Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Platform as a Service and Force.com

I haven’t written much about "Platform as a Service" (PaaS) up to this point but given Salesforce.com’s growing presence the buzz generated from annual user love-in, Dreamforce, this is a good time to talk about PaaS and Salesforce.  According to this article, Gartner predicts that PaaS platforms will grow from $900 million in 2011 to $2.9 billion in 2016, representing a 26.6 percent rise each year.
Although SalesForce.com (SFDC) is best known for its customer relationship management solution delivered as a service via a cloud, force.com is SFDC’s “platform as a service” offering.  By giving their customers a foundational component for sales and also providing an environment that allows customers to add on the pieces that they need while leveraging a common user interface, authentication framework, it accelerates the potential ROI to customers (and revenue streams for SFDC).  This article will review  PaaS, touch on the advantages, and then talk a little more about why PaaS at SFDC is such a powerful combination.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

CloudPassage Cloud Security Product Review

Updated:I came across a white paper published by CloudPassage, most likely in the attempt to drive interest in their cloud security product.  It worked, since it resulted in my doing a little digging into their product.  They did bring up a security threat I hadn’t thought of and it was just enticing enough to get me to investigate their offering a little further.  Their paper was focused on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environments like Amazon Web Services (AWS) (reviewed here), or Rackspace (reviewed here).  The CloudPassage paper focused on the security threats within the context of the products that they offer in order to mitigate these threats.

I will review some of the key points made by CloudPassage here, and then I’ll review their solution offering.   Hang on though -- this article assumes you understand cloud IaaS, and some general Linux and security topics.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

VMware Offers Disaster Recovery To The Cloud

I sat in on a VMware call today where they reviewed the new features in VMware 5.1.  The one that caught my eye was the ability to use the Cloud as a disaster recovery point.  In my article “How to Get Started With Cloud Computing”, I mentioned that one way was to use the cloud was as an inexpensive backup data center for your private cloud.  VMware just made this easier for customers that upgrade or implement VMware 5.1.

Patch Management in the Cloud

I was on my way to a lunch appointment when I started thinking of the headache of managing patching in the cloud.  More importantly how would you ensure that your template server that is used to clone for new servers is current?  

To resolve this, I’d love to see a cloud provider offer the ability to patch the dark VM on disk and if you have a local cloud, say using vmWare, do the same thing to your VM on disk.  After all, there’s an exploit to go directly to a VM image, why not a program that will scan that disk image?