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December 12, 2011
Volume XXXVII, Issue 8

Online Video Viewing Passes 50% of Total US Population

Excerpted from eMarketer Report

Having surpassed 50% penetration among the general population in 2011, online video viewing is now a mass-market pursuit. Increasing numbers of Americans are watching more content on more devices than ever before.

Even though growth rates will necessarily slow as the number of users swells from year-to-year, there is still room for expansion. By 2015, US online video viewers will represent 60% of the general population and 76% of Internet users.

"Audience growth over the next four years will come from all demographic segments, but it will be more pronounced among preteen children, older boomers, and seniors," said Paul Verna, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of a forthcoming report on premium video content. "These groups have traditionally lagged teens and younger adults in their video viewing activity, but the gaps will start to close as the market matures. This will give marketers opportunities to take advantage of growth pockets among viewers at either end of the age spectrum."

Among online video viewers, watching premium content is becoming increasingly popular. eMarketer estimates that 49% of US adult online video viewers watched full-length TV shows on the web at least monthly this year, rising to 62.8% by 2015.

Full-length movies are also becoming popular for web viewing, with 37.1% of US adult online video viewers downloading or streaming at least one feature film monthly in 2011. That viewership rate is expected to increase to 54.1% in 2015.

Mobile video adoption is poised to continue on a steep upward path for at least the next four years. The factors contributing to its success include the ongoing strength of the smart-phone market, healthy competition among makers of mobile operating systems - notably Apple's iOS and Google's Android - and continuity of content offerings across screens.

"As tablets attract a larger share of video viewing, smart-phones are benefiting because most tablet users also own smart-phones and typically have the same apps on both devices," noted Verna. "With more video content flowing to these apps, users are choosing their preferred screen at any given time. Often this means toggling between tablets and smart-phones, or between laptops and any number of entertainment devices."

In 2011, US smart-phone viewers represent 90% of the mobile video population, according to eMarketer estimates. By 2015, this percentage will rise to 98.5%.

eMarketer forms its estimates of online and mobile video viewing habits based on a meta-analysis of survey and study data from dozens of research sources as well as trend data on device ownership and usage.

Cloud Computing as the Next Wave of Tech

Excerpted from CNBC Report by Drew Sandholm

When IBM on Thursday said it plans to acquire analytics software provider for $440 million in cash, it became yet another large technology company to acquire a smaller tech name that specializes in cloud computing, leading some to think the future of tech is in "the cloud."

Earlier this week, SAP announced plans to purchase web-based software company SuccessFactors, while Cisco Systems introduced CloudVerse, a framework that allows customers to operate on the cloud. These deals and developments may be getting a lot of attention on Wall Street now, but trader Zachary Karabell doesn't think that will be the case for long.

"At some point in the next year we're going to stop talking about this thing called "cloud computing" in that basically everything is going to a virtualized or multi-dispersed world of computing that is not either server or hard drive-based in a physical location," explained Karabell, President of RiverTwice Research and RiverTwice Capital.

"That's just the nature of this next wave of technology, so all of these companies have to be present in it."

Trader Patty Edwards agreed with Karabell, noting the trend is not unlike what's happening in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, where large companies are letting the smaller names develop the products before buying them up.

To play the trend toward cloud computing, Edwards recommends investors buy a basket of small cloud plays rather than focus on individual names.

Report from CEO Marty Lafferty

Photo of CEO Marty LaffertyThe DCIA is thrilled to announce that Rackspace's Startup Liaison Officer, Robert Scoble, will moderate the closing panel of our CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference at CES.

Robert Scoble is a different kind of Racker, who has already re-energized Rackspace with Building43, a place for people fanatical about the Internet.

Rackspace describes Building43 as "a place where thought leaders can talk about what is working and what is not, what is next and what is hype. Cloud computing is one of these hot topics. The world needs a place where it can be discussed. Where the concepts can gain clarity. And, its benefits will be on display. Not from the company's perspective but from Robert's, and the community he builds..."

If you still haven't registered for the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), please click here to sign-up now.

Then look for the "Add to Cart" button as you browse the 2012 Conference Program to find the CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference at CES and other sessions or tracks you want to attend this January. When you're ready to check out, the system will tabulate the best purchase option based on your choices.

