Tag: Cloud

Countries differ on cloud data protection

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileA new study penned by the Gemalto and Ponemon Institute shows that significant gaps are emerging between countries on attitudes towards data protection in the cloud

The study reveals regional disparities in adoption of cloud security: German businesses almost twice as likely to secure confidential or sensitive information in the cloud (61 percent) than British (35 percent), Brazilian (34 percent) and Japanese (31 percent) organisations.

Half of the global outfits believe that payment information (54 percent) and customer data (49 percent) is at risk in the cloud.

Over half (57 percent) think using the cloud increases compliance risk.

The report said that while the vast majority of global companies (95 percent) have adopted cloud services, there is a wide gap in the level of security precautions applied by firms in different markets. Organisations admitted that on average, only two-fifths (40 percent) of the data stored in the cloud is secured with encryption and key management solutions.

The findings organisations in the UK (35 percent), Brazil (34 percent) and Japan (31 percent) are less cautious than those in Germany (61 percent) when sharing sensitive and confidential information stored in the cloud with third parties. The study surveyed more than 3,200 IT and IT security practitioners worldwide to gain a better understanding of the key trends in data governance and security practices for cloud-based services.

Germany’s lead in cloud security extends to its application of controls such as encryption and tokenisation. The majority (61 percent) of German organisations revealed they secure sensitive or confidential information while being stored in the cloud environment, ahead of the US (51 percent) and Japan (50 percent). The level of security applied increases further still when data is sent and received by the business, rising to 67 percent for Germany, with Japan (62 percent) and India (61 percent) the next highest.

Crucially, however, over three quarters (77 percent) of organisations across the globe recognise the importance of having the ability to implement cryptologic solutions, such as encryption. This is only set to increase, with nine in 10 (91 percent) believing this capability will become more critical over the next two years – an increase from 86 percent last year.

Despite the growing adoption of cloud computing and the benefits that it brings, it seems that global organisations are still wary. Worryingly, half report that payment information (54 percent) and customer data (49 percent) are at risk when stored in the cloud. Over half (57 percent) of global organisations also believe that using the cloud makes them more likely to fall foul of privacy and data protection regulations, slightly down from 62 percent in 2016.

Due to this perceived risk, almost all (88 percent) believe that the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will require changes in cloud governance, with two in five (37 percent) stating it would require significant changes. As well as difficulty in meeting regulatory requirements, three-quarters of global respondents (75 percent) reported that it is more complicated to manage privacy and data protection regulations in a cloud environment than on-premise networks. France (97 percent) and the US (87 percent) finding this the most complex, just ahead of India (83 percent).

The study found that there is a gap in awareness within businesses about the services being used. Only a quarter (25 percent) of IT and IT security practitioners revealed they are very confident they know all the cloud services their business is using, with a third (31 percent) confident they know.

Gemalto Data Protection CTO Jason Hart said: “While it’s good to see some countries like Germany taking the issue of cloud security seriously, there is a worrying attitude emerging elsewhere. This may be down to nearly half believing the cloud makes it more difficult to protect data when the opposite is true.

“The benefit of the cloud is its convenience, scalability and cost control in offering options to businesses that they would not be able to access or afford on their own, particularly when it comes to security.

“However, while securing data is easier, there should never be an assumption that cloud adoption means information is automatically secure. Just look at the recent Accenture and Uber breaches as examples of data in the cloud that has been left exposed. No matter where data is, the appropriate controls like encryption and tokenisation need to be placed at the source of the data. Once these are in place, any issues of compliance should be resolved.”

 

 

 

Oracle sees dark clouds ahead

lightning-cloudDatabase outfit Oracle has reported a strong second quarter thanks to an increase in cloud revenue, but is not seeing such a bright future.

Second quarter revenues were up six percent to $9.6 billion compared with last year’s second quarter. Net income was up 10 percent to $2.2 billion.

Total cloud revenues were up 44 percent to $1.5 billion but such growth is unlikely to continue, and some analysts are concerned that something is lurking below the surface.

Despite the strength of cloud revenue in the second quarter, Oracle’s cloud growth is forecast to slow in the current quarter to 21 to 25 percent, which is one of the factors that unsettled the market.

Changes are happening within Oracle and its methods of revenue gathering. There has been more take-up of unlimited licence agreements which could be a precursor to cloud migration and BYOL, and has helped slow the new licence revenue decline from 19 percent last year to a flat year and $1.3 billion revenue.

Larry Ellison, Oracle CTO, said the vendor will soon deliver its autonomous “self-driving” database.

