where is your privacy and ownership?-Cloud Crashes,Cloud failures and Cloud got Hacked

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chrisgoh2017 at gmail.com

Go ahead and google cloud crashes and you get a big listing of cloud crashes from amazon, google, microsoft….

So do you dare to put all your data in the cloud and being controlled by SOMEONE?

All the data will be stolen and identity theft are here.


Good article here at:

Google Drive is out, but where is your privacy and ownership?

“Ok so the new Google Drive is out, but what about ownership of your files and the privacy that comes with it?” This was my first reaction when I heard about the launch. I have a great understanding of Google and I am sure there is more to the purpose behind this new product than meets the eye.

Microsoft SkyDrive and Dropbox are the two largest online storage services today, and yes Google took its time to join. As Google already delivers us with some remarkable services and features like Google Docs, integration with Docs, just makes sense doesn’t it?

Comparison Chart of Online Storage Service Providers

So first, let us look at the functionality of Google Drive compared to Dropbox and SkyDrive. Thanks to digitaltrends.com for creating this chart.

As you can see above there are many reasons why Google outclasses the competition when it comes to functions, overall performance and cheaper pricing options.

Even with all the astounding collectives that Google is bringing to the table with G Drive, there are still two very important facts to mull over; the ownership of your files and the privacy thereof. Imagine you have a new car driving faster, using less fuel and outperforming the competition, but every conversation you have inside the car is recorded and leaked to the car manufacturer and used, as they seem fit.
Different Terms and Privacy Policies

Dropbox (Terms and Privacy Policy)

By using our Services you provide us with information, files, and folders that you submit to Dropbox (together, “your stuff”). You retain full ownership to your stuff. We don’t claim any ownership to any of it. These Terms do not grant us any rights to your stuff or intellectual property except for the limited rights that are needed to run the Services, as explained below.

We may need your permission to do things you ask us to do with your stuff, for example, hosting your files, or sharing them at your discretion. This includes product features visible to you, for example, image thumbnails or document previews. It also includes design choices we make to technically administer our Services, for example, how we redundantly backup data to keep it safe. You give us the permissions we need to do those things solely to provide the Services. This permission also extends to trusted third parties we work with to provide the Services, for example Amazon, which provides our storage space (again, only to provide the Services).

To be clear, aside from the rare exceptions we identify in our Privacy Policy, no matter how the Services change, we won’t share your content with others, including law enforcement, for any purpose unless you direct us to. How we collect and use your information generally is also explained in our Privacy Policy.

Microsoft’s SkyDrive (Terms and Privacy Policy)

Your content

Except for material that we license to you, we don’t claim ownership of the content you provide on the service. Your content remains your content. We also don’t control, verify, or endorse the content that you and others make available on the service.

You control who may access your content. If you share content in public areas of the service or in shared areas available to others you’ve chosen, then you agree that anyone you’ve shared content with may use that content. When you give others access to your content on the service, you grant them free, nonexclusive permission to use, reproduce, distribute, display, transmit, and communicate to the public the content solely in connection with the service and other products and services made available by Microsoft. If you don’t want others to have those rights, don’t use the service to share your content.

Google Drive (Terms and Privacy Policy)

Some of our Services allow you to submit content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps).

I rest my case; one can clearly see the difference. I will not easily put my documents on Google Drive, just to ensure I have better ownership and privacy. What do you think? Please comment below.

Amazon EC2 Down Again…Takes Instagram, Foursquare and more with it!

Amazon’s elastic cloud, better known as EC2 is down again for the second time this year. For those who missed it, the king of the cloud went down in April of this year as well and for quite a long time. When a service touts 99% uptime it’s pretty easy to break that agreement from a single outage, add two outages and you’re in trouble. Q4CUN6NSQMNQ

One of the biggest issues with Amazon EC2 disappearing into the ether is that it takes some pretty big startups with it, innovators like Turntable.fm, Instagram, Quora, Fab, Foursquare, Heroku, the list goes on. Heck even companies like Netflix use Amazon EC2 and are impacted by outages like this.

When you’re running a startup, be it a wild success or still in the growing phase, having all systems go at all times is absolutely critical. Amazon was chosen as the right provider by all of these companies because of their guaranteed uptime, reliability, and come on, it’s Amazon, we all love them…right? You can see the latest Twitter stream below, one company seems to be back up however you can see major social media services like Foursquare are still down for the count:

How many cloud failures have to happen before consumers take notice?

Good Morning Folks,

This miracle of invention that lets us touch each other’s lives online is somewhat like the planet that we don’t understand how it works, but expect will be here for us and automatically give us what we need.

