Dave: Amazon Keeps in Investing in the Cloud
Amazon didn’t wow the street with its Q2 earnings news but the company will definitely keep investing in its cloud infrastructure. For its upcoming quarter, it plans to spend a strapping $800 million to $900 million capex money on technology, said CFO Tom Szkutak.
The company does not — it probably cannot — break out how much of that tech spending flows into the Amazon Web Services computer infrastructure it rents out to customers vs. the IT it uses to run its gargantuan retail business.
One thing is clear: While Amazon is the market-leading cloud service provider, other companies with deep pockets — Microsoft, Rackspace, Google, Hewlett-Packard among them — are willing compete with Amazon in this space.
Mobile was a hot topic this year at Black Hat with a strong focus on client-side vulnerabilities and defenses. Apple made their first ever appearance at Black Hat with platform security manager Dallas De Atley walking attendees through the layered approach Apple has taken with iOS and the iPhone. Security has been one of the key deficiencies critics mention when discussing Apple and the enterprise, given that the platform was less mature than RIM’s who have been entrenched in the enterprise. De Ately’s presentation shows that Apple is serious about security and the enterprise and that that the iPhone and iOS are ready for business.
As the popularity of mobile devices increase the size of the server infrastructure to support services such as the iCloud, push services and the like increases exponentially. How much data do we really store on our devices vs. the Cloud? The bulk of our sensitive data is not only on our devices but spread across servers around the world, across multiple companies, platforms and with differing levels of security.
As more devices are sold that rely on this infrastructure it becomes an increasingly valuable target for malicious attackers. Think about it - people often have simple passwords and password aggregators and don’t bother understanding how and when the data is encrypted on their phone as much as they do over their laptop. There are so many ways into a person’s smart phone it’d almost be more secure to run a hardened VM rather than a mobile OS with apps that rely on insecure custom security approaches. Why attack a single device when you can compromise an entire infrastructure and potentially gain access to a much larger trove of data, number of devices and users?
I’ve had discussions with Symantec rep - David Finn, who used to be CIO for Children’s in Texas, around how to secure pervasive computing in healthcare. There are vendors out there doing good work, however, there are also a lot of choices that create unsustainable IT operations scenarios. Security is about understanding the risk, and accepting a mitigation plan. At the end of the day it really behooves an organization to use the same security stack for mobile platforms and related servers as they use for their core infrastructure. Otherwise you might as well just plan on doubling your IT Security group because you’ve increased the required skills and scope.
VMware to Acquire Nicira / Cloud and Software Defined Networking
VMware’s proposed acquisition of Nicira has raised the level of attention being paid to network virtualization in cloud computing. Nicira has been around awhile solving complex network virtualization problems for customers, but until this announcement the only people aware of them were mostly networking professionals. It’s only now that cloud architects are starting to say, “hey, what is that stuff and why is it important to how I build my cloud”. On one hand, additional layers of abstraction and un-optimized software seems counterintutive to networking, which has predominately required high performance. This thinking is indicative of traditional network designers. Only when you truly understand the value of parallelism provided by elastic cloud envirionments can you begin to understand that 500,000 packets flooding a single entry point, yes, needs very high performance, but 500,000 packets flooding 500 nodes becomes extremely manageable. Moreover, the ability to redefine the physical endpoints on the fly through SDN provides remarkable power in allowing applications to scale more effectively in a cloud environment.
Doesn’t fix bandwith or storage issues.
Jeff: NewSQL and NoSQL Difference
There is a lot of talk about cloud databases however most of the conversation is focused on the NoSQL dbs. The likes of Hadoop, MongoDB and Coudbase dominates the chatter. However is another category of dbs that folks need to start taking a look at. I will admit of me these NewSQL databases are immature so I will not attempt to put them in production use cases. However its still wealth taking a look at for those unique use cases that either a traditional SQL db nor the NoSQL database fits. Examples of these dbs are the NuoDB and Akiban NewSQL. These NewSQL dbs have different and unquie capabilities however they share similar goals. To be ANSI SQL compliant, support transaction processing (OLTP) and ability to store and process massive (petabyte) data load.