“The new artificially intelligent Oracle database is fully automated and requires no human labour for administration. If a security vulnerability is detected, the database immediately patches itself while running.

“No other system can do anything like this. Best of all, we guarantee the price of running the Oracle Autonomous Database in the Oracle Cloud is less than half the cost of running a database in the Amazon Cloud.”

 

 

Cloud cost models are inaccurate

Darts-missCloud cost models tend to be based on “inaccurate assumptions,” leading customers to see less savings than expected, according to a new report

Analytics platform provider TSO Logic has added up some numbers and penned a report with the catchy title of “Economics of Cloud Migration”. It thinks that user assumptions include believing a cloud provider’s hardware is similar to hardware being deployed on premises. The report hints that public cloud platforms may be newer with better price and/or performance.

The report says that there are too many assumptions around hardware pricing leading to customers saving less than expected or, sometimes, finding out that moving to the cloud is actually more expensive.

“Customers assume that hardware pricing is basically the same for on-premise and cloud platforms when in reality public cloud providers benefit from massive economies of scale and often create custom hardware and software configurations”, the report says.

The report adds that customers tend to think their current on-premises resources are balanced and that their datacentres are using power efficiently, when this may not be the case.

According to the vendor, the biggest oversight, however, is customers’ use of “incomplete ‘direct match’ methodologies when projecting cloud costs”.

“Baked into many cost models is the assumption that current on-premise resources are sized appropriately and that cloud instances should be provisioned exactly as they are provisioned on-premise. Most on-premise workloads – more than 80 percent – are currently overprovisioned.”

The vendor encourages a “right-sized match” approach where provisioning is conducted using historical utilisation patterns and only for cloud resources that workloads require. It claims that through this approach, customers see an annual savings of at least 30 percent with the cloud.

TSO Logic CEO Aaron Rallo, said: “Organisations have tried to manually map their current environments to cloud, yet accelerated change and the sheer number of cloud compute options makes that impossible now.

“Once you factor in modern compute capabilities, new service offerings and underused resources, organisations can slash their estimated cloud bill by… 36 percent, empowering them to focus on their core business with faster go-to-market execution and improved customer experience.”

 

Cloud access security brokers could be the latest thing

Cloud TV-videomind-ooyala_1Analyst outfit Gartner claims that more than half of large enterprises will be using a cloud access security broker (CASB) by 2020.

The analyst is predicting a sixfold increase over the next two years, because big business want to protect their burgeoning cloud infrastructures.

Only 10 percent of large enterprises are employing the products of a CASB vendor right now. But the CASB market itself has seen mass consolidation over recent years – with Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, Symantec and Palo Alto Networks all acquiring CASB vendors to enter the space.

Gartner puts as the CASB market leader as Sky High Networks, which was recently acquired by McAfee.

It provides a gateway between an organisation’s on-premise infrastructure and a cloud provider’s infrastructure.

Gartner said the demand for CASB products will stem from a “need to secure the significantly increased adoption of cloud services and access to them from users both within and outside the traditional enterprise perimeter”.

 

 

Hybrid cloud set to grow

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINHybrid cloud will take on greater importance during 2018, enabling added hybrid adoption growth.

Beancounters at analyst Technology Business Research (TBR) have added up some numbers and divided them by their shoe size and penned a report with the catchy title “2018 Cloud & Software Predictions: The only known certainties — Death, taxes and changes in the cloud market.”

The report found that the key driver for the development is the increasing complexity of cloud environments and integration.

The report stated that management headaches related to cloud implementations have been growing as the scale and scope of solutions expands, and integration across clouds and on-premise environments undoubtedly magnifies these challenges.

“While the desire for solutions that can be portable, fully integrated and flexibly delivered has never been higher, the management of workloads being implemented into sprawling hybrid environments will remain the bottleneck for how much additional hybrid adoption will occur in 2018”,  the report said.

“In addition to driving innovation at the tools and platforms level, the hybrid will increase demand for services engagements. The skills needed to deploy and manage hybrid solutions, from technology and complexity perspectives, are distinct issues that customers need to address as part of their hybrid implementation.”

Customers not only have to grapple with how to manage and control cloud solutions within their organisations and manage cloud solutions at scale and during integration with other IT assets.

“For these reasons, cloud vendors, and more importantly, their services partners, will play a critical role in the successful implementations of hybrid solutions and broader hybrid environments for their joint end customers.”

The majority of customers looking to include services as part of their hybrid implementations also seek to engage with partners from the start. Of the customers TBR surveyed as part of its Hybrid Cloud Customer Research, 52 percent indicated they are working with an SI or broker to complete their initial hybrid purchases.