So in the stress of the markets and forecasts, no one wanted to be a bigger Debby downer to broadcast this news kept quiet of the biggest potential threat to our lives today: Cyberwarfare.

Yesterday, for another in a seres of events with increasing frequency, millions of IT consumers were frozen without their services and access to their data and life’s creations. You will never know which emails intended for you were received and whether those you intended for others were delivered or not.

Entire chains like Apple Computer were closed for business for the first time ever. NetFlix, Reddit and FoureSquare the depend on Amazon, and Microsoft’s small business services paralyzed, my ISP Ipower and Ooma VOIP services locked from making or taking phone calls for six hours. Were the attackers part of the cyber anarchist group who have been breaking into government computers and already declared their intention to blow Facebook to oblivion next week? WE don’t know what the install in our computers in these attacks or if we become unwillingly complicit in their plots. So as not to take any chances emails like my daily bulletins that have gone every morning to executives for over 20 years will be rejected due to “too many recipients.”

IT, already burdened from the transition to the cloud and consumerization of IT stands at a cross roads of change. You look to your help desk for help and they are under pressure to stay afloat.

Yesterday HP announced they would give up certain businesses. Mr. Jobs has won and the masses have been emancipated from their servitude to IT whereas it had been and now will be the other way around. But it’s not all as easy as its seems by your iPad

We’re transiting service to dedicated servers in known externally managed data centres for cost and capacity reasons. We operate our own private cloud infrastructure.

Ooma, a VoIP provider (like Vonage people are leaving the phone companies for) had the dual inconveniences of what they described as a “rare” partial power failure at their unnamed datacenter provider and what appeared to be simultaneous DDoS attack on their corporate website, which left their customers unable to use their service, or even check on the status of their accounts while Ooma rushed to recover from the problems.

The service was only down for three hours, starting at 5:40 AM Pacific Time, which means that the issue was resolved by the time West Coast customers got to their offices, but anyone further east would have found their business impacted by the outage. Given that Ooma’s primary marketing approach is for their free home phone service it is likely that their customers, who are home users, would have been somewhat in the dark about what was going on and tried to connect to the company website. According to the Ooma corporate blog, it was the sudden rush of customers, that no longer had phone services, trying to access the corporate home page that caused what appeared to be a DDoS attack.

Of course, the explanation is of little value to customers who found themselves without service. This is true of any cloud-based outage; customers won’t care why it happened, they just don’t want it to happen again.

And it is the primary Achilles Heel of cloud based services; anything that can cause a service interruption eventually will, and it is next to impossible to prevent every potential failure.

In a short span of time where we have seen major cloud providers such as Amazon and Microsoft have significant problems keeping their services up and running, most people are taking careful looks at the SLAs that are coming along with their cloud based service providers.

The more professionally paranoid are reminded of the old adage “Once is an accident, twice a coincidence, three times is enemy action.”

lso this week, the saga continued when the International Monetary Fund was the latest victim of an assault as their systems were infiltrated in what’s been described as “connected to a foreign government, resulting in the loss of e-mails and other documents.” IMF spokesperson David Hawley assured the world that the fund is still fully functional, but that the IMF “are investigating an incident. I am not in a position to elaborate further on the extent of the cybersecurity incident”.

Amidst the flurry of attacks, the U.S. government has stepped into the spotlight, perhaps in a proactive attempt to avoid being the target of a catastrophic attack. Reuters reported that, “CIA Director Leon Panetta told the U.S. Congress this week the United States faces the “real possibility” of a crippling cyber attack.”

“The next Pearl Harbor that we confront,” said Panetta, could be an attack of their servers that, “cripples our power systems, our grid, our security systems, our financial systems, our governmental systems.”

In his Senate confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Secretary of Defense, Panetta stated that, “This is a real possibility in today’s world.”

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What is Cloud Computing?

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What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is Internet-based (“cloud”) development and use of computer technology (”computing”).

With the advent of Cloud Computing, the cost of computation, application hosting and content storage and delivery is plunging fast by several orders of magnitude.

Cloud Computing & Cloud Hosting by Rackspace

This is why many analysts and industry-watchers believe that Cloud Computing is changing not just the technology landscape but also the entire nature of the business models that underpin successful software and hardware companies

The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet (based on how it is depicted in computer network diagrams) and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals.[1] It is a style of computing in which IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service”,[2] allowing users to access technology-enabled services from the Internet (”in the cloud”)[3] without knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the technology infrastructure that supports them.[4] According to a 2008 paper published by IEEE Internet Computing
“Cloud Computing is a paradigm in which information is permanently stored in servers on the Internet and cached temporarily on clients that include desktops, entertainment centers, table computers, notebooks, wall computers, handhelds, sensors, monitors, etc.”[5]

Cloud computing is a general concept that incorporates software as a service (SaaS), Web 2.0 and other recent, well-known technology trends, in which the common theme is reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users. For example, Google Apps provides common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.

