Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Critical Testing Criteria: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Cameron Sturdevant lists 9 points to keep in mind when comparing virtual desktop hypervisors.

I start by identifying what will be required of the desktops, what sort of hardware (client and server) will be required to support the requirements, and then I dive into the murky, swirling world of licensing:

1. License costs

In addition to the “three C’s” one of the most important testing criteria is licensing costs. None of the competing vendors make it easy to do an apples-to-apples comparison, so you’ll need to do some noodling to get a price per-desktop, per-year figure. It makes a difference how many years you include in your calculations. I suggest looking at a minimum of three and a maximum of five years, depending on your current physical desktop or laptop formula. Speaking of physical systems, you should factor in the costs of the user devices on which the remote virtual desktops will be hosted.

via Critical Testing Criteria: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure – Virtualization from eWeek.

CloudAudit Delivers – Cloud Compliance Maps

If you’re not familiar with CloudAudit.org:

CloudAudit and the Automated Audit, Assertion, Assessment, and Assurance API (A6)

The goal of CloudAudit is to provide a common interface and namespace that allows cloud computing providers to automate the Audit, Assertion, Assessment, and Assurance (A6) of their infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS), and application (SaaS) environments and allow authorized consumers of their services to do likewise via an open, extensible and secure interface and methodology.

Now, via Anton Chuvakin Blog – “Security Warrior”: CloudAudit Delivers – Cloud Compliance Maps:

CloudAudit delivers it’s first batch of cloud compliance specifications. Quoting from the announcement:

“The CompliancePacks map control objectives to specific namespace entities which are contained below and feature NIST SP800-53, PCI DSS, HIPAA, ISO27002 and COBIT compliance frameworks. Ultimately these directories are where a Cloud Provider will store and secure the assertions and supporting materials related to each compliance framework or assertion.” [<- the bold part is kinda the whole point 🙂

If you’d like to audit your cloud, give it a read.

Virtualization, Cloud PCI Compliance Tips for Your Enterprise

Adoption of virtualization and cloud computing is not slowing down, and neither are the challenges facing businesses looking to migrate to the cloud. At the top of the list for many firms is maintaining security and compliance when moving from physical to virtual and cloud environments. Though an update of the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) regulations is forthcoming and the PCI Security Standards Council has a special interest group looking at virtualization and how that maps to PCI, the council does not plan to release separate guidance on cloud computing. This means that businesses looking at the cloud may not get much detailed guidance on what to do. However, there are multiple sources for those searching for advice. With that in mind, eWEEK has compiled a list of the most important steps your business can take to make sure PCI compliance does not fall to the backburner of your plans for virtual, public and private cloud environments.

via Virtualization, Cloud PCI Compliance Tips for Your Enterprise – Virtualization from eWeek.

How to Ensure Business Continuity with Cloud Computing

These days, businesses of all sizes are looking to cloud computing as a means to more efficiently deliver IT services to users. Cloud-based solutions offer a cost-effective way to maintain high availability and reliability for user applications, especially if they support mobile workers, telecommuters or field-based teams. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Chris Pyle explains the important disaster recovery and business continuity benefits that cloud computing can deliver to your business.

via How to Ensure Business Continuity with Cloud Computing – Cloud Computing from eWeek.

Google Apps for Government Meets Federal Security Standard

Congratulations, Google!  Here’s looking forward to helping various government agencies migrate to Google Apps!

Google introduced Google Apps for Government, accommodated by FISMA certification. FISMA is essentially the government’s seal of approval of Google Apps as a secure cloud computing collaboration platform, something Microsoft lacks for its own cloud suites.

Google July 26 launched Google Apps for Government and earned a key security credit that makes its collaboration software for the cloud viable for federal agencies.

via Google Apps for Government Meets Federal Security Standard – Cloud Computing from eWeek.

10 things you may not know about using Amazon Web Services in the enterprise | 10 Things | TechRepublic.com

An article with 10 points of note about AWS:

Amazon Web Services just held a powwow for potential enterprise customers and a bevy of details emerged, ranging from contracts to security to procedures ensuring that employees don’t procure a cloud server en masse for giggles. Here’s a reporter’s notebook from Amazon Web Services’ enterprise powwow.

This point, in particular, is one to watch:

2: Watch your budget when you move to AWS

A handful of AWS customers said that cloud computing is less expensive but can be too easy to use and blow your budget. Simply put, any developer with a credit card can provision a machine. If too many people use AWS, you have cloud sprawl quickly and blow your computing budget. “It’s too easy and that can hurt your cost controls,” Dispensa said. “It’s cheaper, but can get unwieldy.”

For my hobby sites, my math showed I’d get everything I need from a basic Hostgator plan for a fraction of the cost of an always-on small Linux instance.

via 10 things you may not know about using Amazon Web Services in the enterprise | 10 Things | TechRepublic.com.

10 things to consider before deploying a cloud | 10 Things | TechRepublic.com

In Jack Wallen’s article below, his points are more oriented towards someone looking to build a cloud data center, rather than someone looking to deploy to a cloud facility, such as Hosted Solutions.

Nearly everything still applies, but you can pretend that 9: It’s more environmentally sound than building up your own data center, 2: Hardware needs are replaced with Virtual Hardware needs, which can be scaled up as needed.

Are you thinking about setting up a cloud for deployment in your business or enterprise? Have you planned it out yet? If so, how far have you gotten with it? If you haven’t begun the setup process, check out this list of things to consider before you start deploying that cloud. It might confirm your belief that you’re on the right track — but it could persuade you otherwise.

via 10 things to consider before deploying a cloud | 10 Things | TechRepublic.com.

Google Docs uploads improvements

Google’s been busy making improvements to Docs!

First, they expanded the storage space to allow you to upload any type of file to the cloud with Google Docs, then Google updated the Documents List API to allow any file type to be uploaded, and now they’ve added these new features:

  • Thumbnail view in the Docs List which allows you to preview your Docs.
  • Spelling correction when searching for a doc.
  • Upload any file limit increased from 250MB to 1GB.

The API can be used by Premiere edition only, but the other improvements are available on all versions of Google Apps.  All this, with no price change!

Migrating Ubuntu Servers | Leo’s Ramblings

This is an indispensable tip for smoothly migrating Ubuntu virtual machines across VMware hosts and having networking work.

Edit by adding the following to /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules:

# ignore VMware virtual interfaces

ATTR{address}==”00:0c:29:*”, GOTO=”persistent_net_generator_end”

ATTR{address}==”00:50:56:*”, GOTO=”persistent_net_generator_end”

via Migrating Ubuntu Servers | Leo’s Ramblings.