April 7, 2014
Volume XLVII, Issue 9
Not Yet a Household Word? No Problem at CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2014
Last week the DCIA&CCA announced that cloud computing leaders from ten top technology companies — each one well known to the public as well as to industry participants — would lead plenary sessions at next month's CLOUD COMPUTING EAST (CCE:2014) in Washington, DC.
This week we're equally proud to announce the participation of ten companies with which you may not yet be quite so familiar.
These are up-and-comers — true rising stars in the business of advancing cloud computing solutions for government agencies and the military — and we are pleased that executives representing these firms will speak on our gCLOUD track at this seminal event.
The DCIA & CCA are proud to announce that ASG Software's Brian Crowley, Aspiryon's Andy Caldwell, Clear Government Solutions' Christopher Grady, CyrusOne's Fred Holloway, Kwaai Oak's Reza Rassool, QinetiQ's Viswa Kumar, Tech Equity's Shigyan Navti, Unitas Global's Grant Kirkwood, Virtustream's Sean Jennings, and WSO2's Chris Haddad have each joined our public sector speaking faculty.
CCE:2014 will take place on Thursday and Friday, May 15th-16th, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC.
This important gathering of thought leaders and first movers will thoroughly examine the current state of adoption and the outstanding challenges affecting two major and increasingly related sectors of the economy, whose principals are currently engaged in migrating to the cloud.
The gCLOUD will examine the ways that local, state, and federal governments can improve services and protect citizens with cloud-based tools. It will also address liabilities and challenges that need to concern government agencies regarding cloud-based services, countering NSA-fallout gloom with energized and confident approaches that overcome concerns raised by the Snowden scandal.
The explosion of data, advances in security and reliability, and options for redundant storage; challenges to natural resource management, transportation, and utility grid monitoring; and the impact of cloud services on law enforcement and emergency responsiveness will be featured topics.
gCLOUD case studies will reveal previously undisclosed facts about what is really happening in municipalities, state agencies, as well as federal bureaus as they work to migrate governance functions to the cloud. They will also expose frustrations and downright failures and what to do to avoid repeating them
Meanwhile hCLOUD sessions will provide similar coverage of cloud computing in the healthcare sector: managing private patient records; collecting clinical research data; big-data imaging, and remote patient monitoring. Stay tuned for more about that next week.
Please contact Don Buford, CEO, or Hank Woji, VP Business Development, at the CCA to learn more about attractive conference exhibition and sponsorship opportunities.
To review conference topics and apply to join the speaking faculty for this event, please click here. If you'd like to speak at this major industry event, please contact me, Marty Lafferty, CEO of the DCIA, at your earliest convenience. Share wisely, and take care.
SEC Is a Due-Process Nightmare: Searches without Warrants
Excerpted from TechDirt Report by Mike Masnick
Back in December, we wrote about the effort to push for ECPA reform by noting that one of the main government agencies fighting against it was the SEC, which wanted the ability to snoop through your emails without getting a warrant.
If you don't remember, ECPA is an excessively outdated law from 1986, whose definitions make no sense in the Internet era — especially one with cloud computing.
The key example often given is that emails on a server that are over 180 days old are considered "abandoned" and thus no warrant is needed to access them.
That may have kind of made sense in an era when people downloaded all of their email, but now that nearly all email remains on servers somewhere it makes no sense at all.
There are other problems with ECPA similar in nature (opened vs. unopened emails are treated differently, for example), but it's clear the law is outdated. Two stories popped up last week that raise serious concerns about the way that the SEC tramples on the Constitution.
The first is that in a hearing, SEC boss Mary Jo White was asked why the SEC is so resistant to ECPA reform and what's wrong with getting a warrant, and more or less admitted that it's standard practice for the SEC to not get a warrant, but to rely on loopholes in ECPA to get access to emails.
Prior to this, many had assumed that this was just a desire of the SEC, not that they were regularly doing it.
But White's answer makes it clear that the SEC views this practice — which seems like it should be a clear 4th Amendment violation — as standard operating procedure.
While she insists that the privacy issues aren't a huge deal, because the SEC tries to "give notice" to the subscriber whose email is being accessed, that still doesn't explain why paper documents require a warrant, and yet the SEC doesn't bother with the much higher standard (including judicial review) of a warrant for electronic documents. Meanwhile, concerning a separate issue, Mark Cuban and his lawyer published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last week, discussing the SEC's totally bogus case against him for insider trading, which got tossed out by a lawyer.
The key issue they discussed is how the SEC had exculpatory evidence that proved Cuban had done no wrong from back in 2004 — and then did everything possible to avoid turning over that evidence, as is normally required in legal proceedings.
In a criminal trial, the federal government has long been obliged to promptly turn over to the defense any evidence that could show that the accused did not commit the offense of which he is accused.