Cloud computing is becoming one of the next industry buzz words. It joins the ranks of terms including: grid computing, utility computing, virtualization, clustering, etc.

Cloud computing overlaps some of the concepts of distributed, grid and utility computing, however it does have its own meaning if contextually used correctly. The conceptual overlap is partly due to technology changes, usages and implementations over the years.

Trends in usage of the terms from Google searches shows Cloud Computing is a relatively new term introduced in the past year. There has also been a decline in general interest of Grid, Utility and Distributed computing. Likely they will be around in usage for quit a while to come. But Cloud computing has become the new buzz word driven largely by marketing and service offerings from big corporate players like Google, IBM and Amazon.

The term cloud computing probably comes from (at least partly) the use of a cloud image to represent the Internet or some large networked environment. We don’t care much what’s in the cloud or what goes on there except that we depend on reliably sending data to and receiving data from it. Cloud computing is now associated with a higher level abstraction of the cloud. Instead of there being data pipes, routers and servers, there are now services. The underlying hardware and software of networking is of course still there but there are now higher level service capabilities available used to build applications. Behind the services are data and compute resources. A user of the service doesn’t necessarily care about how it is implemented, what technologies are used or how it’s managed. Only that there is access to it and has a level of reliability necessary to meet the application requirements.

In essence this is distributed computing. An application is built using the resource from multiple services potentially from multiple locations. At this point, typically you still need to know the endpoint to access the services rather than having the cloud provide you available resources. This is also know as Software as a Service. Behind the service interface is usually a grid of computers to provide the resources. The grid is typically hosted by one company and consists of a homogeneous environment of hardware and software making it easier to support and maintain. (note: my definition of a grid is different from the wikipedia definition, but homogeneous environments in data centers is typically what I have run across). Once you start paying for the services and the resources utilized, well that’s utility computing.

Cloud computing really is accessing resources and services needed to perform functions with dynamically changing needs. An application or service developer requests access from the cloud rather than a specific endpoint or named resource. What goes on in the cloud manages multiple infrastructures across multiple organizations and consists of one or more frameworks overlaid on top of the infrastructures tying them together. Frameworks provide mechanisms for:

* self-healing
* self monitoring
* resource registration and discovery
* service level agreement definitions
* automatic reconfiguration

The cloud is a virtualization of resources that maintains and manages itself. There are of course people resources to keep hardware, operation systems and networking in proper order. But from the perspective of a user or application developer only the cloud is referenced. The Assimilator project is a framework that executes across a heterogeneous environment in a local area network providing a local cloud environment. In the works is the addition of a network overlay to start providing an infrastructure across the Internet to help achieve the goal of true cloud computing.

IBM Launches New Cloud Computing Consulting and Implementation Services

IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced new cloud computing services to help businesses of all sizes take advantage of this increasingly-attractive computing model. With today’s announcements, IBM is applying its industry-specific consulting expertise and established technology record to offer secure, practical services to companies in public, private and hybrid cloud models.

* Industry-specific Business Consulting Services for Cloud Computing – IBM Global Business Services will use an economic model for assessing the total cost of ownership for building private clouds, and/or moving data and applications off-site in a public or hybrid cloud model.

* Technology Consulting, Design and Implementation Services – IBM Global Technology Services is announcing new services to help clients install, configure and deliver cloud computing inside the data center.
* Cloud Security – Spanning IBM Systems, Software, Services and IBM’s lauded Research and X-Force arms, this effort is aimed at re-architecting and re-designing technologies and processes, to infuse security and shield against threats and vulnerabilities in the cloud.

The old one-server-per-application model has created a dire situation in the data centers of large enterprises. Their infrastructures are becoming too complex and expensive to maintain, and smaller organizations want new ways to grow and expand their businesses without falling victim to these same issues.

Cloud computing, or network-delivered services and software, can save customers up to 80 percent on floor space and 60 percent on power and cooling costs, and deliver triple asset utilization(1). While the economics are compelling to businesses of all sizes, concerns over security, data portability and reliability are causing reluctance among enterprise customers.

New Services for Cloud Computing

IBM’s new business consulting services use economic modeling to assess the total cost of ownership for building and integrating clouds. Initial research indicates that organizations will employ both public and private clouds to achieve business goals, and IBM can help companies find the most effective balance, and manage it all as one integrated strategy.