TBR some attributes that must be inherent in hybrid included being a multivendor and integrated solution.

“Similarly, it must meet customer objectives to create cohesive environments to share data across elements to promote those much-desired strategic business initiatives and outcomes.

“Due to the increasing complexity of hybrid environments and the need for customisation, partners that can integrate multivendor solutions will be highly sought after in hybrid purchasing cycles,” the report said.

IAR gets under Amazon’s bonnet

amazonsIAR Systems has announced support for newly launched Internet of Things (IoT) Microcontroller Operating System, Amazon FreeRTOS.

Together with Amazon Web Services (AWS), IAR Systems provides developers with easy access to  pre-integrated development tools for developing and debugging embedded and IoT-connected applications based on Amazon FreeRTOS.

Amazon FreeRTOS provides tools that developers need to quickly and easily deploy a microcontroller-based connected device and develop an embedded or IoT application without having to worry about the complexity of scaling across millions of devices.

Based on the FreeRTOS kernel, Amazon FreeRTOS includes software libraries which make it easy to securely connect devices locally to AWS Greengrass, directly to the cloud, and update them remotely. For new devices, developers can choose to build their embedded and IoT application on a variety of qualified microcontrollers from companies collaborating with AWS and IAR Systems, including Microchip, NXP, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments.

Amazon Web Services Principal Engineer Richard Barry said that AWS is pleased to be teamed with IAR Systems to provide developers with access to a high performance, pre-integrated set of development tools for developing and debugging connected applications.

“Software development is becoming ever more complex and critical and the need to have access to the right tools to help developers create, optimize and debug their code is paramount.”

IAR Systems Product Manager Lotta Frimanson said that FreeRTOS is widely used among our customers and the new capabilities added by AWS will enable them to take their development of connected applications to the next level.

“AWS and IAR Systems solutions provide easy access to high-performance and integrated tools that can enable developers to focus on the innovative and differentiating parts of their application.”

 

Cloud Distribution expands into Blackberry security

Samsung Browses BlackberryCloud Distribution has developed its relationship with BlackBerry to take on board the vendor’s latest security products.

The distributor has been flogging BlackBerry Workspaces for three years but will now add the vendor’s Secure platform to the portfolio.

Blackberry is getting out of the mobile hardware business and into software and last month stepped up its cybersecurity services to protect privacy and data assets and also help customers gain GDPR compliance.

Cloud Distribution, sales director Adam Davison said that his outfit was building on its Workspaces relationship with BlackBerry.

He added that it would be using its Altitude Marketing programme to make sure partners were given support around the Secure platform.

“There is a full schedule of joint marketing campaigns and initiatives underway to help partners stimulate interest and accelerate pipeline growth”,  he said.

Richard McLeod, vice president of global enterprise software channels at BlackBerry, said that the expanded relationship was all part of its commitment to the channel and efforts to reach out to more resellers.

“The expanded relationship with Cloud Distribution signifies our continued investment in strategic partnerships with industry leaders, enabling us to enhance our channel partner ecosystem and provide business customers with the best possible experience within their respective market”, he said.

“Cloud Distribution’s security specialists have proven they can address challenges in today’s complex and sophisticated business environments”, he added.

 

Cloudy UKFast has a stake in Reconfigure start-up

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileCloud firm UKFast is taking a stake in a start-up which accelerates the processing abilities of servers.

Reconfigure.io is based in Manchester, with a 13-strong global team, including developers in the US. The move makes UKFast the largest single investor in Reconfigure.io’s current funding round.

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said that it was an exciting investment for UKFast and for the future of the internet.

“There are only so many times you can launch a new chip with increased processing power or add more cores. Reconfigure.io is unlocking the technology that supports growth in virtual reality, big data and machine learning. There is an incredible future ahead for these guys.”

UKFast is committed to speeding up the internet and Reconfigure.io is facilitating the technology to make that happen.

“We’ll be looking to use it in our products as we look to integrate greater use of AI and machine learning. Reconfigure.io is set to make a huge difference to a lot of businesses”, he said.

Field-programmable gate arrays can perform several tasks at the same time, providing speed enhancements over the same code running on traditional CPUs. Reconfigure.io lets users programme FPGAs with Go – a simpler programming language than more complex code.

Common applications for FPGAs include AI and machine learning, cloud monitoring, data analytics and the Internet of Things.

Reconfigure.io CEO Rob Taylor said that he is looking forward to building a working partnership and creating the next generation of computing infrastructure.