The DCIA's CONTENT IN THE CLOUD will take place as a conference within CES on Wednesday January 11th in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

This show will take you on an insider's tour of the many ways cloud computing is revolutionizing entertainment delivery, and enable you to come away with a deeper understanding of the impact of this technology on all parties involved in content distribution.

Our opening keynote will be "A Vision for Content in the Cloud" by Mike West, Founder & CTO, GenosTV. This presentation will set the stage for the entire conference program that follows, which will delve into the many ways that cloud computing is transforming content delivery.

Our first panel will explore "The Impact on Consumers of Implementing Cloud Computing for Media Storage." What does cloud storage mean to users in terms of accessing entertainment content and owning copies of movies, music, TV shows, and games? Panelists will include Sean Barger, CEO, Equilibrium; Jim Cady, CEO, Slacker; Keith Friedenberg, Head of Research & Consumer Insights, WME; Ed Haslam, SVP, Marketing, YuMe; Gigi Johnson, Executive Director, Maremel Institute; Mike Lewis, Co-Founder, Kapost; Jostein Svendsen, CEO, WeVideo; and Dave Toole, CEO, MEDIAmobz.

Our second keynote will be "Consumer Benefits of Cloud-Delivered Content: Ubiquity, Cost, Portability Improvements" by Shahi Ghanem, EVP, Strategy, BitTorrent. Cloud-based solutions are being applied to popular entertainment properties. What are the advantages to users versus older methods of online distribution?

Our third keynote will be "Consumer Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: Privacy, Reliability, Security Issues" by Jim Burger, Member, Dow Lohnes. Cloud security is raising serious questions: What experiences have other industries had with inadvertent leaks or intentional hacking of confidential data? What can users do to mitigate not having access to their applications or accidentally losing their data when they go offline? What happens if a cloud provider goes out of business?

Our next panel will discuss "The Impact on Telecommunications Industries of Cloud Computing." How will cloud computing affect the way broadband network providers manage their intellectual property, utilize network resources, and provision new services? Tom Mulally, Principal Analyst, Numagic Consulting, will moderate panelists Sean Jennings, VP, Solutions Architecture, Virtustream; Wayne Josel, Counsel, Media & Entertainment, Hughes Hubbard & Reed; Bill Kallman, President & CEO, Scayl; Monica Ricci, Director of Product Marketing, CSG Systems; Nick Strauss, Director of Sales, Verizon Digital Media Services, Mark Taylor, VP, Media and IP Services, Level 3; and Richard Yang, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Yale University.

Our fourth keynote will be "Telecommunications Industry Benefits and Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: New Opportunities vs. Infrastructure Challenges" by Joe Porus, VP, Merged Technology & Media, Phoenix Marketing International. What advantages do cloud-based solutions applied to popular entertainment properties bring to broadband network operators? How does the on-demand, always-accessible nature of cloud-based entertainment delivery challenge conventional distribution systems? Will older distribution methods disappear?

Our next panel will explore "The Impact on Entertainment Industries of Cloud Computing." How will cloud storage and distribution affect the ways in which content rights-holders manage their intellectual property (IP), realize new cost savings, and implement new business models? Panelists will include Kris Alexander, Chief Strategist, Connected Devices & Gaming, Akamai; Saul Berman, Partner & VP, IBM Global Business Services; Peter Csathy, CEO, Sorenson Media; Mark Friedlander, National Director, New Media, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) ; Jonathan King, SVP, Business Development, Joyent; Ty Roberts, SVP & CTO, Gracenote; Ramki Sankaranarayanan, CEO, Prime Focus Technologies; and Robert Stevenson, SVP, Business Development, Gaikai.

Our fifth keynote will be "Entertainment Industry Benefits and Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: Innovation and Flexibility vs. Disruption and Accountability Issues Keynote" by Scott Brown, US GM & VP Strategy Partnerships, Octoshape. What improvements does cloud computing offer the content distribution chain? What issues do rights-holders face in adapting their internal content management processes to cloud-based media storage?

Our final keynote will be "Consumer Electronics (CE) Manufacturer Benefits and Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: Expanded Opportunities for Products with New Features at a Range of Costs; New Challenges Related to Interoperability and Data Security" by Lucia Gradinariu, Chief Market Strategist, Huawei. What unforeseen impacts, both positive and negative, do cloud-based solutions applied to popular entertainment properties bring to CE manufacturers?