In addition, cloud technology consulting services will help clients create roadmaps for re-constructing their IT environments, so they can take advantage of cloud computing models to improve operational efficiency, overall carbon posture and return on investment. With new cloud implementation services, IBM will apply expert-level skills, methods, guidance and project management techniques to help clients plan, configure and test the servers, storage and technologies necessary to support a dynamic technology environment.

“Cloud strategies need to be in line with business strategies,” said Willy Chiu, Vice President, High Performance on Demand Solutions, IBM. “Over the last year in our 13 cloud computing centers worldwide, we’ve worked with clients to understand how to help them take advantage of both public and private clouds to get the best economics.”

New Clients Move into the Cloud with IBM

In addition to new services, IBM is helping new clients move into the cloud. One of Houston’s largest and fastest-growing human services agencies, Neighborhood Centers serves over 200,000 citizens in Southwest Texas and delivers key services including economic development services, citizenship and immigration services, early childhood development programs, a K-5 charter school and seniors programs. The non-profit organization depends on IBM cloud services to back-up server and PC data from distributed environments, and store it in secure off-site locations.

“Neighborhood Centers is dedicated to helping citizens cope with disruption and plan for contingencies in life — as second responders in emergencies we simply cannot afford to be shut down, or slowed down, by a data loss,” said Tom Comella, chief information officer, Neighborhood Centers Inc. “IBM cloud services were critical in our community recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike. Since we experienced no business interruptions in any of our 20 facilities, we were able to focus on bringing the community, our services and our citizens back online. But the benefits of cloud services reach far beyond disaster recovery. Better data protection — demonstrating that we are good stewards of information — has become a selling point for us in willing contracts.”

IBM Research is working directly with clients to create replicable, cloud-delivered, industry-specific services like Lender Business Process Services or Healthcare Process Services, as well as horizontal business services like CRM and supply chain management.

In China, for example, IBM Research is piloting a newly developed cloud computing platform, codenamed Project Yun which is Chinese for “cloud,” for companies to access business services, designed to make the selection and implementation of new cloud services as easy as selecting an item from a drop-down menu. With no need for back-end provisioning, the IBM platform stands to cut the time required to deliver new services dramatically. The Yun platform allocates storage, server and network resources for the customer application with zero human input, achieving top performance, availability and power utilization.

One of China’s largest retailers with more than 10 million customers per day, Wang Fu Jing Department Store, has deployed several key cloud services from Project Yun, including a supply chain management solution for its vast network of retail stores to easily share supply chain information and visualize the execution of B2B business processes with thousands of their own SMB suppliers via the cloud.

Securing Enterprise Cloud Computing

To ensure the widespread adoption of cloud computing services, IBM has initiated a company-wide project to form a unified and comprehensive security architecture for cloud computing environments. The effort, which spans Systems, Software, Services and IBM’s lauded Research and X-Force arms, is aimed at re-architecting and re-designing technologies and processes, to infuse security and shield against threats and vulnerabilities. Security is built-in to the cloud, not an afterthought.

The project incorporates next-generation security and cloud service management technologies, as well as simplified security management and enforcement, offering enterprise customers the same security and compliance guarantees that are equivalent or better than what they can expect in traditional computing environments.

Built upon IBM’s extensive industry security leadership, the project focuses on developing trusted virtual domains, authentication, isolation management, policy and integrity management and access control technologies designed specifically for cloud computing

For more information on IBM’s cloud computing initiatives, please visit www.ibm.com/cloud

(1) Numbers based on IBM client implementations

What cloud computing really means

Cloud computing is all the rage. “It’s become the phrase du jour,” says Gartner senior analyst Ben Pring, echoing many of his peers. The problem is that (as with Web 2.0) everyone seems to have a different definition.

As a metaphor for the Internet, “the cloud” is a familiar cliché, but when combined with “computing,” the meaning gets bigger and fuzzier. Some analysts and vendors define cloud computing narrowly as an updated version of utility computing: basically virtual servers available over the Internet. Others go very broad, arguing anything you consume outside the firewall is “in the cloud,” including conventional outsourcing.

Cloud computing comes into focus only when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT’s existing capabilities.

Cloud computing is at an early stage, with a motley crew of providers large and small delivering a slew of cloud-based services, from full-blown applications to storage services to spam filtering. Yes, utility-style infrastructure providers are part of the mix, but so are SaaS (software as a service) providers such as Salesforce.com. Today, for the most part, IT must plug into cloud-based services individually, but cloud computing aggregators and integrators are already emerging.

