve consistently high performance. With EBS Provisioned IOPS volumes, EBS-Optimized instances and the recently launched High I/O SSD-based EC2 instances, customers have a range of choices for running their most demanding applications and databases on AWS while achieving peak performance in a predictable manner.”

At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Amazon EBS is used to support various missions and research programs. Consistent performance of I/O is a major requirement for numerous use cases across NASA ranging from scientific computing to large scale database deployments. JPL now routinely provisions cloud compute capacity in an elastic manner but database latencies have proven difficult. To help meet this challenge, JPL’s missions and its Office of the CIO prototyped the new EBS Provisioned IOPS capability to provision flexible compute capacity and overcome database latency restrictions. The results were highly successful and the release of EBS Provisioned IOPS, coupled with Amazon EC2 High I/O SSD-based instances, will introduce a whole new realm of I/O intensive scientific applications for JPL from radar data processing to the quest of black holes.

Stratalux is a leader in building and managing tailored cloud solutions for customers of all sizes. “A common request we see from both our large and small customers is the need to support high performance database applications. Throughput consistency is critical for these workloads,” said Jeremy Przygode, CEO at Stratalux. “Based on positive results in our early testing, the combination of EBS Provisioned IOPS and EBS-Optimized instances will enable our customers to consistently scale their database applications to thousands of IOPS, enabling us to increase the number of I/O intensive workloads we support.”

Amazon EBS Provisioned IOPS volumes are currently available in the US-East (N. Virginia), US-West (N. California), US-West (Oregon), EU-West (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), and Asia Pacific (Japan) regions with additional Region launches coming soon.

AppFog Collaborates with Rackspace to Support Open Cloud Ecosystem

Image representing Rackspace as depicted in Cr...

AppFog today announced it is collaborating with Rackspace to allow its customers to deploy applications to the open Rackspace Cloud powered by OpenStack. AppFog’s solution will be available through the recently announced Rackspace Cloud Tools Marketplace.

AppFog will offer customers the ability to develop and deploy apps to the open Rackspace Cloud in an efficient and cost effective manner. Highlighting a pay-for RAM approach, developers are able to receive 2GB free of RAM simply by creating an account. Users will reap the benefits of interoperability, as AppFog provides customers with the capacity to redeploy applications to Rackspace that are currently running on a different Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider with zero-code migrations, while helping users avoid vendor lock-in. AppFog’s IaaS deployment options continue to expand with the addition of Rackspace to a list that already includes AWS, HP, and Microsoft Azure. As a multi-language PaaS, AppFog supports Java, .NET, Node, Python, Ruby, PHP, MySQL, MongoDB, Postgres and more.

“We are very excited to align our efforts with Rackspace,” said Lucas Carlson, chief executive officer of AppFog. “As a market leader and a powerful force within OpenStack, Rackspace is a valuable option for developers looking for a reliable, scalable and secure IaaS option. With Cloud Databases and Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack, we can be assured that our efforts support open standards, protect against vendor lock-in and enable developers to deploy on public or private OpenStack-based clouds.”

The Rackspace Cloud Tools Marketplace is a comprehensive catalog of innovative, third-party-developed applications designed for the Rackspace Cloud. By leveraging OpenStack and developing solutions specifically for the open Rackspace Cloud, AppFog provides increased flexibility for customers and helps them avoid vendor lock-in. Additionally, through the marketplace, customers can now browse, review and connect to cloud solutions focused on management, monitoring, application deployment, security and a host of other areas.

“We’re excited to be working with AppFog and for their platform to be available through the Rackspace Cloud Tools Marketplace,” said Ven Shanmugam, senior manager of corporate strategy at Rackspace. “AppFog provides developers with a trusted platform for application development and deployment and we look forward to ongoing collaboration to have these capabilities available to our customers.”

For more information on AppFog, please visit

Journey to the Cloud First Year: Top 10 Posts

Journey to the Cloud has now been around for over a year! We thought it would be cool to count down our Top 10 Posts since starting the blog. Let us know in the comment section if you think we missed one of your favorites!

10. Cloud Theory to Cloud Reality: The Importance of Partner Management by Robb Schlosser

In Robb’s one and only post he discusses the importance of partner management on an organization’s journey to the cloud.

9. Going Rogue: Do the Advantages Outweigh the Risks? by John Dixon

John reflects on a Twitter chat he participated in hosted by the Cloud Commons blog. Are all rogue IT projects bad things? Could this type of activity be beneficial? If rogue IT projects could be beneficial, should they be supported or even encouraged?

8. The Journey to the New IT: Four Key Observations by Chris Chesley

In this video blog (accompanied by text), Solutions Architect Chris Chesley discusses the four major transformations he has seen in IT. Users are now the focus, not applications or locations, Virtualization is now a commodity, Cloud is here, and Better technology, better ways of solving issues.

7. The Private Cloud Strikes Back by Trevor Williamson

When’s JP Rangaswami made comments dissing the private cloud, Trevor Williamson responded with fire!

6. Thin on Thin Provisioning – Good Idea or Recipe for Disaster? by Chris Ward

Chris Ward discusses best practices of thin on thin provisioning. What is it? How do I use it? Positives vs. Negatives? Recommendations.

5. How Cloud Computing is Like Transforming a ’68 Dodge Dart by Trevor Williamson

In order to break down the many different concepts of cloud and cloud technologies, Trevor compares a traditionally managed datacenter with a 1968 Dodge Dart. Video & Text.

4. Mobile Devices in a Cloud World by Ken Smith

In this post, Ken discusses security of endpoint mobile devices.

3. What Should I Do about Cloud? by John Dixon

Pick your poison… Public, Private, Hybrid, Community, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS… even XaaS (anything as a service!). On-premises, off-premises… or even “on-premise” if you want!

2. How a Cloud Infrastructure Can Save or Make You Money by Trevor Williamson

Everyone is wondering about the ROI of a cloud infrastructure. In this post, Trevor points to where the revenue benefits are found or where costs are typically saved in a cloud infrastructure vs. a traditional infrastructure.

1. Planning for Cloud Infrastructures: Build It and They Will…Not Pay For It? by Trevor Williamson

And at number 1…Trevor discusess the CAPEX and OPEX funding issues that are causing the biggest headaches in the industry!


What’d you think of the list?

If you’re looking for additional free resources check out this Private Cloud Preflight Checklist, this VDI Webinar Recording, or this Managed Services Article!


Big Data Analytics Are Key for Security Practices and More

ISF urges business to use Big Data Analytics for security purposes – in a recent ISF study, they had six key findings as well a large number of recommendations. “The key recommendation is for organizations to exploit their existing data analytics capabilities, to identify security areas that can be addressed, and to start small with a limited pilot project.”
Revised Cybersecurity Act of 2012 Again Goes Before US Senate – the re-worked Cybersecurity Act of 2012 might be able to pass through the senate. The earlier bill did not pass due to issues with digital privacy and personal freedoms. “This revised legislation would establish a robust public‐private partnership to improve the cybersecurity of our nation’s most critical infrastructure, which is mostly owned by the private sector,
as stated by the bill.

read more