Blog posts by Mike Small

Blog

From Hybrid Cloud to Standard IT?

I have recently heard from a number of cloud service providers (CSP) telling me about their support for a “hybrid” cloud. What is the hybrid cloud and why is it important? What enterprise customers are looking for is a “Standard IT” that would allow them to deploy their applications flexibly wherever is best. The Hybrid Cloud concept goes some way towards this. There is still some confusion about the terminology that surrounds cloud computing and so let us go back to basics. The generally accepted definition of cloud terminology is in NIST SP-800-145. According...

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EMC to acquire Virtustream

On May 26th EMC announced that it is to acquire the privately held company Virtustream. What does this mean and what are the implications? Virtustream is both a software vendor and a cloud service provider (CSP). Its software offering includes a cloud management platform xStream, an infrastructure assessment product Advisor, and the risk and compliance management software, ViewTrust. It also offers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) with datacentres in the US and Europe. KuppingerCole identified Virtustream as a “hidden gem” in our report: Leadership Compass: Infrastructure...

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Risk and Governance in Analytics

There is now an enormous quantity of data which is being generated in a wide variety of forms. However this data, in itself, has little meaning or value; it needs interpretation to make it useful. Analytics are the tools, techniques and technologies that can be used to analyze this data into information with value. These analytics are now being widely adopted by organizations to improve their performance. However what are the security and governance aspects of the use of these tools? For example Dunnhumby which was created in 1989, by a husband and wife team, to help businesses better...

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AWS Announces Machine Learning Service

AWS has recently announced the A mazon  Machine Learning  s ervice – what is this and what does it mean for customers?   Organizations  now  hold enormous quantities  of data  and more  data  in a wide variety of forms  is rapidly being generated .  Research has shown that organizations that base their decision making and processes on data are more successful than those that do not.  However  interpretation and analysis is needed  to  transform  this data  into useful...

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Migrating IT Infrastructure to the Cloud

Much has been written about “DevOps” but there are other ways for organizations to benefit from the cloud. Moving all or part of their existing IT infrastructure and applications could provide savings in capital and, in many cases, increase security. The cloud has provided an enormous opportunity for organizations to create new markets, to experiment and develop new applications without the need for upfront investment in hardware and to create disposable applications for marketing campaigns. This approach is generally known as DevOps; where the application is developed and...

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Organization, Security and Compliance for the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) provides opportunities for organizations to get closer to their customers and to provide products and services that are more closely aligned to their needs. It provides the potential to enhance the quality of life for individuals, through better access to information and more control over their environment. It makes possible more efficient use of infrastructure by more precise control based on detailed and up to data information. It will change the way goods are manufactured by integrating manufacturing machinery, customers and partners allowing greater product...

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Where is my Workload?

One of the major challenges that faces organizations using a cloud or hosting service is to know where their data is held and processed. This may be to ensure that they remain in compliance with laws and regulations or simply because they have a mistrust of certain geo-political regions. The location of this data may be defined in the contract with the CSP (Cloud Service Provider) but how can the organization using the service be sure that the contract is being met? This question has led to many organizations being reluctant to use cloud. Using the cloud is not the only reason for...

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A Haven of Trust in the Cloud?

In September a survey was published in Dynamic CISO that showed that “72% of Businesses Don’t Trust Cloud Vendors to Obey Data Protection Laws and Regulations”.  Given this lack of trust by their customers what can cloud service vendors do? When an organization stores data on its own computers, it believes that it can control who can access that data. This belief may be misplaced given the number of reports of data breaches from on premise systems; but most organizations trust themselves more than they trust others.  When the organization stores data in the cloud, it has to trust the...

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CESG Draft Cloud Security Principles and Guidelines

UK CESG, the definitive voice on the technical aspects of Information Security in UK Government, has published draft versions of guidance for “public sector organizations who are considering using cloud services for handling OFFICIAL information”. (Note that the guidelines are still at a draft stage (BETA) and the CESG is requesting comments).  There are already many standards that exist or are being been developed around the security of cloud services (see: Executive View: Cloud Standards Cross Reference – 71124 ) so why is this interesting? Firstly there is an implied prerequisite...

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Microsoft OneDrive file sync problems

A number of users of Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage system have reported problems on the Microsoft community relating to synchronizing files between devices. So far, I have not seen an official response from Microsoft. This can be very disconcerting so, in the absence of a response from Microsoft, here are some suggestions to affected users. These worked for me but – in the absence of a formal response from Microsoft – I can offer no cast iron guarantees. What is the problem? It appears that files created on one device are synced to another device in a corrupt state. This only...


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