Posts Tagged ‘Cloud Computing’

Fears About The Cloud: Education And Security

March 22nd, 2013 Comments off

In today’s fast-moving world of technological advancement, we are entrusting more and more of our precious data to systems that we might not have a thorough understanding of. Cloud computing is one such convenience that, while revolutionizing the way we store digital information, is also raising some eyebrows when it comes to security. The key to assuaging fears about security in the cloud is education. Read on to learn more:

Security concerns. Many people mistakenly believe that their data stored in the cloud is somehow less secure than the data that is stored elsewhere on their computers or in the Internet. That is simply not true. However, what is true is that cloud security requires its own set of specific considerations, some that are not as pertinent to other forms of storage. When it comes to ensuring data security in the cloud, there are some common concerns that need to be addressed: data encryption, verifiable security checks through the provider, and sensitive data privacy are at the top of the list.

Shared responsibility. There are three types of cloud hosting: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). One thing that all three of these hosting service types have in common is that they all require a shared responsibility between them and you when it comes to the security of your data, in varying ratios. For example, SaaS cloud hosting assumes the majority of the security responsibility, while requiring the least from the end user, and IaaS cloud hosting puts the majority of the security responsibility on the user. However you cut it, though, you cannot escape the need to seriously consider your data’s security, no matter where or how it is stored in the cloud.

How you can do your part to protect your cloud-stored data. The first, and most important, thing you can do is take time to thoroughly review the contractual and legal components of your agreement with your cloud hosting provider. This information is made available to you before you enter into a contract with a provider, and it is your responsibility to understand what your responsibilities are. Secondly, you should never just assume that your cloud hosting service is providing protection to your standard. If, in the contract, your provider commits to providing security measures, then you should ask what measures, specifically, are being used, and get proof.

As you can see, it is not enough to entrust cloud storage providers with the security of your data. You must take personal responsibility for that which is important to you, and that means taking proactive measures to ensure your information is safe in cloud storage.

About the Author: Sheryll Wickenhauser uses a disk and a cloud system for backing up her data. She prefers the Backblaze backup service and a separate hard disk she stores off-site for her business.

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Best Online Backup Services

February 17th, 2013 Comments off

Everything is stored in files and folders whether they are photos, videos, music or any sort of information. In the present times, people have grown to take care of their files as they highly face the threat of being deleted and inaccessible at times. People are beginning to save more and more from their precious lives into the computer therefore backup is constantly required to keep them safe at all times. The online backup facility helps the users to have managed or remote service to their files and folders. This requires special software in order to begin with the whole process. Many people hire professional to recover their lost data but they are at times unable to do so. This has further increased the demand for online backup facilities for people who cannot bear to lose their personal files and information.

The online backup saves many people from starting their work from scratch when they have to meet important deadlines or they have way too much data to recover back to their computers or any other devices. There are many online backup sites that specialize in providing these services to people in all parts of the world. Individuals who have learned a valuable lesson after losing important data must contact online backup sites in order to protect their data for long period of time from irregularities such as deletion, file corruption and most commonly, window corruption.

Some people try to back up their files manually and think it is adequate enough. However, they tend to face many problems in doing so. Firstly, they end up keeping the data which is backed up, in the same location on the computer whether it’s an external hard drive, USB drive or a CD. Also, in case of disastrous circumstances like floods, fires and earthquakes, the data will be thoroughly wiped out forever as the computer will be destroyed. Similarly, if people forget to back up their data for a while on their computer, they can end up losing valuable work and information which might even land them in trouble for a while.

Many online backup sites are available these days that can help in safekeeping all sorts of data within their servers. People are recommended to do an adequate amount of research before employing them to carry out this significant task in the future. The online backup sites must have easy software which is user friendly. This serves as an important factor when it comes to choosing the top online backup sites. They must also have the availability of syncing as multiple files need to be synced to the computer as at times they are rather important. Good space must be offered along with syncing as that decides the amount of files which can be kept within the data storage folder. One of the most necessary things to consider before choosing the best online backup sites is to look around and put its reputation to a test. Online consumer reviews and customer testimonials are the best ways to reveal this.

Hey You! Get On My Cloud (for $20/month)!

April 10th, 2009 Comments off

I am a huge fan of Amazon EC2. It’s simple to use and very cheap. You can pick an existing machine image, fire it up and be on your way. If you add up the amount though, the cheapest machine image will cost you about $80 per month. How would you like to get something comparable (a developer style machine) for $20 per month?