“We aim to bring on investors who add value to our business and having this relationship with UKFast opens many major doors”, Taylor said.

 

Reseller cloud skills thin on the ground

Every silver has a cloudy liningResellers peddling cloud services are finding it hard to get skilled staff.

Beancounters at intY at its recent CloudFest event found that 51 percent of resellers  felt that they had been given a competitive edge by selling cloud services. But a third said there was a lack of skilled staff to help support sales of cloud solutions . Another third admitted they did not have enough people on the ground to support their sales plans.

intY COO Craig Joseph said: ” The lack of skills in both sales and support of cloud services presents a double threat. Resellers who can’t offer a convincing and seamless cloud solution to their customer’s risk being forced out of the marketplace completely, and missing out on the potentially huge revenue streams to come from cloud computing. We believe that it is our duty as a value add distributor to help our resellers upskill their staff and give them the tools they need to succeed in the market.”

The result findings are confirming what even big players like Cisco are noticing. While everyone and their dog wants to have a cloud compontent to their business there are too few people out there who know what one really is and how to build it for customers.

Cloudy ANS banked £60 million

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileCloud and managed service provider ANS saw sales grow 35.7 percent in its last financial year, taking it to a revenue of £60 million.

For the full year ending 31 March, 2017 ANS recorded a revenue of just under £62.7 million, while adjusted EBITDA rocketed over 80 percent to £12.3 million.

The growth was driven partly by the integration of Eison, which ANS acquired in 2016 and ANS’ cloud readiness assessment services.

ANS has been attempting to shift from low-margin sales to higher-margin services and drew 70 percent of its profit from cloud and services.

The company hit on a wizard wheeze of providing a service to tell clients what applications can live in the cloud as they are, which ones they need to eradicate and replace with a new app, and those should not be cloud-based.

Its customers instead of doing a straight tech refresh, are including cloud whether it is a small or large percentage.

This year ANS become an Amazon Web Services Advanced Partner, as well as a Microsoft Gold Cloud Partner.

Some 30 percent of ANS’ gross profit is still related to traditional hardware sales from customers who are buying a degree of cloud and services as no customers have been buying only hardware.

ANS saw a healthy year with Cisco, and some hefty managed WAN and LAN wins.

It has won a small number of large managed LAN deals, and traditional on-premise network projects.

ANS has now entered the third quarter of its current financial year and is already seeing a number of the cloud readiness assessment customers take up full projects with the MSP, at a quicker faster rate than was expected.

Lack of Cloud demand is a barrier to partners

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudCustomers are not demanding cloud services enough in Europe according to market watcher Context

Context’s ChannelWatch Survey of 8,500 resellers said that a lack of customer demand is the biggest barrier for partners when considering whether to offer cloud services.

Nearly half of resellers globally have been preparing to sell cloud services this year, but others are put off by the amount of investment required to get started.  Nearly 35 per cent of respondants branding this the biggest barrier.

Security fears was rated the next biggest blocker – selected by 19 per cent of respondents.

European partners are lagging behind their Japanese and American counterparts when it comes to offering cloud services, Context said. Vendor-branded services to be the preferred entry choice to cloud for partners, thereby mitigating any concerns over security by relying on the vendor’s own solutions.

Adam Simon, global managing director at Context, said: “As demand increases, so will the need for distributors and vendors to train their reseller partners.”

Over half of those surveyed thought back-up to be the biggest cloud opportunity, followed by storage and business applications.

Cloud will see double digit growth this year – claim

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudThe crack team of divination experts at Gartner Group are predicting that cloud services will see double digit growth this year thanks to strong SaaS and IaaS sales.

By the end of the year, cloud services revenue is predicted to reach $260 billion which is an 18.5 percent year-on-year increase.

The highest growth will come from IaaS offerings, which are projected to grow 36.6 percent in 2017 to reach $34.7 billion and SaaS revenue will grow 21 percent in 2017, to hit $58.6 billion.

Research director at Gartner Sid Nag said that the acceleration in SaaS adoption can be explained by providers delivering nearly all strains of application functional extensions and add-ons as a service. Pretty thrilling, eh?

“This appeals to users because SaaS solutions are engineered to be more purpose-built and are delivering better business outcomes than traditional software. SaaS is also growing faster in 2017 than previously forecast, leading to a significant uplift in the entire public cloud revenue forecast”, he said.

He added that strategic adoption of PaaS offerings are also outperforming previous expectations, as large enterprises are becoming confident that PaaS will be their primary form of application development platform in the future.