The Brady rule (announced in the 1963 Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland), prevents one-sided prosecutions in which the defendant is kept in the dark about information that might show that he is innocent. The government's job as criminal prosecutor is not to obtain convictions, but "to do justice," according to the traditional legal maxim.
It should be required to follow the Brady rule in civil trials as well. But the SEC does not, even when it accuses a citizen of fraud.
Had the agency complied with this simple rule in its recent insider-trading case against one of us, Mark Cuban, it is unlikely that a lawsuit would even have been filed, let alone go to trial.
Let's take this a step further. Just a few weeks ago, the NY Times reported on an increasingly popular tactic of law enforcement to effectively use the SEC to trick people into effectively implicating themselves in criminal cases.
It tells the story of a low-level guy who worked at a law firm, and was asked by the SEC to "help out" with an investigation.
Only at the last minute, was it mentioned that someone from the district attorney's office would be present — and at no time was there any indication that the guy was being investigated for criminal behavior.
But thanks to the SEC smokescreen, the guy was indicted, and he's still not sure why. So, now it's an SEC that ignores the Constitution, searches emails without a warrant, hides exculpatory evidence, and surreptitiously uses these "investigations" to help build outcriminal charges against people on a highly questionable basis.
See the problem, yet? The folks over at VanishingRights are fighting to reform ECPA, which would at least solve half of the problem above. Right now, the SEC and the IRS remain the main government agencies aligned against such reform. It's time to tell those agencies that they need to obey the Constitution, too.
Report from CEO Marty Lafferty
Following up on last week's report, the DCIA has endorsed a letter to US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairperson Mary Jo White urging support of much needed Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) reform.
Here are excerpts from that letter sent to the SEC from key participants in the Digital Due Process (DDP) coalition on April 9th.
"ECPA reform is important both to privacy advocates and to US-based Internet and communications companies, who have been leaders in the development of the innovative cloud and web-based email services that are revolutionizing how businesses and individuals store and share private and proprietary data.
For the past year, the Securities and Exchange Commission has opposed reform of the ECPA. Recent statements by senior SEC staff and your testimony in the House have confused us about the source of the SEC's opposition.
We have asked the SEC for recent examples of the type of access to communications that the SEC believes would be cut off by pending ECPA reform bills. So far, we have received none.
Nevertheless, we would support an amendment to clarify and codify the principle of technology neutrality that we believe should guide ECPA reform: that the SEC and other regulatory agencies can use the courts to compel account holders to retrieve and disclose content stored in the cloud on the same terms as agencies have always used to compel entities under investigation to compile and disclose content stored locally.
The premise of ECPA reform is to make it clear that data stored in the cloud receives no less privacy protection than data stored locally. Conversely, it has always been the intent of ECPA reform that data stored in the cloud should receive no more protection than data stored locally.
When S. 607 was being marked up by the Senate Judiciary Committee, we supported an amendment to make it clear that corporate email, stored by a company, would be available with a subpoena served on that company.
The added amendment we propose would make it clear that any Internet user's data stored in the cloud could be obtained with a subpoena served on that Internet user, who could be compelled to retrieve the data from any third party provider.
The SEC is not a criminal justice agency and has no authority to obtain warrants.
But the SEC has always had substantial powers to subpoena documents in the possession or control of its targets or other persons who may have sent or received communications relevant to the SEC's investigations.
ECPA reform was never intended to interfere with the authority of the SEC to use subpoenas to compel individuals or companies to disclose the communications they sent or received regardless of how they are stored.
We are willing to work with you to make that crystal clear.
On the other hand, we cannot reform ECPA by giving the SEC a power that it is now widely agreed even criminal justice agencies should not have - the power to compel third party service providers to disclose contents with a subpoena.
We are offering compromise language even though we believe the SEC has made contradictory or misleading statements about its current and past practices.
Despite our concerns with the SEC's conflicting statements, we propose an amendment to ECPA that would make it clear that the SEC or any other agency can use its subpoena power to compel an individual to retrieve and disclose any data held with a third party.
We have worked with Chairman Leahy's office on this amendment.
We believe that it would fully clarify the principle of technology neutrality -- that ECPA cannot be used to shield data in the cloud from ordinary discovery techniques.
This amendment would work in conjunction with authorities already in ECPA.
ECPA already provides the SEC with a powerful tool to prevent the destruction or alteration of evidence while a motion to compel is being pursued: 18 USC 2703(f) authorizes any agency to issue, with no pre-approval, a preservation order directing a service provider to preserve the contents of any account it has.
