Tag : Cloud

Cisco says within three years, most if not all workloads will be cloud based

Cisco Cloud

“Cisco says by 2021, 94 percent of all workloads will run in some form of cloud environment. Even on-premises workloads will run in a virtualized environment.” stated  , from Network World. 

In its latest Cisco Global Cloud Index (2016-2021), the networking giant predicts that by 2021, 94 percent of all workloads will run in some form of cloud environment and that dedicated servers will be a distinct minority.

That 94 percent covers both public and private cloud scenarios, which means even in an on-premises scenario, almost all workloads are going to be run in a virtualized environment. The days where a server is dedicated to one workload are rapidly drawing to a close.

“We use the definition of one workload or instance with one physical server,” said Thomas Barnett, director, Cisco Service Provider forecast and trends. “In virtual scenarios, we’re seeing one workload with multiple virtual machines and containers. Based on growth in public cloud, we’ve overcome some of the barriers of adoption, such as cost and security and simplicity of deploying of these services.”

 

Why cloud use is increasing

One thing fueling the drive to the cloud is the explosion in SaaS workloads. By 2021, 75 percent, compared with 16 percent for IaaS workloads and compute instances, down from 21 percent in 2016 and 9 percent will be PaaS workloads and compute instances, up from 8 percent in 2016.

One reason traffic is moving to the cloud is there is a lot of it and the amount of traffic is growing fast — and it needs the elasticity the cloud offers. Cisco predicts data center traffic will triple by 2021, with traffic in North America growing from 2.8 zettabytes per year now to 8 zettabytes by 2021. The Asia/Pacific region will grow the fastest, from 2.1 zettabytes this year to 6.7 zettabytes in 2021.

This growth will be fueled by a combination of improved security and the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). In the past, Cisco notes, security concerns have been a major barrier to cloud adoption. Improvements in data center governance and data control have helped to minimize enterprise risk and better protect consumer information.

Big growth in hyperscale data centers

That means big growth in hyperscale data centers, the massive data centers that are the size of multiple football stadiums with tens of thousands of servers and often their own power source, like a hydroelectric plant or wind turbines. Most are operated by the largest cloud providers, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

Cisco predicts hyperscale data centers will go from 27 percent share of total data center servers to 53 percent by 2021, and it says the number of hyperscale data centers will grow from 338 in 2016 to 628 in 2021. By 2021, they will account for 69 percent of all data center processing power, 65 percent of all data stored, and 55 percent of all data center traffic.

This growth comes from both business and consumer applications. For consumers, streaming video, social networking, and internet search are among the most popular cloud applications, with video really accounting for a lot of the traffic. By 2021, video streaming will account for 10 percent of traffic within data centers and 85 percent of traffic from data centers to end users.

For business users, enterprise resource planning (ERP), collaboration, analytics, and other digital enterprise applications represent leading growth areas. In particular, big data is going to get a lot bigger. Big data will account for 403 exabytes by 2021, up almost 8-fold from 25 exabytes in 2016. Big data will represent 30 percent of all data stored in data centers by 2021, up from 18 percent in 2016

That means big growth in hyperscale data centers, the massive data centers that are the size of multiple football stadiums with tens of thousands of servers and often their own power source, like a hydroelectric plant or wind turbines. Most are operated by the largest cloud providers, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

Cisco predicts hyperscale data centers will go from 27 percent share of total data center servers to 53 percent by 2021, and it says the number of hyperscale data centers will grow from 338 in 2016 to 628 in 2021. By 2021, they will account for 69 percent of all data center processing power, 65 percent of all data stored, and 55 percent of all data center traffic.

This growth comes from both business and consumer applications. For consumers, streaming video, social networking, and internet search are among the most popular cloud applications, with video really accounting for a lot of the traffic. By 2021, video streaming will account for 10 percent of traffic within data centers and 85 percent of traffic from data centers to end users.

For business users, enterprise resource planning (ERP), collaboration, analytics, and other digital enterprise applications represent leading growth areas. In particular, big data is going to get a lot bigger. Big data will account for 403 exabytes by 2021, up almost 8-fold from 25 exabytes in 2016. Big data will represent 30 percent of all data stored in data centers by 2021, up from 18 percent in 2016.

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

For original content, please visit:

Network World Cisco – Cloud Based

 

 

 

 

Microsoft – Thousands of Dollars in Free Support for Azure Users

Azure-logo

 

Microsoft is offering a new incentive for Azure users, up to $12,000 in free support for those who make a prepaid commitment to Microsoft Azure cloud for the year. This is Microsoft’s latest ploy to get more of it’s traditional users to use Azure. All offers are available May 1st, 2016 through June 30th, 2017.

For those who are already on an Azure Enterprise Agreement (EA), Microsoft plans to move you to a higher support tier for a year starting May 1st. No extra charge no matter if you are a new or existing customer. Customers within the Azure Enterprise Agreement without support, will get a year of free support, usually priced around $4,000. Those customers that have a prepaid commitment of $100,000 or that use $10,000 per month will get a even bigger present. Free ProDirect Support for the year, which is valued at about $12,000.

