May 26 2011

Cloudy Debate, Android Security Gaffe - BizTech Quick Take

BizTech Quick Take is our weekly digital tour of the web, serving up news and notes on IT and business that you need to know — and some things you’ll simply be glad to know.

What Do You See In That Cloud?

What’s in a cloud? Cloud computing has become a major buzzword in technology circles, but even as enterprises ramp up the implementation of cloud infrastructures, usage of the term “cloud” remains, well, cloudy.

In short, cloud means different things to different people, and the lack of a consensus on the term leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Does using the cloud just mean utilizing an IT service, such as e-mail, over the Internet? What is the difference between a public cloud and a private cloud? Which cloud (public or private) is the real deal?

Earlier this month, The Wisdom of Clouds blogger James Urquhart participated in a panel discussion at Interop’s Enterprise Cloud Summit called “The False Cloud Debate.” In this session, Urquhart, who’s also a market strategist for Cisco Systems, and other IT leaders tried to sort out the confusion over cloud computing’s true definition. In Urquhart’s view, the reason for the mix-up over what a “real” cloud comprises stems from the term’s use as both a business model and an operations model.

Urquhart concluded that many enterprises will end up using a hybrid cloud model, taking advantage of cloud computing services and building their own “false” clouds for their specific business needs. He writes, in part:

While the panel disagreed to the degree in which private cloud makes sense to deploy, all agreed that a hybrid cloud model made sense for most large enterprises. One key reason for this? Data has mass, as my friend David McCrory analogized, and it is much more difficult to move large volumes of data to the cloud than it is to “bring the cloud” to where the data already sits.

Right or wrong, the enterprise is moving forward with projects that target on-demand, self-service elastic infrastructure with some form of cost “show-back” to regulate use; services that fulfill a cloud operations model. They are also consuming plenty of cloud-computing services online in a cloud business model.

The argument that private cloud is a “false cloud” is therefore irrelevant.

Read the full account at The Wisdom of Clouds.

Google Patches Far-Reaching Android OS Security Hole

Android users briefly had reason to panic when word of a security hole that would allow unauthorized users access to their mobile device’s contacts and calendar began to spread.

According to a study conducted by German researchers, 99 percent of Android devices might have been vulnerable to a security hole that could allow unauthorized access to the device’s Google Calendar and Contacts information.

But Google has now formally issued a fix to the vulnerability on the server side, which means users won’t have to wait for their carrier to update to the latest version of Android OS to get the fix.

Read the full story at Naked Security.

Why Flash Is Becoming the New Disk

Back in 2008, many in the storage community were wary of the long-term viability of flash storage technology. But not EMC, as Chuck Hollis, the company’s global marketing chief technology officer, recalls.

In his view, flash storage is not only going to expand and become more dominant, it will eventually replace many disk storage infrastructures:

The flash-as-disk-in-the-enterprise party got seriously started back in January 2008 when EMC became the first vendor to support the newest enterprise flash drives alongside traditional disk in the DMX.

Oh, the howls we heard from our competitors. It’s too expensive. It’s not reliable. No one will ever want it. Well, as we stand here today, almost all storage array vendors have gotten on board to a certain degree (with some notable exceptions!) realizing that — yes — flash is becoming the new disk.

Read the full story on Chuck’s Blog.

Get a Sneak Peek at Mac OS X Lion

The newest version of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system is slated for release sometime this summer, but developers already are working with the OS for bug reporting, testing and app development.

Six new videos from the developer version of Lion were posted on OSX Daily this week. They show off, among other things, the new login screen, Mission Control and Safari’s new Download manager.

Read the full story at OSX Daily.

Does the PCI DSS Really Reduce Risk?

Verizon released its 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report, which concludes that adherence to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) does help reduce organizations’ risk of compromised or lost data. But it must be implemented as a continuous process to truly pay off.

TripWire’s blog digs into PCI DSS and breaks out which organizations benefit the most from PCI DSS and whether compliance with PCI DSS is good enough.

Read the full story on the TripWire blog.

Let the Colored Ink Flow

In a recent survey, Xerox found that letting employees print in color more often could pay off in a good way.

Xerox has put together a nifty infograph that highlights some of its findings, including the fact that 43 percent of survey respondents were more likely to pay a bill on time if the due date was printed in color.

Read the full story on Xerox’s Real Business blog.

Useful IPv6 Testing Sites and Tools

The last IPv4 addresses were given out three months ago, and its successor, IPv6, will run its 24-hour “test flight” on World IPv6 Day, to be held June 8, 2011. Are you ready for the transition?

If you aren’t, Cisco has assembled a handy list of sites and tools that can help you get started.

Read the full story on Cisco’s Borderless Networks blog.

Take Full Advantage of VLAN Technology

What networking technology gives your network increased bandwidth, availability and security? If you guessed VLANs, then you’re absolutely right.

But as wonderful as VLANs are, they aren’t able to do all the heavy lifting without the proper set up. Here are five considerations to keep in mind when deploying a VLAN.

Read the full story on BizTech.

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