This order can be issued at the earliest stages of the SEC's interest in an individual or entity, even before a formal investigation has been opened. It can be used in conjunction with other provisions in ECPA allowing the SEC to serve subpoenas on email service providers and third parties to obtain subscriber identifying information and thus to confirm where a person has accounts.
Then, knowing where a person has accounts, and ensuring that the data is preserved, the SEC can issue a subpoena to that person (the target of its investigation or any other person who has sent or received email relevant to an investigation).
Using the authority spelled out in the attached amendment, the SEC could proceed in a regular proceeding to compel production of any email in that account.
The court could order the account holder to disclose the data, or, if the person claims to be no longer able to retrieve the data, the court can order the account holder to give consent, and the service provider could then disclose the contents.
We urge you to consider this amendment. Taken together with the preservation tool available to the SEC, we believe that it would fully preserve the access to electronic evidence that the SEC has today, while assuring businesses and the public that their electronic communications and documents stored in the cloud receive appropriate protection."
Share wisely, and take care.
Groups Push Feds on Email Privacy
Excerpted from The Hill Report by Julian Hattem
Privacy and civil liberties advocates are pushing regulators and the Obama administration to support an end to warrantless searches of people's emails.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Heritage Action for America (HAA), Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) on Thursday called out the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for making "contradictory or misleading statements" about its work to oppose an overhaul of current law.
Legislation to overhaul the law has gained momentum in both chambers of Congress, but the SEC has feared that an update would interfere with the way it conducts investigations.
In a letter to the commission on Thursday, the groups said the agency was trying to confuse people about its investigation processes. They also agreed to a proposed amendment meant to satisfy SEC concerns, developed with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
That measure, they said, would make sure that "ECPA cannot be used to shield data in the cloud from ordinary discovery techniques" by allowing the SEC and other regulators to use a subpoena to obtain information held by third-party service providers during the course of an investigation
An SEC spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Separately, advocates are also pointing the finger at the White House for its silence on a petition looking for support in overhauling the ECPA.
The petition, created on November 12th, called for the White House to support the reform and "reject any special rules that would force online service providers to disclose our email without a warrant." It has more than the 100,000 required signatures to merit an official response from the Obama administration, but none has yet been issued.
In a recent blog post, CDT strategist Mark Stanley accused the White House of staying "on the fence, refusing to support clean ECPA reform, and even refusing to respond to the citizens' petition on its own website."
More recent petitions have gotten a response, such as a late February request for the president to declare professional baseball's Opening Day a national holiday.
A White House spokeswoman said that the administration was still planning to respond to the petition, and noted that response times vary.
Data Security: The Top Three Questions to Ask
Excerpted from Business Technology Report
When looking at cloud security, you want to make sure that your data is protected, and that the risk of data loss is eliminated.
As businesses move more information and data into the cloud, the concern of security is important. Commensus takes your data protection seriously and it is a priority to ensure that you are fully protected and that you can access your data quickly and safely.
"Over the last year we are seeing more questions being asked about risk of migrating to the cloud, and data protection. Compared to 2012 and last year we are finding that more organizations are moving to the cloud," says Alex Parker, CIO of Commensus.
Commensus is often asked about platform and cloud services. Here are its answers to the top three questions asked about data security.
1. How much access can Commensus get to my data?
Getting access to your data and network quickly and securely is important to you and us. Organizations are more cautious about whom they share their data, and it's important to understand what a third party can see.
By understanding that your data is highly confidential, here at Commensus we give you the ability to lock down your data and chose what we can see and you can control the access rights.
This gives you a full understanding of what others can see, and gives you the control of your data access.
2. What are the risks involved with my data?
Data loss is a big risk to any organization, and it's imperative that you understand the architecture of any vendor.
Commensus has an architecture that minimizes risk; we're more risk averse because we spread our servers across different hosts, therefore if one server goes down another server will instantly pick up your data.
This means that you will experience 100 per cent uptime, and minimal element of risk.
3. How well is my data protected?
Data protection is at the top of the list of questions when choosing an IT-managed services provider. Commensus has data centers across the world which allows you to access your data quickly and securely, anywhere you want.
We're compliant with the highest level of data security. Commensus has ISO 27001 and can therefore be formally audited and certified compliant with the standards. The PCI Security Standards Council offers robust and comprehensive standards, with which we are compliant.
We acknowledge all legislations and compliances within the financial services for your IT requirements, so you can rest assured that the security for your data is fully protected with high industry standard compliances.
Data security is the most important and protected part of our cloud platform architecture. We understand that businesses of all sizes need a high level of security for their data.
Government Seeks Industry Input on Cloud Computing Strategy
Excerpted from IT Business Report
Today, Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, engaged in discussion with industry leaders to seek input on developing a successful cloud computing strategy for the Government of Canada.