Our closing panel will address "The Impact on CE Manufacturers of Cloud Computing Deployment." Remotely accessing applications and data affects everything that must be integrated into networked end-user devices. The same holds true for servers and other edge storage hardware products. What new hurdles must be overcome with these technological solutions? Robert Scoble, Startup Liaison Officer, Rackspace, will moderate panelists Stefan Bewley, Director, Altman Vilandrie & Company; Shane Dyer, President, Arrayent; David Frerichs, Strategic Consultant, Pioneer Corporation; Kshitij Kumar, SVP, Mobile Video, Concurrent; AJ McGowan, CTO, Unicorn Media; Michael Papish, Solutions Architecture Director, Rovi Corporation; Jordan Rohan, Managing Director, Stifel Nicolaus; and Chuck Stormon, CEO, Attend.

Please click here to register now for the 2012 International CES and then add CONTENT IN THE CLOUD. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas, NV in January. Share wisely, and take care.

Verizon to Take on Netflix with Web Service

Excerpted from Reuters Report by Yinka Adegoke and Sinead Carew

Verizon Communications plans to launch a standalone service allowing customers to stream movies and television shows over the web, in a fresh challenge to Netflix and the traditional cable TV business, according to several people briefed on the plan.

The phone company is talking with prospective programming partners about the service, which would be introduced outside of markets where it currently offers its broadband and TV package, known as FiOS, these people said. That would make it available to some 85 million US households.

The new service could be rolled out in 2012, according to one of the people.

Shares in Netflix fell by as much as 5 percent on Tuesday to the day's low before recovering to end the day down 3 percent at $68.14 on the Nasdaq.

The package of programming would be limited in its scope, said two people with knowledge of the plans. Another person said the focus would be packages of movies similar to Liberty Media's Starz Play and Viacom's Epix or could involve children's programming from a partner such as Walt Disney Company or Viacom.

Epix's current exclusive online-streaming contract with Netflix runs out next September, allowing other services to negotiate with Viacom for Epix' package of movies from Paramount, Lions Gate, and MGM studios.

Viacom Chief Executive Phillipe Dauman said at a conference this week his company would be open to negotiating with other broadband only services.

People familiar with the plans declined to be identified as the discussions between Verizon and programming partners are confidential and sensitive.

Verizon has been back and forth with programmers over the last two years exploring the possibility. While a lot of the discussion has been around fees, the programmers have also been concerned about the possibility of hurting their existing - and lucrative - relationships with the cable operators.

Crucially, any new Web TV service would be offered outside of Verizon's FiOS current markets. Verizon currently has 5 million FiOS TV subscribers.

News of the service will have added controversy in the wake of sister company Verizon Wireless's plans to resell cable TV service for Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks.

Under that deal, announced last week, Verizon Wireless will pay $3.6 billion for valuable spectrum from the cable companies. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon and Vodafone Group.

While a limited package of TV shows and movies is unlikely to have an immediate impact on cable sales, the launch of an online video service by a major company like Verizon will only add to the uneasiness in the pay TV business.

Companies that sell cable and satellite subscriptions are concerned that customers will drop their pay-TV subscriptions in favor of cheaper web alternatives - so called 'cord-cutting' or 'over-the-top'.

Most likely, Verizon would want to price any such service competitively with Netflix, whose subscriber count has swelled to some 23 million.

In the last few years, traditional cable operators have been steadily losing video customers to satellite and phone companies who have replicated the cable model. But the biggest fear is that new web rivals including Netflix, Amazon, and Google will disrupt the $100 billion a year cable business.

Microsoft had looked closely at launching a similar disruptive service through its Xbox gaming device but has so far decided to work with the cable industry in offering an enhanced service to paying cable and satellite subscribers.

"If this deal comes true it's not clear to me what Verizon would bring to the table that is materially different to what others like Amazon offer," said Carlos Kirjner, analyst at Bernstein Research. Kirjner said Verizon would struggle to negotiate favorable terms to be competitive with Netflix.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, speaking about rivals at a UBS Media and Technology investment conference on Tuesday, said "the competitor we fear most is HBO Go," a streaming service for subscribers of the pay TV channel owned by Time Warner.

"HBO and Netflix both spend between $1 billion and $2 billion a year on content. If you want to compete with HBO and Netflix, you better commit to multiple-year spending between one and two billion," Hastings said.

