I’ll be honest with you, I love his music. I do. I’m a Michael Bolton fan. For my money, I don’t know if it gets any better than when he sings “When a Man Loves a Woman”.

I recently came across a post that probably caught a lot of attention from IT folks. It basically talked about the death of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The ironic thing is that IaaS is one of the most (if not THE most) available cloud services available. So why the little love for such a service? If you ask me, it’s because it’s like being half-pregnant. This is why.

So what are the main reasons for organizations to adopt cloud? Cost is a big one, since yes, if you subscribe to a service you save all the nasty upfront purchase fees, leverage OPEX over CAPEX and don’t have to worry about care and feeding costs (power, cooling, etc). The other reason is that organizations just want to outsource their storage and computing power to eliminate the hassles of managing it in-house.

So if you follow the logic, why are these organizations looking at IaaS? They still would need to be responsible for security, care and feeding of the O/S and programs. You’ve actually complicated things a little bit as the servers are off-site. Why wouldn’t you then just upgrade to Platform as a Service (PaaS), have the cloud provider handle all the security and compliance (written into the SLA ofcourse) and just worry about the actual programs running on the cloud boxes? Doesn’t it make more sense to delegate more of the responsibility to maintain the computing environment to the provider and make it easier on your IT team to take care of all the other IT tasks that are more business-focused such as upgrading billing systems or customer centric services?

Don’t get me wrong. There are some great cases for IaaS, but I just don’t understand why this type of service has become the dominant one when PaaS and SaaS makes more sense to me. Any ideas?

Bill, you’re gonna have to come up with a better pickup line because asking her her SAT score is NOT going to do it!

Yesterday Microsoft started to announce more details about its new Surface tablet PCs. Since I first came across the Surface table (remember that cool device that we expected to see pop up in all creative shops?) I, along with a good chunk of the market expected a quicker play from the MS folks. But is it too late for them?

I have to admit it, when it comes down to the whole Apple vs Microsoft thing, I have to root for the latter. I always love companies that do something for society aside from take their money for new gadgets. Microsoft donates more money to supporting charity and advancing cures for many diseases than most people are aware of. But there is more to it. Microsoft deserves a nice comeback. Here’s why.

Microsoft has always been an innovation company. They just unfortunately had a rough time finding the creative to join their cause. It’s like Pixar (yes, I know Mr. Jobs had his fingers in there), where you had creative on one side, and technology on the other, and they finally brought them together. Microsoft needs this. They need some really good backers from an innovation side to help them realize their products.

Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft has the right products, but if I was them….this is what I would do. First, since sadly the producers of BlackBerry mobile devices has stepped away, now might be a good time for Microsoft to talk to RIM and start to see what partnerships they can build. Think of your typical office, everyone for the most part (even cloud based organizations) use some Microsoft product. What if Blackberry products were redesigned to have better native integration with the Microsoft software family (Office, Office 365, Windows, etc), since it really would be nice to just be able to use PPT on our tablets, right?

There is a good market for Microsoft devices, large corporations who like standardization have lots to benefit from the flexibility that a Microsoft tablet would provide. Microsoft should look at the business market for tablets and phones. It’s not sexy, ofcourse not. But until they can prove that they have a solid case of adoption from business users, attempting to take a chunk from the Android vs Apple tablet market is risky. Android is already proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the mobile phone market, but what Android lacks is better utility from a software side. There still really isn’t decent productivity software like MS Office. So maybe an Android partnership would benefit as well.

In either case, I would honestly love to see Microsoft pull a stunt like the old days and climb back up to the top of the mountain. Apple’s time of innovation might slowly be creeping up to an end, so now is the perfect time to repeat history with Microsoft back to calling the shots.

The laptop situation really only affects you, whereas the White Castle situation affects us both equally.

I’ve written previously about the risks and benefits of vendor consolidation, and yesterday I came across another blog entry about the same topic over on VMware’s blog.  As cloud and virtualization force organizations to review their internal IT strategy, the idea of vendor consolidation gets pushed to the forefront.  Continue reading

You guys both got to stop perpetuating this myth that Boba Fett is some kind of bad-ass. All right? He has a jet pack. So did the Rocketeer.

Over the last week I’ve been focusing on catching up on my vendor reading and seeing what everyone has been up to. As a creature of habit, I must admit it was tempting to catch up on security news first and foremost, but I also wanted to start looking at new areas of cloud (well, for me anyway), particularly around collaboration and social media. Continue reading

Looks like you’ve been missing a lot of work lately. I wouldn’t say I’ve been *missing* it, Bob.

Yes, before you start to wonder what ever happened with Tinder Stratus, I’ve been enjoying some well-deserved downtime. I’m going to be cutting down the blog to write as much as I can, but as cloud starts to ramp up in Canada, I am going to be working on a few other side projects. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and since it’s Tuesday, I am happy to get back into the swing of things with a quick update from a security company that I first came across years ago, and are still creating some great solutions, especially now for the virtualization space.

Tripwire’s ConfigCheck is a great (and free!) utility that helps organizations get a quick picture of how secure their VMware ESX 3.0/3.5 hypervisor is by measuring it against the VMware Infrastructure 3 Security Hardening guidelines. While there are some other tools that do similar types of verification, I like that Tripwire not only identifies the vulnerabilities, but since it was designed from the ground up with VMware, it provides the steps towards full remediation of the vulnerabililities.

But why is something like this so critical? Well, as organizations struggle to identify security deficiencies within their virtual environments, tools like this make it a lot easier by giving a standard baseline for which to start. While it’s not a replacement for having experienced security folks, it’s a great solution for midmarket or other organizations who don’t have such luxury.

Aside from discovering vulnerabilities, ConfigCheck helps organizations deploy virtualization in a manner that is safe and secure, increase the security posture of the entire organization, reduce configuration drift and easily implement security and compliance best practices. It’s a cheat sheet if you will, to help identify and manage vulnerabilities in your virtual environment.