1. SaaS
This type of cloud computing delivers a single application through the browser to thousands of customers using a multitenant architecture. On the customer side, it means no upfront investment in servers or software licensing; on the provider side, with just one app to maintain, costs are low compared to conventional hosting. Salesforce.com is by far the best-known example among enterprise applications, but SaaS is also common for HR apps and has even worked its way up the food chain to ERP, with players such as Workday. And who could have predicted the sudden rise of SaaS “desktop” applications, such as Google Apps and Zoho Office?

2. Utility computing
The idea is not new, but this form of cloud computing is getting new life from Amazon.com, Sun, IBM, and others who now offer storage and virtual servers that IT can access on demand. Early enterprise adopters mainly use utility computing for supplemental, non-mission-critical needs, but one day, they may replace parts of the datacenter. Other providers offer solutions that help IT create virtual datacenters from commodity servers, such as 3Tera’s AppLogic and Cohesive Flexible Technologies’ Elastic Server on Demand. Liquid Computing’s LiquidQ offers similar capabilities, enabling IT to stitch together memory, I/O, storage, and computational capacity as a virtualized resource pool available over the network.

3. Web services in the cloud
Closely related to SaaS, Web service providers offer APIs that enable developers to exploit functionality over the Internet, rather than delivering full-blown applications. They range from providers offering discrete business services — such as Strike Iron and Xignite — to the full range of APIs offered by Google Maps, ADP payroll processing, the U.S. Postal Service, Bloomberg, and even conventional credit card processing services.

4. Platform as a service
Another SaaS variation, this form of cloud computing delivers development environments as a service. You build your own applications that run on the provider’s infrastructure and are delivered to your users via the Internet from the provider’s servers. Like Legos, these services are constrained by the vendor’s design and capabilities, so you don’t get complete freedom, but you do get predictability and pre-integration. Prime examples include Salesforce.com’s Force.com, Coghead and the new Google App Engine. For extremely lightweight development, cloud-based mashup platforms abound, such as Yahoo Pipes or Dapper.net.

5. MSP (managed service providers)
One of the oldest forms of cloud computing, a managed service is basically an application exposed to IT rather than to end-users, such as a virus scanning service for e-mail or an application monitoring service (which Mercury, among others, provides). Managed security services delivered by SecureWorks, IBM, and Verizon fall into this category, as do such cloud-based anti-spam services as Postini, recently acquired by Google. Other offerings include desktop management services, such as those offered by CenterBeam or Everdream.

6. Service commerce platforms
A hybrid of SaaS and MSP, this cloud computing service offers a service hub that users interact with. They’re most common in trading environments, such as expense management systems that allow users to order travel or secretarial services from a common platform that then coordinates the service delivery and pricing within the specifications set by the user. Think of it as an automated service bureau. Well-known examples include Rearden Commerce and Ariba.

7. Internet integration
The integration of cloud-based services is in its early days. OpSource, which mainly concerns itself with serving SaaS providers, recently introduced the OpSource Services Bus, which employs in-the-cloud integration technology from a little startup called Boomi. SaaS provider Workday recently acquired another player in this space, CapeClear, an ESB (enterprise service bus) provider that was edging toward b-to-b integration. Way ahead of its time, Grand Central — which wanted to be a universal “bus in the cloud” to connect SaaS providers and provide integrated solutions to customers — flamed out in 2005.

Today, with such cloud-based interconnection seldom in evidence, cloud computing might be more accurately described as “sky computing,” with many isolated clouds of services which IT customers must plug into individually. On the other hand, as virtualization and SOA permeate the enterprise, the idea of loosely coupled services running on an agile, scalable infrastructure should eventually make every enterprise a node in the cloud. It’s a long-running trend with a far-out horizon. But among big metatrends, cloud computing is the hardest one to argue with in the long term

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is Internet-based (“cloud”) development and use of computer technology (“computing”).

The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet (based on how it is depicted in computer network diagrams) and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals.[1] It is a style of computing in which IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service”,[2] allowing users to access technology-enabled services from the Internet (“in the cloud”)[3] without knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the technology infrastructure that supports them.[4] According to a 2008 paper published by IEEE Internet Computing “Cloud Computing is a paradigm in which information is permanently stored in servers on the Internet and cached temporarily on clients that include desktops, entertainment centers, table computers, notebooks, wall computers, handhelds, sensors, monitors, etc.”[5]

Cloud computing is a general concept that incorporates software as a service (SaaS), Web 2.0 and other recent, well-known technology trends, in which the common theme is reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users. For example, Google Apps provides common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.