"At this point, none of these guys have chosen to do that," Hastings said. He was not asked specifically about the planned Verizon service.

One reason Verizon is keen on launching online services is to be able to grow its customer base and thereby lower its programming costs on a per-subscriber basis. The more subscribers a distributor has, the easier it is to negotiate lower fees.

Programmers and distributors have been working closely together for the last year on making cable networks available on the web to paying subscribers in an initiative called TV Everywhere.

Verizon FiOS customers currently have access to around 30 networks over the web through FiOS TV Online.

Cloud Computing a Top Investment Priority

Excerpted from eWeek Report by Nathan Eddy

As businesses get ready to capitalize on emerging technology trends in 2012, cloud computing remains at the top of many companies' lists: Fifty percent of respondents to a recent Unisys online poll said cloud computing is their top information technology (IT) investment priority for 2012. This is the second straight year respondents to a Unisys poll named cloud as the chief priority for IT investments in the coming year.

In a similar poll conducted in December 2010 and January 2011, 44 percent of 262 respondents said cloud computing topped their IT priority list for 2011. The more recent poll, which drew 300 responses, was conducted on the company's website in September and October 2011. Other respondents to the poll listed cyber-security (21 percent), mobile/social computing (21 percent), and big data (8 percent) as their top 2012 IT priorities.

"Over the past two years cloud computing has moved into the mainstream of IT investment decisions," said Colin Lacey, Vice President of Data Center Services and Solutions for Unisys. "From the US federal government's 'cloud first' policy to enterprise business units' demands for greater IT responsiveness, business decision makers are embracing both private and public cloud computing models. They now see the cloud as a vital way to obtain IT services that enable them to provide solutions for clients and deliver competitive products to market quickly and cost-efficiently."

The company advises clients interested in the cloud to take a "hybrid enterprise" approach, integrating the cloud solution with existing IT resources and managing the integrated environment as a single entity. By doing so, they can preserve and capitalize on existing IT investments while avoiding "cloud in a corner" syndrome, where new cloud-based solutions are disconnected from existing IT resources, resulting in duplication of processes and higher operating costs, Lacey said.

Unisys recently announced version 2 of its Secure Private Cloud platform, the company's cloud solution for clients' and cloud service providers' data centers. The enhanced solution incorporates enhancements to the core software stack, as well as expanded management, security, and infrastructure automation capabilities. The platform also uses a usage metering capability that collects information on utilization of IT resources, such as processors, memory, I/O, and storage. The system then allocates the charges back to the business organizations that use them. Each business group pays only for the resources it uses.

Talking About the Benefits of Cloud Computing

Excerpted from Computer World Report by Jean-Marc Seguin

There are lots of options for cloud computing, but each offers specific benefits. What are the primary ones users hope to see?

Responsiveness: Cloud computing gives IT the ability to respond to demands from business units faster than ever before.

Efficiency and lower operating expenses (OPEX): By automating the provisioning of workloads and the control and management of resources, organizations see improved efficiencies and higher admin-to-server ratios (reducing OPEX). This automation allows organizations to present elements such as self-service provisioning to a line of business.

On-demand elasticity: By controlling and managing resources, cloud computing reduces the need to design infrastructure for peak use. This allows resources to be scaled up when required and then recovered when the resources are no longer needed.

So, now that we have some definitions out of the way, when does a private cloud make sense? Many enterprises are not yet ready for the public cloud due to concerns over security, service levels and co-mingled workloads. One common element that every enterprise wants, however, is the lower costs that public clouds promise.

A private cloud is a way for you to get into the cloud and at least:

1) Gain data center efficiencies through better resource utilization and automation.

2) Acquire agility with control. Self-service workload provisioning and deployment makes line-of-business users more efficient and reduces demand on IT.

3) Leverage existing infrastructure investments to get started. Through simple changes to people, processes and technology, the benefits of cloud computing can be extended to your existing data center resources and the workloads running on them.

Many companies that are considering cloud computing start with a private cloud. They begin with a virtualization platform, and then consolidate the "low-hanging fruit" or non-strategic workloads to get a handle on the technology. For enterprises with lines of business that have high churn around their workloads, like a development and test shop, the ability to offer self-service provisioning to those users can and will remove a great strain on IT resources.