Speaking at The Cloud Factory Conference in Banff, the Minister outlined how a made-in-Canada approach to cloud computing will provide the tools and platforms needed to ensure Canada's public service remains modern and high-performing.
The Minister noted both the potential technological and economic benefits of cloud computing, while acknowledging the Government can only begin to acquire systems once clear and comprehensive policies and guidelines are in place. The Minister invited Canadian cloud industry leaders and provincial governments to engage in developing those policies.
The Government of Canada has embarked on a historic program of modernizing its IT infrastructure. Any new investments, including those for cloud computing systems, must align with existing policies designed to safeguard Canada's information assets and the security and privacy of Canadians' data.
The Cloud Factory is a conference running from April 7th to 8th, which brings together technology leaders and many others to discuss innovations in cloud computing, big data and enterprise technology.
"Cloud computing offers the federal government a way to maximize the efficiency of our IT investments. We're looking for input from industry experts on how we can use cloud computing to achieve those savings," said Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board.
Why Britain's Public Sector Leads the World in Cloud Technology
Excerpted from Information Age Report by Chloe Green
Britain's public sector currently leads the world both in terms of cloud usage and the applications that it is putting in the cloud. Yet it has failed to communicate its successes, and is yet to realize the full benefits.
Recently, I was interviewed at Think Cloud for Government, and we discussed the big issues for the UK public sector, some of our major success stories, how we can help the rest of Europe with issues like the NSA and where we see the future of cloud computing.
Sensible security is one of the big issues; at last month's Conservative Councilors Association (CCA) Local Government Conference, I ran a session with Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis MP on Cyber Security.
It was very clear that some Local Authorities are spending a fortune doing the wrong things to get the PSN security accreditation, and going backwards from a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to investing in hundreds of thousands of secure laptops. At the same time, we have large central government customers moving to a BYOD policy to save millions through sensible segregation of data.
Any sensible form of security requires different levels of security, and segregation between the levels. Central Government has in some cases learned this lesson, and a cloudBuy customer with 1,000s of remote workers wanted to have a BYOD policy for Intranet access.
Less than 1% of data requires a level of military security, which means it cannot be connected to the Internet. The department pooled all this data, and thus had to bring all its systems up to the higher level of security.
This was straightforward in the old days when remote workers had no external access to the department without using expensive security accredited devices with significant operational overhead, ensuring that remote workers could never access corporate data without going into a local office. We worked with the department to move the 99% of data (which is not confidential) on to a cloud hosted Intranet which could then be accessed by all the remote workers with their own devices.
Unfortunately, while Central Government has a policy of moving into the cloud and is already seeing benefits, the rest of Government, the NHS, Higher Education and Local Government has yet to adopt a 'cloud-first policy', and is not using G-cloud.
Yet there are great examples of innovative cloud usage outside of Central Government, demonstrating that it can deliver extraordinary benefits.
The NHS uses world class cloud-based "Artificial Intelligence", developed with two of Britain's leading University cybernetics departments, to identify billions of savings across its supply chain.
NHS carbon foot printing is at least 8 years ahead of international 'best practice' in both the public and private sector, in its use of item-level spend analysis to identify potential carbon savings throughout its supply chain. This technology could deliver over £10 billion a year in savings to the NHS
These are major global breakthroughs that could be applied to all Government agencies, and this is another issue, the effort required to take the learning from one part of government to another part of Government.
For example, Britain's Higher Education institutions are the first in the world to use a cloud-based 'e-marketplace' providing complete contract management along with fully automated ordering, invoicing and payment. This process is a global first, and it is now Visa's main global reference site for fully integrated procurement. This could easily be emulated across the rest of Government and the private sector.
UK Local Government already started using cloud-based procurement systems back in 2002.
Today, Britain is leading the world in pioneering cloud-based "social care marketplaces" which are both incredibly easy to use and automate the most complex processes used by any part of Government.
Several UK Councils, including Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire, recently launched the world's first online 'market for social care', where local authorities "kite mark" suppliers and allocate a budget for people to "spend" through the site and where patients are empowered to "shop" online for personalized care plans.
Critically, the technology boosts transparency, allowing Councils to see what services are being purchased, and empowering patients to flag up poor-quality care providers to other patients and to Local Authorities through the website.
The care users are a mixture of frail elderly, mentally and physically disabled along with their friends, family and carers. The complex processes include needs assessment and choosing, booking, and buying care visits to the home at different times of day with different requirements in terms of the physical and medical problems associated with looking after a person at home.
cloudBuy is on all 4 lots of the G-Cloud framework, and we've seen strong interest from Central Government in all aspects of our technology. However despite our strong presence in public sector all of our G-Cloud sales have been to Central Government. The Government needs to promote the G-Cloud framework across local government and to the rest of the world so that G-Cloud providers can drive innovation across local and global markets.