In addition to ProDirect Support, these customers will also receive six App Consulting sessions, in which a Azure technical professional is available for questions about cloud, app design and implementation, and workload deployment.

Microsoft is pushing hard for Azure in the enterprise, where many businesses prefer to use their own infrastructure rather than Azure. Allowing customers to try before they buy appears to be Microsoft’s focus when it comes to Azure.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit:Microsoft: Pay for Azure upfront and we’ll give you $12,000 in free support

 

Dropbox sets no limit for desktop file storage

 

Project-Infinite-Dropbox-Large-796x399


 

Dropbox announced a new initiative at their Open conference on Tuesday called Project Infinite. Project Infinite utilizes a new interface that allows users to see all of the files they have stored in the cloud within their machine’s file explorer. Users will not be required to keep local copies of each document, image, spreadsheet, or other data file, everything stored in Dropbox will be readily available regardless. Just like with any locally stored files, users will be able to move and manage their files in the cloud by moving them around inside the Mac OS X Finder or Windows File Explorer.

The current Dropbox format hasn’t changed much since its initial launch around 7 years ago. This new initiative is a big move for the company as well as the cloud reliant community. Project Infinite would build upon the original functionality of Dropbox and allow users to work with a greater volume of files, without the added hassle. As with anything else, a lot has been left unanswered when it comes to Project Infinite. Dropbox won’t say when it plans to incorporate the new version into the publicly available version of its desktop applications. In addition to the lack of a launch date, the company has not released which customers will be able to use Project Infinite once it does launch.

Dropbox has also released a new File Properties API that allows third party involvement. Users will now be able to apply custom metadata to files stored in Dropbox, enabling security applications such as data migration services and digital loss prevention services.

Dropbox has entertained the idea of paid cloud storage, trying to persuade businesses to choose Dropbox over other cloud storage options. Pushing hard for commercial adoption leaves the possibility that this new interface may be completely unavailable without subscription.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

 


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Dropbox wants to stretch desktop file storage to infinity

 

Storage and Backup Products that Save the Day

Nasuni Cloud Storage – Leveraging the cloud as a primary storage component, Nasumi Cloud NAS combines local storage controllers and cloud storage to provide global access to data with local performance. The only file system of its kind that can scale from hundreds to hundreds of billions of objects without any degradation of performance. If your company is having trouble taking on highly data-intensive projects because of limited storage capacity that is costly to upgrade, NAS is the right solution.pic

DataCore’s SANsymphony-V – This software-defined storage option maximizes IT infrastructure performance by virtualizing storage hardware in a universally compatible format. The SANsymphony-V software runs on standard x86 servers, providing one set of common storage services across all storage devices even allowing communication between unlike storage devices. Customers and IT techs rave about the increase in performance and especially the 75% reduction in storage costs. “[It] meets our replication needs — replicates all critical data between two data centers. Also provides rich SAN capability.”says David Blaisdell, assistant IT director at the New London, NH, college.

Intermedia SecuriSync – Backup and File sharing with Intermedia SecuriSync is made easier by providing real-time backup and point-in-time restore for PCs and Macs. When data is the core of your business, you need to be able to retrieve and analyze data without delay. SecuriSync provides both consolidated file management and continuous backup of documents, while securing access to sensitive data. Going beyond read-only access, employees can edit documents from mobile devices without having to worry about version control. Real time backups give users the comfort of being able to easily restore corrupted files.

CloudBerry Managed Backup – This flexible and cost effective solution allows the user to choose the storage providers as well as provides remote management capabilities. For small to mid-sized businesses this is the perfect option. Cloudberry provides all of the benefits of cloud based storage, scalability, reliability and security but at a size attainable for small businesses. Backups are made both easier and less costly.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Go-to storage and disaster recovery products

 

Two-Factor Authentication Evaluation Guide

Two-factor Authentication is a type of multi-factor authentication that provides identification of users using a combination of two different components. These components are often something the user knows, possesses, or something that is inseparable from the user. This Guide has been adapted from Duo Security, and illustrates what to consider when deciding upon a vendor for Two-factor Authentication for your company.WP17

Security

 

In order to enforce this extra layer of protection it is important to consider the factors involved. Security and ease of implementation should be of first priority. The vendor in which provides your two-factor authentication should be secure by design. The cloud based service should use multiple, independent PCI DSS Level 1 and ISO 27001-certified, SAS 70 Type II-audited service providers and is split across multiple geographic regions, service providers and power grids for seamless failover. This ensures that you have a reliable vendor that has an infrastructure that is fully scalable and elastic enough to be able to accommodate any number of users. You should be able to add users as you need them without issue. The vendor should also be backed by a strong service level agreement and the service should offer 24/7 operational coverage.

Cloud-based authentication services are easy to use and tend not to require installation of hardware. Selecting a vendor with drop-in integrations for all major VPNs, Unix, and MS remote access points. Something to look for is deployment. The two-factor authentication process is best implemented when it leverages a platform users already have, such as cell phones. Make sure the service you employ works with landlines and tokens to save your IT administrator from having to manage tokens.

