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Archive for November, 2011

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  • Portability, cost-efficiency deemed key attributes of cloud storage systems

    November 22, 2011

    Cloud storage technology offers so many advantages over current enterprise data storage systems that it is destined to be the future of the sector, according to a recent report from Ninefold.

    One of cloud storage's greatest attributes is portability, the report said. Instead of keeping data on a flash drive, hard disk drive or other traditional enterprise storage tool, businesses using the cloud have their data stored in a server at a third-party site. This is then connected to the network in such a way that employees are able to access their data from any location that has access to the internet, according to the news source.

    Data portability creates a level of flexibility that cannot be matched by premise-based storage systems, the report said, making it a key attribute of cloud options.

    Cost-efficiency is another key cloud storage attribute. Businesses maintaining their data in the cloud can avoid capital spending on sophisticated sever arrays, replacing it with comparatively inconsequential operating fees, the news source explained.

    These attributes make the cloud ideal for enterprise storage, but many experts wonder if the technology is secure enough to get the job done. A recent Sys-Con Media report said cloud vendors typically offer better security than most businesses can obtain on their own.

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  • Cloud computing a beacon of hope for storage industry professionals

    November 21, 2011

    Storage industry professionals are increasingly turning to the cloud to deal with the growing amounts of data they must manage on a daily basis, the Register recently reported.

    Without the cloud, the storage industry would be in a period of turmoil. Businesses are dealing with more data, and the rate of its creation is much higher than normal. This is overwhelming traditional premise-based architectures that are often inflexible to changing demands, according to the news source.

    The flexibility and agility created by the cloud is accomplished not so much because of new technology, but the new business models that the cloud enables, the report said. The core technologies involved in cloud computing have been around for a while, but the key innovation is the way that they can be combined to create elastic storage environments at a third-party site with pay-per-use billing models.

    This affordability and efficiency does come, in the eyes of many experts, with some security risks. However, a recent InformationWeek report said a growing number of IT leaders, especially in the U.S. federal government, are beginning to consider the cloud more secure at an architectural level.

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  • Cloud storage vendors can offer secure options

    November 18, 2011

    Cloud computing gained a reputation during its early development for being an insecure technology. However, many vendors have expanded their capabilities and can now offer businesses assurance that their data is safe when being stored in the cloud, according to a recent Channel Pro report.

    One basic tool that more cloud storage providers are using to ensure secure operating environments is encryption, the news source explained. By putting all data into code when it leaves the client’s facility and is sent to the cloud, the vendor cannot access the data. Furthermore, any form of data loss becomes innocuous because the coded data cannot be easily read by parties that gain unauthorized access to content.

    The one problem with encryption is that it needs to be verified as a complex enough code that it is essentially unbreakable. To accomplish this, the report said organizations should turned to a cloud storage provider that is certified for security by a third-party organization.

    Many security verifications focus on regulatory compliance standards. Businesses that handle payment card data, for example, need to make sure their cloud storage provider is certified to meet PCI DSS regulations.

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  • Storage key to low cloud costs

    November 18, 2011

    One of the cloud's greatest benefits is its ability to reduce costs in enterprise IT. Storage is one of the most important areas for investment when it comes to reducing IT spending when turning to the cloud, Sys-Con Media reported.

    Regardless of whether a company is running a private or public cloud environment, storage should be the focal point of any cloud system because it will be necessary regardless of how the business chooses to use the cloud, according to the news source.

    Focusing on storage within the cloud gives businesses the opportunity to benefit substantially from third-party infrastructure. The report explained recent innovations have created two major benefits to cloud storage platforms.

    The first is the ability to offer incredibly inexpensive pricing models with virtual infrastructure. The other is to create high-performance storage environments that are still more affordable than premise-based systems.

    A growing number of companies are turning to the cloud for storage, but security is a concern for many organizations. To overcome this worry, businesses can outsource to a cloud storage vendor that can ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

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  • PCI SSC to focus on cloud computing

    November 18, 2011

    The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council recently announced plans to develop a working group that will develop best practices to address growing trends toward cloud computing, risk management and ecommerce, ISO & Agent reported.

    The move to focus on these technological areas comes after a vote including 500 of the 650 organizations that are part of the council. Bill Russo, general manager of the PCI SSC, told the news source the selection of these topics is a clear indication that organizations need more clarity in these areas.

    Russo explained the new working group will explore the many facets of risk assessments involving cloud computing, ecommerce and other similar technologies in an effort to identify industry best practices for security and data protection.

    Special interest groups within the large work group will develop recommendations to adjust the PCI DSS in light of the emerging technologies. These will then be put into a revised standard for 2012, Russo told the news source.

    The PCI SSC's efforts to adjust to the cloud could be part of a general trend toward more secure cloud deployments. At the recent IDC Asia-Pacific Cloud Conference 2011, Simon Piff of IDC said security and many other issues pertaining to the cloud will be addressed by 2015.

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  • Storage among top areas of cloud adoption

    November 17, 2011

    There are many aspects of IT operations that can be improved by investing in the cloud. A growing number of businesses are recognizing storage as one of the most beneficial areas for cloud investments.