The EU public sector is in the process of adopting e-procurement, but Britain is over 10 years ahead in its use of the cloud for e-procurement, and even further ahead in terms of the complex applications like care that we have put onto the cloud.
We need to engage with the rest of Europe so that they can learn from our successes.
Our public sector needs to talk up its success, both in Britain and around the world. It feels like the Olympics, where we won lots of medals and then went quiet again. Very few people know that the UK public sector has been successfully running major projects in the cloud and that in some areas it is a decade ahead of private sector best practice. It's time to start shouting about it.
DataDirect Networks Revolutionizes Big Media Workflows
Excerpted from Broadway World Report
In this new age of high definition, on-demand digital media, Media and entertainment (M&E) companies are challenged to evolve their IT infrastructure fast enough to keep pace with the data demands of their customers.
Producing, editing and distributing media assets cost-effectively requires a content workflow supported by highly efficient IT infrastructures.
From content capture/ingest to post production to play-out/distribution to active archives, DataDirect Networks (DDN) offers an economical, high performance, and on-demand shared storage environment to address the challenges of M&E companies. With over 15 years of experience and 600+ media customers, DDN is revolutionizing the big media workflows of today, and laying the foundation for scalable and elastic storage infrastructures of tomorrow.
Digital studios, broadcasters, cable providers and Internet delivery networks are solving their big media challenges with DDN storage solutions designed for the world's most content-intensive workflows - from ingest to editing, transcoding, distribution and archiving.
With the most complete storage portfolio for M&E customers today, DDN is enabling dramatically improved business agility for clients by delivering 10,000 times greater scalability i, 40 percent data center space savings ii, and 50 percent less power and cooling iii, while offering 13 times more bandwidth iv to process and handle more streams v over any other competitive offering.
DDN offers file and object storage solutions for every part of the content lifecycle with a single, seamless, end-to-end platform. Unlike traditional enterprise storage, DDN technology eliminates silos by enabling customers to manage all workflows, all formats, all content and all device types in one place.
With its broad portfolio of big data and cloud storage offerings, DDN is giving its M&E customers the confidence that their critical systems and information are protected, improving the delivery of digital content across geographically distributed data centers and addressing the storage and workflow performance needs of broadcast and film and post production organizations everywhere.
Delivering the highest levels of concurrency, with DDN next generation content solutions, collaborative workflows are accelerated, whether local or worldwide. DDN high performance Tier-1 solutions help users deploy less storage, servers and networking components than with competitive platforms.
And, WOS cloud storage provides a simple, cost-efficient object storage platform to enable new revenue opportunities for established content - with active archiving, at nearly the cost of tape. Using DDN technology, M&E customers address their most critical high-performance production, editing, collaboration, archive and delivery business challenges.
With larger formats and higher resolution more commonplace, broadcasters, film production companies and post-production houses must overcome the hurdles of crowded storage environments which threaten to slow production and inhibit the creative process.
With DDN storage solutions, users can streamline their workflows, eliminate content silos, shorten time to market, thereby unleashing the creative process and reducing the overall cost of production storage. Using a combination of DDN GRIDScaler for Tier-1, production storage and WOS for a seamlessly connected active archive, studios can manage the size of their high performance storage while moving off content quickly and easily to their active archive tier built on WOS storage.
This strategy eliminates the complexity of multiple tiers, reducing the overhead of additional storage maintenance and management associated with traditional solutions. With its high data throughput and parallel infrastructure, GRIDScaler, the industry's fastest NAS and parallel scale out storage appliance, makes the ultimate production storage solution. WOS object storage is the ideal active archive delivering the industry's best balance of high performance, scalability, ease of use and very low TCO.
The world's largest cable and telco television providers that are looking to implement or expand their content origin or delivery infrastructure are often faced with the choice of whether to build, buy or rent their solution.
With the DDN WOS solution, users now have a storage platform purpose built for digital content, making the "buy approach" the smartest one. WOS technology delivers easy setup and administration, low TCO and a high performance online content origin and delivery infrastructure.
Capable of scaling to billions of objects in a single instance, WOS enables set up of a multi-petabyte geographically distributed self-healing solution in hours instead of days or weeks, all managed by less than one full time employee. WOS delivers fast uploads through local ingest, and with a choice of highly optimized data protection schema, is highly secure and multi-tenant enabled.
WOS is the only object storage system that is optimized for high-speed throughput of large data volumes and super-fast I/O operations for small files, allowing users to mix different sized objects on a single high performance platform with greater disk efficiency. This makes DDN storage ideal for hyperscale cloud, social and Internet applications like Internet music-delivery and photo-sharing sites.