Usability

Usability and convenience are a major part of making two-factor authentication a productive solution. A vendor that keeps a lot of “clutter” such as extra steps gets in the way of the login path and makes for a large and unneeded distraction. Allowing users to easily enroll themselves and set their preferred devices to use for authentication makes the login process easier. This should be met by a vendor that supports a wide range of authentication methods including push to mobiles app, passcode and phone call back.

Administration

When choosing the ideal vendor, make sure the administrative needs are met. For instance, consider if the solution allows for visibility insight into user access of your network. Authentication logs should be provided for auditing and reporting. Systems that provide a centralized admin interface give a consolidated view of how the two-factor authentication is working, and allows for better maintenance. It would be best if the system managed the physical tokens rather than forcing you to manage such items. In addition if you are looking for a cost effective solution, cloud hosted vendors have the lowest costs and least amount of hassle because the infrastructure, upgrades and maintenance are all managed by the vendor.

 

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://hosteddocs.emediausa.com/duo-security-twofactor-evaluation-guide.pdf

Ransomware

 

Ransomware Malware Ransomware is the devilish and extremely debilitating program designed to lock and encrypt files in order to extort money from consumers, business owners, and even government officials. It seems that no one is safe in the fight against ransomware. Most ransomware programs are targeted at the most popular operating system, Windows. Ransomware programs can and will target other systems such as Android applications, Mac OS X and possibly even smart TVs in the near future. Not only is this an unsettling forecast for consumers, but also a call to action for preventative measures to protect your most important data files.

What can be done? Most users have learned the hard way that it is better to back up sensitive data to an external hard drive. However, this type of malware is tuned in to this. When a ransomware program infiltrates a computer, it infects all accessible drives and shared networks, encrypting all files found. This makes for a very irritating discovery of locked data across the board.

Rather than rely on the external hard drive method for backups, it is suggested that consumers adopt a new best practice. Ensure at least three copies of sensitive data are made, and stored in two different formats. At least one of these copies should be stored off-site or offline. This way if ransomware locks files away consumers are not forced into a sticky situation of deciding whether to risk paying for the data retrieval or losing the data forever.

What to do when faced with ransomware? Not much can be done once ransomware has attacked. Most security researchers advise not paying for files to be unlocked, as there is no guarantee that the hackers will provide the deception key once paid. Security vendors also worry about the implications for fueling the fire. The more consumers give in and pay for the safe return of their data, the further encouraged ransomware criminals become to continue this practice of extortion.

If I haven’t said it enough already, I will say it again. Prevention is key. Know how ransomware reaches your computer. Be especially careful of email attachments, word documents with macro code, and malicious advertisements. Always keep the software on your computer up to date. It is especially important to ensure that OS, browsers such as Flash Player, Adobe Reader, and Java are always updated when available. Unless you have verified the senders, never enable the execution of macros in documents. Finally and most importantly, perform daily activities from a limited user account rather than an administrative one. And always, always, utilize a well running and up to date antivirus program.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3041001/security/five-things-you-need-to-know-about-ransomware.html

Windows Intune

Users always on the go? Having a hard time managing remote workstations? Need to ensure updates are installed on mobile workstations? Want to push apps to remote workstations? Well look no further, try Windows Intune. I recently came across a client that had many mobile users and we were having a very tough time managing them and ensuring they are up to date. What I came across was Windows Intune.

Windows Intune is essentially a cloud based management system for remote workstations. It gives you the ability to monitor antivirus activity using Windows Intune protection, as well as a web based update console that is much like WSUS on Windows server. It’s a very simple and easy project to use if you have many remote workstations. It literally took me about 10 minutes to get it setup and I was pushing agents out to the workstations. It even sent me an email alert when a computer detected malicious items on one of the PCs.

Furthermore if you sign up for Windows intune which is about $7 per workstation per month, you are given the ability to install Windows 7 Enterprise on your workstations. Microsoft essentially gives you a volume license key for the enterprise software for each pc using Windows Intune.

So if you are looking for an easy way to manage remote systems that never connect to the domain, I would recommend trying Windows Intune.

http://youtu.be/FidwAXN1mGQ

Microsoft Office 2013 SkyDrive

BVA emplyees see the perks of Microsoft Office 2013 but one awesome new feature we noticed was SkyDrive. With this you can share documents from anywhere with the cloud storage and even allows them to edit at the same time you are accessing the file. If you’re more of a visualy person and want to see what this feature is all about, check out this article. It gives you step-by-step idea as to what it all offers.

BYOD Security concerns

From Slashdot

A Bring Your Own Device policy might save companies money, but a new survey highlights a lack of security procedures for keeping it secure.

Some two-thirds of businesses follow some sort of BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) policy, allowing workers to use their personal devices in a work context. That’s according to a new survey by consulting firm ITIC and KnowBe4.com.

The Web-based survey, which queried respondents from 550 companies worldwide between July and August 2012, also found something disturbing, at least from a security perspective: around 71 percent of businesses had no specific policies or procedures for keeping BYOD secure. Around 13 percent had such policies in place, while another 9 percent were in the process of developing them, with the remainder unsure of where their companies stood in terms of hardening personal devices against attack or data loss.

Full article here:  http://slashdot.org/topic/cloud/byod-lacks-security-survey/