    According to a recent survey from Aryaka, 33 percent of respondents cited storage as the top reason they turn to cloud computing in their IT environments.

    While storage was not the most popular motivation to move to the cloud, that was production applications, it was settled in the top three factors that drive businesses to cloud computing technology.

    Jeffrey Kaplan, managing director of THINKstrategies and founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace, commented on the survey, saying it shows the cloud's widespread success.

    "Cloud computing is gaining broad-based acceptance among organizations of every size across nearly every industry for varying projects," said Kaplan.

    As cloud storage continues its emergence as a key area of enterprise investment, organizations are gaining from its considerable impact on operational efficiency. According to a recent Register report, using the cloud for storage offers significant fiscal benefits by giving organizations the ability to pay only for the space they use, saving them from spending on extra capacity for future or unexpected needs.

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  • Cloud computing could be more secure than traditional IT systems

    November 16, 2011

    A growing number of major IT leaders from government organizations have analyzed the cloud and declared that the technology is architecturally more secure than the premise-based IT systems that many reluctant businesses have clung to, InformationWeek reported.

    According to the news source, IT leaders embracing the cloud as a secure computing platform include federal CIO Steven VanRoekel, General Keith Alexander, who is head of National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, Gus Hunt, CIO for the CIA and Donald Ross, researcher for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    This list represents the fact that positive claims about cloud security are now coming from objective observers, and not just marketing professionals and solutions vendors, the report said.

    However, the news source explained many of the positive comments about the cloud’s potential for security come with a warning that the technology needs to be deployed properly, according to the news source.

    Businesses working to operate securely within the cloud may want to turn to a cloud storage vendor capable of promising compliance with regulatory standards. This type of certification can set vendors apart for their ability to ensure secure operation using the state-of-the-art technology.

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  • Cloud could be pervasive by 2015

    November 16, 2011

    Cloud storage and other technological solutions built on cloud computing are rapidly becoming popular, but have so far been held back by the technology's immaturity. The cloud's relative youth has generated to security and reliability concerns that have led many businesses to decelerate their migration.

    However, this immaturity will likely only affect the cloud for a few more years, as the technology is expected to become dominant in the enterprise sector by 2015, Simon Piff, associate vice president for enterprise infrastructure research at IDC Asia-Pacific, recently told audiences at the IDC Asia-Pacific Cloud Conference 2011.

    According to a recent ZDNet report, Piff explained issues of security, data sovereignty and service availability are holding the cloud back. However, current trends indicate vendors will have addressed these issues by 2015, allowing the cloud to become a mainstream enterprise technology.

    While security and other related issues are definitely a problem for some cloud deployments, a recent InformationWeek report said a growing number of government IT executives are beginning to claim cloud computing is actually more secure than traditional IT systems at an architectural level.

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  • Rising storage needs may force businesses into the cloud

    November 16, 2011

    Cloud computing, a technology that is still relatively young from an enterprise standpoint, is becoming an ideal solution for the storage issues that many businesses face. However, a recent survey from Nasuni found many IT managers are worried about how secure data will be when it is stored in the cloud.

    Despite this attitude, businesses may need to move to cloud storage solutions quickly, or risk being forced into insecure computing environments when employees turn to consumer-focused cloud storage solutions to meet their individual needs, said Chris Glew, product evangelist at Nasuni.

    While 81 percent of survey respondents said security was a major concern and 48 percent said they worry about how much control they will have over their data once it is in the cloud. As a result, just 43 percent of respondents have turned to the cloud for security.

    Glew explained these security concerns have not prevented respondents from understanding the benefits of the cloud.

    “[Respondents] clearly understand the promise of cloud storage for cost savings, off-site backup, unlimited scale, simpler IT management and on-demand provisioning,” said Glew.

    At an architectural level, many experts agree that the cloud could be more secure than traditional IT systems, creating a significant amount of promise surrounding the technology’s future.

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  • Outsourcing can ease email archiving processes

    November 15, 2011

    Robust regulatory compliance standards and other security guidelines often make email archiving and other similar forms of data storage challenging for businesses of all sizes. Outsourcing email archiving can make it easier for organizations to meet regulatory rules without having to spend excessively on premise-based storage systems, the Cambridge News reported.

    Email archiving has become essential for regulatory reasons and to track business-related communications for internal purposes. However, a substantial collection of data storage resources is needed to store large quantities of emails and keep them accessible at the same time. This is making outsourcing a popular tactic to meet enterprise email archiving needs, the report said.

    The news source explained outsourced email archiving reduces the financial impact associated with premise-based email archiving plans while also reducing the complexity many businesses face when managing their own infrastructure.

    Outsourcing archiving also offers businesses advanced search functions that help keep messages accessible when needed, the report said.

    Simplifying data archiving is especially critical for many businesses because regulatory standards are often confusing. A recent Register report said some standards can be contradictory in nature, making it extremely difficult for businesses to handle archiving on their own.

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