For multi-site cloud deployments, the built-in WOS Latency-Aware Access Manager will automatically address data access requests to the location with the lowest latency. Integration between WOS and GRIDScaler offers users comprehensive data management and ILM tools with cloud connectivity to seamlessly manage, distribute and archive data. By embedding the file system inside the storage, DDN storage provides non-disruptive and infinite scale out capacity to maximize the value of content assets.
Collaborative network editing is transforming television and video production. DDN's unique SFA architecture enables these users to store all file-based data in one place so that producers can work on it locally and from multiple locations at once.
With real-time QoS, users can work concurrently on the same file or on different files, generating hundreds of SD, HD, 2K, 3D and 4K streams for ingest, edit, rendering and playout access all on the same storage pool - without performance degradation or fear of dropping a frame.
And for large animation and effects rendering farms that must operate at their peak 24/7, seamless integration between DDN products enables users to offload GRIDScaler jobs from a central location to WOS storage for multisite cloud-based collaboration, global distribution and disaster recovery.
Verizon Expands Cloud Solutions with Secure Cloud Interconnect
Verizon is addressing the growing need for organizations to connect more than one cloud seamlessly and securely, with the launch of its Secure Cloud Interconnect service (SCI). Enterprise organizations will be able to use Verizon's Private IP service to connect to multiple cloud services including the Verizon cloud and Microsoft Azure, with an additional half-dozen other major cloud services expected to come online later this year.
In addition, enterprises that have located their private cloud infrastructure in Equinix data centers can directly access Verizon's Private IP service in 15 Equinix data centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific: Northern Virginia., Newark, N.J., Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Silicon Valley; London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris; Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.
"With Secure Cloud Interconnect, Verizon is removing the barriers for enterprise cloud adoption," said Michael Palmer, vice president of product development for Verizon. "The reality is that many organizations today use multiple clouds to meet their business and technical objectives, but there was no easy way to manage this environment until now.
"Our new offering uniquely gives enterprises everything they require in a multi-cloud environment — security, private connectivity, performance, simplicity and efficiency. SCI will enable a wide range of applications and use cases for organizations," stated Palmer.
Verizon's Secure Cloud Interconnect service will offer a combination of features to enterprises, including dynamic bandwidth allocation with fully redundant connections, application performance throughput and quality of service, usage-based billing, and simple provisioning and management via a centralized portal.
"As enterprises look to cloud computing for speed, flexibility and efficiency, they also require a platform that offers enterprise-proven performance and reliability," said Yousef Khalidi, distinguished engineer, Microsoft Azure for Microsoft. "With many Fortune 500 companies already using Microsoft Azure, we look forward to extending our cloud services to Verizon's extensive network of clients through its security-enabled enterprise platform."
With SCI, enterprises gain full visibility into which applications are being consumed, by whom, and where and how they are performing.
In addition, for added protection, clients can also add managed security services on top of their solutions.
Experts estimate that the enterprise cloud storage and computing market is growing at 50 percent annually, with enterprise cloud spending expected to increase by 45 percent annually.
To ensure enterprise-class performance and security, Verizon is deploying Private IP edge routers into third-party clouds to enable pre-integration of networking and data center interfaces. After an enterprise selects its cloud partners, location and service information, Verizon will automatically provision the connection in minutes or hours, versus days or weeks or a month when using the traditional model.
As a result, enterprise organizations can confidently move their applications into third-party data centers and run workloads where it makes the most sense.
SCI with Verizon cloud will be immediately available in three locations (Denver, Northern Virginia and Santa Clara, Calif.), with sites in Europe (London, Amsterdam) available in May. Additional sites are planned for Europe and the Asia-Pacific region by year's end.
The service with Microsoft Azure is expected to be available this summer for customers in the U.S.
Verizon will offer connections up to 10 gigabits to clouds (Verizon, Equinix, Microsoft) connecting to SCI.
Available in more than 140 countries and territories, Private IP offers organizations stringent service level agreements, including latency and packet-loss service level agreements. Connections to the Verizon cloud service will also offer end-to-end performance service level agreements. 3456nb
Octoshape & iStreamPlanet Partner to Deliver Multiscreen OTT/IPTV Services
Octoshape, an industry leader in cloud-based streaming technologies, and iStreamPlanet, the leader in live streaming services, today announced a partnership to help premium content owners and distributors accelerate the launch of new global, multiscreen OTT/IPTV services to consumers on connected devices around the world.
The Octoshape and iStreamPlanet partnership offers an integrated service to provide content owners, aggregators and distributors complete solutions for live and on-demand streaming, from content acquisition to distribution for broadband multiscreen devices globally.