In our next installment, we will discuss what has to change in an organization, people, processes and technology, to set you on the right course to the private cloud.

Remember, "cloudification" isn't just about me telling my story. We can only learn and move forward by sharing ideas and exchanging concerns and questions about cloud adoption. I'd like to hear your thoughts, experiences and best practices regarding how virtualization and the cloud have affected your enterprise and the way you deliver IT services. And, if you have any questions or want to start a discussion, I welcome that, too.

Mobile Devices Now Driving Cloud-Computing Adoption

Excerpted from InfoBoom Report by Shawn Drew

Technology giant CSC just released its latest Cloud Usage Index, a survey that looks at the current state of cloud computing. Not only divulging simply interesting facts, the survey found that cloud adoption is being hastened by the desire to access information through multiple devices, marking a clear shift from results of earlier cloud-adoption surveys.

The survey was performed by independent research firm TNS using funding from CSC and asked 3,645 IT decision makers from companies around the world about their current and upcoming cloud-computing situation. The survey results are now available here.

The most interesting tidbit by far is the fact that 33 percent of the survey's respondents claimed that the ability to access data on multiple devices was the most important reason to adopt cloud computing.

This goes against numerous earlier surveys which always listed improving business performance and cutting costs as the two main reasons to move into the cloud. Both of these other two reasons still made the list as important reasons for cloud adoption, at 21 and 17 percent, respectively.

The survey included a number of other interesting facts, as noted in Market Watch. IT staffing levels almost always went up or stayed level after a company move into the cloud, and almost 82 percent of respondents claimed to have saved money on their last cloud project, although the savings were often reported to be minor, and only 55 percent of US-based small businesses reported savings.

As a sign of the cloud's effectiveness, 93 percent of respondents claimed to have had a performance boost in at least one area of IT after taking on a cloud project and 80 percent reported improvements within the fix six months of moving to the cloud.

Finally, not to be outdone by the private sector, 48 percent of respondents from the US government have moved at least one workflow to the cloud, in compliance with a new federal "cloud first" policy.

The rise of IT consumerization has allowed many IT managers and C-level executives to see just how powerful a fully connected workforce can be. The ability to have complete access to corporate systems, information, and applications regardless of your physical location is an advantage that only a few companies have been able to harness until now.

The cloud levels the playing field, allowing small and mid-sized businesses the ability to use tools that were previously out of their reach. The size and scalability of the system required to manage a mobile workforce, along with running powerful business intelligence and predictive analytics applications, was simply out of the reach of all but the largest of corporate giants. Now, the cloud allows even small businesses access to these types of system by parceling out segments of larger data centers and allowing businesses to scale their usage as demand shifts.

It was really only a matter of time before mobile devices began driving cloud-computing adoption, and since that time has come, expect the numbers to skew even more in favor of mobile devices in the future. After the next few years of transition, businesses of all sizes will be expected to have a fully mobile workforce. Anyone who continues to resist the move will likely be left in the dust by their competitors.

Telefonica and NEC Start Cloud Computing Services in Argentina

NEC Corporation announced today that Telefonica has launched "APLICATECA" in Argentina, cloud services using NEC's cloud platform.

In February 2011, Telefonica selected NEC as a strategic partner to promote cloud computing in Latin America. As a result, Telefonica is now approaching its customers with a new option based on the Software as a Service (SaaS) business system, designed to facilitate access to a variety of digital applications and services where the customer only pays for the number of licenses that are used.

This project allows Telefonica to boost its innovative services in Latin America by using a more efficient model that reduces time-to-market.

Initially, Telefonica aims to support small and medium sized businesses in Latin America by breaking down the current entry barriers to new technologies and IT applications, while encouraging an open environment for developers to launch new applications.

Looking forward, NEC's deployment of platforms for cloud services in Argentina can be applied to a wide variety of areas.

Monitoring Cloud Workload Activities

Excerpted from SearchCloudComputing Report by Bill Kleyman

Cloud managers work within a distributed wide-area network (WAN) computing infrastructure; one of the biggest shifts from the traditional data center is that all data is stored, managed and administered in a private cloud. Effective cloud-based workload monitoring can capture performance issues before they happen. Knowing how your cloud is behaving allows you to deliver a more powerful cloud computing experience.