Add in Rails, PHP, Java and even host based javascript support with SSH and SFTP access, root access and one button application deployment? All of this for about $0.65 per day? Yes, it’s true. Aptana has lowered their already low prices, at least on the developer machine.

You even get to try the Aptana Cloud out for 7 days for free. Don’t like, don’t drop a nickel. If you do like it, you’ll get 256GB pf ram and 5GB of storage. If you need more than that you can select one of the higher level plans. All of the plans come with 10TB of data transfer built into the price.

Aptana offers deployment via the Aptana Studio IDE. The Eclipse based IDE also comes with database tools and source control. It even has a one button backup/restore.

Aptana’s offering is especially nice for the developer who just doesn’t want to deal with administration issues that come with EC2. Sign up, pick your programming language (PHP, Ruby, Java or Javascript – Python is on the way) and Aptana optimizes a configuration for you.

Aptana’s cloud is hosted by Joyent (which hosts some very, very large social networks and applications). It’s secure, scalable and robust.

This is a sweet deal for developers who want to give the cloud a try out. I plan to have a couple of walk throughs in the near future but don’t wait. If you want to give the cloud a try, I can’t think of any better way than this.


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GridToday (On Demand Enterprise) Suspends Publication

December 19th, 2008 Comments off

I just got an email that I am sad to see.

Dear On-Demand Enterprise Readers:

Effective Dec. 19, 2008, we will be suspending publication of On-Demand Enterprise (formerly GRIDtoday). We appreciate your consistent feedback to us over the years and would like to thank you for your loyal readership.

Best wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy holiday season and for a successful 2009.


Diane Lieberman
[email protected]

The GridToday website itself doesn’t mention anything about shutting down. I’m not sure of the cause but with the economy in the tank and news organizations taking huge hits all over, I guess this is just a sign of the times.

I’ve been depending on GridToday for a while now. In addition to highlighting important cloud press releases and announcements, they’ve done some good cloud reporting. GridToday was narrow enough to be insightful but wide enough to be useful.

The really ironic thing is that the bad economy will only help the adoption of cloud computing.

I’ll post if I hear anything else.


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The Storage Cloud, Currently

July 12th, 2008 Comments off

InformationWeek has a good article, Behind The Storage Cloud. This article gives something of the plumbing behind the available storage in the cloud. Something they didn’t talk about in that article are the limitations I have been running into using the cloud.

For infrastructure providers like Google or, who are offering a PaaS (Platform as a Service), the storage is built into the application. If you chose them to develop your application, that works out fine. However, if you are looking for archiving or storage scaling (grow storage as you need it), it’s not so good.

Amazon offers a different kind of storage. S3 is a web based storage system. It’s like a bucket for data. It’s the biggest bucket you’ll probably ever see, but it’s just a big bucket. When you create a new directory, you’re creating a smaller bucket in the big bucket. The namespace for the bucket is global. That means that your smaller bucket can’t have the same name as someone else’s bucket. That’s a huge limitation.

Another issue with S3 is that it is a web service and not a block device. That means you can’t directly attach it and use it as a file system. You need to make API calls. Even from within EC2 (Amazon’s Cloud Computing Environment), S3 is only accessible through the API using PUT and GET style commands. Amazon is working on allowing EC2 to attach directly and there are other projects working on the same thing, PersistentFS being one of them.

I haven’t found a good, cloud based attachable storage yet. I think Amazon, when they make S3 attachable will be the first (although that might only be attachable from within EC2). What is currently available is a plethora of archival solutions. For home usage, I don’t think anything beats EMC Mozy. For $4.95/month, you get unlimited storage for one PC. It’s slow to add new files (at least for me it is), but overall, I don’t think any of its competitors really compete. I tried two others previously and decided to go with mozy for its price/feature ratio.

For business archival, I don’t know that I would recommend Mozy. It’s not that I would recommend against them, I just think there are better options. Off site, tape backups are still cheap and reliable. For the SMB market, burning a DVD once a week might even be enough. Just depends on your workflow and volume of data.

As a side note, it would be fairly easy to write a custom application to automatically backup changed files to S3. At less than 20 cents per month per GB, that might be a fairly reasonable solution, especially if you frequently need to access the archived data. I might even write a free giveaway to do just that. Just a POC kind of thing.

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