"Built from the ground up for the cloud, Aventus significantly reduces the cost and complexity of the live video workflow for content owners and distributors. Our partnership with Octoshape adds new options for content delivery and distribution to connected devices around the globe"
The offering is based on Aventus, iStreamPlanet's cloud-based, live video workflow solution that combines media ingest, processing and publishing on one platform, with Octoshape's patented Infinite HDM, a suite of stream acceleration and multicast technologies enabling high quality video experiences across broadband distribution networks.
"iStreamPlanet's Aventus solution is a natural fit with our service offerings," said Michael Koehn Milland, CEO of Octoshape. "The combined and integrated platform value proposition for high quality, cost effective content acquisition, preparation and distribution enables a seamless transition for traditional broadcasters to offer a high quality OTT service. We make sure that the quality of this high value content makes it to the end consumer, driving brand protection and revenue back to the broadcaster."
With the new solution, direct broadcast satellite service providers will be able to expand their broadband channel offerings to PC and mobile devices. Octoshape's fully integrated OTT/IPTV solution with iStreamPlanet's state-of-the-art live video processing ensures that globally disbursed subscribers experience the same quality they are accustomed to from broadcast TV, now over broadband multiscreen connected devices.
Video acceleration solutions from Octoshape provide a differentiated platform that enables the evolution from geographically constrained broadcast TV, to global, cloud-based broadband TV. The patented stream acceleration algorithms, combined with the suite of multicast technologies, offer TV quality and a cost effective commercial model for operators, OTT/IPTV service providers and premium content owners, enabling them with the ability to reach millions of subscribers worldwide.
"Built from the ground up for the cloud, Aventus significantly reduces the cost and complexity of the live video workflow for content owners and distributors. Our partnership with Octoshape adds new options for content delivery and distribution to connected devices around the globe," said Robin Cole, vice president of marketing and business development for iStreamPlanet.
Streaming media innovator Octoshape provides a differentiated platform that enables the evolution of Broadcast TV to global, cloud-based Broadband TV. The patented stream acceleration system, combined with the suite of multicast technologies, offer TV quality and a cost effective commercial model for operators, OTT/IPTV service providers and premium content owners, enabling them with the ability to reach millions of device-connected subscribers worldwide. Leading broadcasters and direct broadcast satellite service providers around the world are relying on Octoshape to deliver their content over IP Networks.
Streaming media innovator Octoshape is bridging the transition from Broadcast TV to Broadband TV by providing the enabling technology required to bring TV Quality, TV Scale and TV Economics to the public Internet. The Octoshape approach is more scalable, flexible and affordable than traditional content delivery (CDN) schemes, while providing feature-rich, high-quality viewing to the largest of audiences.
Huawei Intros Storage Solutions for M&E at NAB Show
Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, displayed its new Enterprise storage solutions for the media and entertainment industries at the NAB Show.
At NAB, Huawei Enterprise introduced its solutions for TV stations, film post-production, media cloud, and media storage as a solution.
"We are bringing our high-efficiency solutions to the media and entertainment industry, providing NAB attendees more performance combined with reduced total cost of ownership," said Jane Li, COO of Huawei Enterprise USA.
On display in the Huawei Enterprise booth were the following.
Media Cloud IT Infrastructure Solutions — The first media-dedicated cloud IT infrastructure, which provides virtual and unified IT resource management; virtual data center and virtual private cloud configuration; and efficient data migration.
Media & Entertainment Storage Solution for Film Post-production — A high-performance offering that delivers 7Gbps throughput that can handle 1080 dpi, 2K and 4K streams, while reducing power consumption up to 70 percent.
Media & Entertainment Solution for TV Stations — Data is automatically migrated among online, near-line and offline storage, and HD editing performance is 30 percent higher than the industry average.
Media Storage as a Service — With partner Zadara Storage, media and entertainment customers can have storage everywhere, including on-premise, collocated, or in the cloud.
Huawei is a leading global ICT solutions provider. Through our dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we have established end-to-end advantages in telecom networks, devices and cloud computing. We are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive solutions and services. Our products and solutions have been deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one third of the world's population.
Cloud Spending Will Top $235 Billion by 2017
Excerpted from Talkin' Cloud Report by Dal Kobiaka
Independent analyst firm IHS expects enterprises to spend more than $235 billion on cloud architecture and services by 2017, a 35 percent increase from its cloud spending predictions for 2014. Why are more enterprises investing in cloud computing? And how will cloud computing change over the next few years?
Independent analyst firm IHS expects cloud spending to increase over the next few years. In a report released today, IHS researchers said that enterprises could spend more than $235 billion on the cloud by 2017, a 35 percent increase from their cloud spending predictions for 2014.
"Enterprises today are trying to create faster, more efficient IT environments to ensure more responsive, agile and successful businesses," Jagdish Rebello, Senior Director for Information Technology at IHS, said. "In these cloud-based settings, enterprises also want to integrate the deep analytical power of big data, which will give them competitive advantages through insights about present and prospective customers."