“This accounts for the remainder of the increase in this iteration of Gartner’s public cloud services revenue forecast.”

Gartner predicts that the total market will be worth $411.4 billion by 2020. That’s a lotta dosh and very thrilling!

 

It is not all about the cloud, claims NEC

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileNiman’s resellers were told that the world still needed hardware and to stop obessing about the cloud.

NEC sales director Andrew Cooper told the assembled throngs at an NEC communications platform launch gig that while digital transformation was underway the world still needs lots of gray boxes with flashing lights.

Copper said: “A digital transformation is under way but we should all take our head out of the cloud and keep our feet firmly on the ground. Profit is still the most important driver in business.”

He was showing off the SL2100 system, but found the hardware versus cloud debate was getting out of hand

“Without [profit] you don’t exist. It’s about what tangible business benefits can be delivered rather than the method of delivery. The way we consume technology is changing and NEC remains at the forefront,” the Cooper told the assembled throng.

Cooper said according to industry analyst MZA, an estimated 88 percent of the UK’s sub-100 extensions are premises-based. He said that there was still plenty of life in traditional comms-based platforms. Its demise has been greatly exaggerated and it remains the dominant force. Maybe Andrew Cooper should talk to Amazon and develop a habit called ‘being thrilled’.

 

 

Public cloud expands

cloudGartner  Group has been shuffling its tarot cards and reached the conclusion that worldwide public cloud services continue to rise, which will reach $260 billion for the year 2017.

The market research firm said that strong SaaS and IaaS performance is driving growth for the calendar year. The latest report projected the market to grow by 18.5 per cent year-on-year to total $260.2 billion, up from $219.6 billion last year.

Gartner research director Sid Nag said the final data for 2016 showed that software as a service (SaaS) revenue was far greater in 2016 than expected, reaching $48.2 billion.

“SaaS is also growing faster in 2017 than previously forecast, leading to a significant uplift in the entire public cloud revenue forecast.”

He said: “Strategic adoption of platform as a service (PaaS) offerings is also outperforming previous expectations, as enterprise-scale organizations are increasingly confident that PaaS will be their primary form of application development platform in the future. This accounts for the remainder of the increase in this iteration of Gartner’s public cloud services revenue forecast.”

SaaS revenue is expected to grow 21 percent in 2017 to reach $58.6 billion, as the acceleration in SaaS adoption can be explained by providers delivering nearly all application functional extensions and add-ons as a service.

The highest revenue growth will come from cloud system infrastructure services (infrastructure as a service [IaaS]), which is projected to grow 36.6 percent in 2017 to reach $34.7 billion.

Gartner still expects growth to even out from 2018 onwards, because it has obtained mainstream status and maturity. Gartner expects 70 percent of public cloud services revenue to be dominated by the top 10 public cloud providers through 2021.

Huawei launches a mobile cloud

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileHuawei is launching its own Mobile Cloud service.

The Chinese company promises that the service will allow consumers to backup and restore their data and phone settings wirelessly, synchronise and easily transfer data across Huawei mobile devices, as well as store and access files safely using Cloud Drive. Subscribed users to the Huawei Mobile Cloud will receive 5GB of free cloud storage.

From September onwards, the Huawei Mobile Cloud update will be gradually rolled out on the Huawei P10, P10 Plus, P10 lite and Nova 2, with other models to follow in due course. All photos and videos taken with the camera, screenshots and screen recordings can be automatically backed up to Cloud. Users can simply access them from their browser at cloud.huawei.com or from the Gallery App on their device.

Data can also be automatically synchronised across all Huawei mobile phones, so it’s quick and easy to access Contacts, Calendar, Wi-Fi and Notes using the Huawei ID. This data can also be managed through the Cloud Web Portal. At launch, Huawei Mobile Cloud will offer 5GB of free cloud storage and there will be the option to upgrade and purchase more storage plans from 2018 onwards.

Security conscious consumers will be safe in the knowledge that all data is stored exclusively within the EU on European servers, in compliance with EU Data Protection and Privacy Laws. All the services have been designed with user privacy in mind and the Huawei Mobile Cloud Services are certified by CSA Star.

Huawei Western Europe’s consumer business  president of Walter Ji, said: “The launch of Huawei Mobile Cloud highlights our commitment as a business to creating a more convenient mobile experience for our users, all the while assuring them that their data can easily be backed up and restored, as well as remaining secure. All files and photos stay within EU servers and we have local Legal, Security and Privacy expert teams in EU, to give users complete peace of mind.”