It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

It’s Tuesday, which means another instalment of Technology Tuesday. This week, we look at ASG and their CloudFactory offering. CloudFactory can be thought of as a way to automate all things cloud including services (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), different platform types (VMware, Azure) and provisioning multi-vendor environments.

Quite simply, CloudFactory makes it easy for organizations to offer cloud services without a lot of the back-end operations normally required to support this type of service. But there’s more to this than you might think. Continue reading

If there’s anything around here more important than my ego, I want it caught and shot now!

This week I decided to take a step back and dedicate the entire week (with the exception of my Technology Tuesday post) to highlighting the latest and greatest in each of the different cloud service models, starting with today’s post dedicated to Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS. Throughout the week I will be exploring aside from IaaS, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS).

So let’s just right in, shall we? Today we look at the bottom level of our service model, Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS as it’s usually called. Continue reading

All right, look, there’s only one “Return,” okay, and it ain’t “of the King,” it’s “of the Jedi.”

Continuing from yesterday’s post about disaster recovery (DR), today I want to highlight some of the types of DR services that are available and some of the benefits and drawbacks of each service. So without further ado, Allons-y! Continue reading

It must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

One of the most frustrating things for me personally is the hype that surrounds cloud and the way it overshadows the true benefits and issues of a cloud model. I am sure I am not the only one who is greeted with so much eye rolling when I mention the word cloud that it feels like I stepped into bad movie about exorcism.

But that doesn’t mean that no one cares about cloud, I wouldn’t have a blog if that were true. Disaster Recovery is a perfect example of where people start to listen to talk about cloud models, after all, if you subscribe to only one cloud-based service, there is a good chance its a DR one. Disaster Recovery is one of those services that highlights the reasons that cloud isn’t going anywhere, but it also puts the complicated learning curve of cloud in the spotlight. Continue reading

I Shouldn’t Have Written All Of Those Tank Programs

When firewalls were first designed, their role was to control traffic between network segments and physical hardware.  As we move into greater adoption of cloud and virtualized infrastructure, the physical design of the network becomes less dominant, largely due to the collapsing of physical servers into fewer virtualized servers.  This means the main source of security control needs to also be adapted as the threats start to move to the individual VMs residing in servers, especially when multi-tenancy is utilized.  This means that the logical barriers segregating virtual machines become the concern for firewalls, not just the network around the physical server.  So how do you protect the inter-VM traffic when a traditional firewall cannot see traffic beyond the physical NIC card of the server?

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 I was expecting applause but I suppose stunned silence is equally appropriate.

As part of my new series “Technology Tuesdays”, I’m going to dedicate these posts to highlighting some of the lesser known but equally awesome technologies that relate to cloud and virtualization.  One of my latest and favorite virtualization goodies to come out in 2011 has to be VMware Horizon for Mobile.  What is Horizon?  Well, to quote the VMware folks directly:

Horizon Mobile Manager is a product that will allow enterprise IT administrators to create, provision, monitor and manage a corporate phone that will be running on an employee-owned smart phone. “

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Gentlemen, I wouldn’t trust this overgrown pile of microchips any further than I can throw it.

Forensics as it relates to data has always been a tricky area for investigators. As technology becomes more and more sophisticated, it has become harder and harder to ensure the availability of information in forensics investigations. The introduction of sophisticated web attacks has only made it harder to accurately pinpoint the attacks, and cloud has just thrown another wrench into the whole thing. In fact, forensics for cloud and virtualization environments has really become one of those subjects no one wants to address because frankly, it’s not going to be pretty. Continue reading

It’s Amazing How Productive Doing Nothing Can Be.

Let’s face it, sorting out all the various cloud offerings from service providers, technology manufacturers software developers is getting more difficult. It seems as if every day there is a new cloud platform or automation tool available, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to keep track of all these advancements without losing sight of their organizations own objectives.

It is from this that we are seeing an increased need for a new type of service provider, the cloud broker. Cloud brokers will start to play a key role in three areas of opportunities according to Gartner, cloud service intermediation, aggregation and cloud service arbitrage. So why do we need cloud brokers? Continue reading

Ah! Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal!

The discussion around cloud adoption is a unique one depending on which audience you are addressing.  From a high-level, C-level executives are excited about the business transformation possibilities, but as you go further and further down the organization, especially into the IT departments, there is a different type of attitude.  Many IT professionals (both infrastructure and security) view cloud as hype that is designed to either make their lives more difficult or will render them obsolete.  This isn’t the first time we saw significant change.  Remember the mainframe transition?  But the great thing about cloud is that it’s not designed to streamline IT inefficiencies from a role perspective, it’s meant to do more with less.  IT professionals need to see that cloud gives them the chance to learn new technologies and become experts in a fast-moving market that will rely heavily on those who can adopt these new skills the quickest. Continue reading

Bring in the Logic Probe!

Following up on last week’s post about Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) devices, I decided to delve a bit deeper into intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS), as it’s one of those technologies that required adaptation to work with virtualization. If you run a virtualized or cloud environment, I’m sad to tell you that unless you recently purchased a virtualized IDS/IPS device, your current device works fantastic on your network, but is not seeing anything that is going on in your VM environment. Why is that? Let me explain… Continue reading