The report, "Cloud & Big Data Report - A Paradigm Shift in the ICT Industry 2013," revealed that big data and the cloud could reshape how enterprises manage their IT infrastructures. Many enterprises are searching for innovative IT infrastructure tools, and cloud services could prove to be the "next wave of differentiation," Rebello noted.
"Ultimately, the cloud will embrace more than just online storage; it will truly enable the market for the Internet of Things," Rebello said.
However, IHS researchers said that both enterprises and mobile device manufacturers could encounter numerous challenges with the cloud, including cloud performance issues. IHS also reported that more than 78 percent of disk storage will use cloud connections for digital content by 2017, which could cause data retention costs to rise.
"The players in the cloud space will have to determine their specific cloud performance requirements, as well as find their own niches and sort out or - more likely - invent their own best business models," Rebello said.
Cloud computing is becoming more popular across the globe, but many IT professionals may need additional training before they can take advantage of all of the cloud services that are available. ScienceLogic, an IT monitoring and management solutions provider, predicted that overall IT spending would increase 35 percent this year, yet researchers noted that half of IT professionals participating in cloud initiatives within their organizations needed more education on the technology.
ScienceLogic Chief Technology Officer Antonio Piraino pointed out that solutions are available that could help IT professionals learn more about hybrid, private and public clouds.
"There is hope, however, in automated IT monitoring solutions, which not only help companies do more with less and proactively detect IT issues, but also aid in getting staff up to speed on cloud technologies," Piraino said.
Change Your Company Culture and Get onto the Cloud
Excerpted from InfoWorld Report by David Linthicum
Technology issues don't typically stop cloud implementations. More often than not, it's the people. Office politics, unrealistic expectations, and general stupidity are the common culprits that hinder cloud computing use at many enterprises.
The vocal opponents to cloud computing we heard in 2008 are mostly quiet in 2014. However, they are still lurking. Today, they use closed-door conversations to call the cloud into question, often for the wrong reasons. By doing so, they create a toxic culture around the use of cloud computing -- or any new technologies that may prove to be innovative and helpful but threaten the status quo.
Today, cloud computing has real momentum. Projects are beginning to ramp up, despite opposition around the use of public cloud resources. However, if a business pushes cloud computing onto an IT culture that simply won't have it, the project becomes so difficult that it is likely to fail.
To change such toxic cultures, many CIOs have simply fired those who are impeding progress. But while you can certainly scare people into agreeing with you (at least publicly), doing so is counterproductive. You end up trading a culture problem for a morale problem. I would rather have the culture problem.
Changing hearts and minds around the use of any technology is a process that begins with engaging everyone in the evaluation and implementation of the technology. Create a small, ad-hoc team of cloud computing skeptics and task them with "getting to the truth" around the value of this technology, including working a small proof-of-concept cloud project -- for example, the implementation of a small storage system or another option that can be accomplished quickly with only a small amount of risk.
You'll likely see certain results. First, those given the power to evaluate cloud computing for the company are likely to take the task to heart and provide a sound evaluation of the technology, including both the pros and the cons. Second, they are likely to feel empowered, and therefore open their minds a bit around the use of new technology, namely cloud computing. Finally, you'll get some good data around the work that's done and can use that information to adjust your cloud plans.
If you're faced with a "no cloud, no way" culture, try this approach. Change takes time, and most people will eventually come around if given the chance. And never forget that their arguments might include some valid points. You need to acknowledge that.
Coming Events of Interest
CLOUD COMPUTING EAST 2014 — May 15th-16th in Washington, DC. Three major conference tracks will zero in on the latest advances in the application of cloud-based solutions in three key economic sectors: government, healthcare, and financial services.
US Cyber Crime Conference — April 27th to May 2nd in Washington, DC. This unique event combines digital forensics training with an interactive forum for cyber professionals and covers the full spectrum of topics facing defenders as well as law enforcement responders. Sessions will cover intrusion investigations, cyber crime law, digital forensics, information assurance, R&D, and testing of forensics tools.
International Conference on Internet and Distributed Computing Systems — September 22nd in Calabria, Italy. IDCS 2014 conference is the sixth in its series to promote research in diverse fields related to Internet and distributed computing systems. The emergence of web as a ubiquitous platform for innovations has laid the foundation for the rapid growth of the Internet.
International Conference on Cloud Computing Research & Innovation - October 29th-30th in Singapore. ICCRI:2014 covers a wide range of research interests and innovative applications in cloud computing and related topics. The unique mix of R&D, end-user, and industry audience members promises interesting discussion, networking, and business opportunities in translational research & development.