IT admins must actively gather and log cloud-facing server performance metrics and data, especially since most servers that host cloud workloads are virtual machines (VMs) that require dedicated resources. Over-allocating or under-allocating resources to cloud servers can be a costly mistake.

Proper planning and workload management is necessary prior to any major cloud rollout. When gathering performance metrics about specific servers running dedicated workloads, admins must evaluate the following details:

CPU usage: The cloud-facing server could be physical or virtual. Administrators must look at that machine and determine how users are accessing CPU resources. With numerous users launching desktops or applications from the cloud, careful consideration must be made as to how many dedicated cores this server requires.

RAM requirements: Cloud-based workloads can be RAM-intensive. Monitoring a workload on a specific server allows you to gauge how much RAM to allocate. The key is to plan for fluctuations without over-allocating resources; you can do this through workload monitoring. By looking at RAM use over a period of time, administrators can determine when usage spikes will occur as well as appropriate RAM levels.

Storage needs: Sizing considerations are important when working with a cloud workload. User settings and workload location all require space. I/O should also be examined. For example, a boot storm or massive spike in use can cripple a SAN that's unprepared for such an event. By monitoring I/O and controller metrics, administrators can determine performance levels specific to storage systems. You can use solid-state disks (SSDs) or onboard flash cache to help prevent I/O spikes.

Network design: Networking and its architecture play a very important role in a cloud infrastructure and its workload. Monitoring network throughput within the data center as well as in the cloud will help determine specific speed requirements. Uplinks from servers into the SAN through a fabric switch that provides 10 GbE connectivity can help reduce bottlenecks and help improve cloud workload performance.

Performance monitoring tools are also useful. Citrix Systems Inc.'s EdgeSight for Endpoints gathers performance metrics at the server and the end-point level. By understanding how the cloud server is operating and knowing end-user requirements, administrators can size physical infrastructure properly to support virtual instances. Active cloud workload monitoring goes beyond gathering metrics and statistics. Many systems monitor workloads and provide workflow automation in the event of a usage spike.

Certain markets, like the travel industry, experience usage spikes during particular periods of the year. To prepare for this, workload thresholds are set so new VMs can be spun up as soon as demand increases. Therefore, end users will always have access to data and normal workloads without degradation in performance.

Workflow automation also helps with disaster recovery and backup. As data replication occurs between numerous sites, a remote location can spin up identical workloads if another site experiences data loss. Proper workload monitoring and data center design can help increase system stability and, more importantly, business continuity. Here are a few rules to help maintain the health of your private cloud workloads:

Know your physical resources. Even though physical resources may seem endless initially, they have specific limits. Without properly monitoring and gauging these resources, they can be depleted very quickly. Cloud workloads can be demanding. Planning is a must.

Keep active logs. In addition to actively monitoring a cloud workload, cloud managers should log how this workload or server is performing over a period of time. Cloud servers can be upgraded and workloads can be migrated from one physical host to another. In these situations, knowing how well specific server sets operate compared to older server sets can help to calculate total cost of ownership and return on investment. In many situations, good performance logs can supply the statistical information needed to justify an increase in data center budgets. Monitor end points. From the data center's perspective, engineers are able to monitor and manage active workloads. It's also very important to monitor workload activities at the end point. By knowing how the workload is being delivered and how well it is being received, IT teams can create a more positive computing experience.

As a user accesses a workload in the cloud, admins have insight into which type of connection they're using, how well data is traveling to the end point and if any modifications should be made. In some instances, admins may want to apply data compression or bandwidth optimization techniques to enable the workload to function properly at the end point.

Keeping Data Completely Secure Is Impossible - Telefonica

Excerpted from Total Telecom Report by Lewis Dowling

Storing critical data in the cloud can be just as insecure as storing it on an internal corporate server, the head of Telefonica's Corporate Innovation Center has claimed.

"It's impossible to be safe," Guillermo Bataller Lopez, responsible for transformation and innovation projects at the Barcelona-based facility, said last week.

He insisted that there is always a risk to data and the cloud is no worse than a closed network.

According to Lopez, Telefonica found that when selling virtual desktop solutions to its customers the general perception was that the cloud is less secure than a local network.

However, once a customer has experienced the virtual desktop environment for non-critical applications they are more inclined to trust it, he said.

"Our idea at Telefonica is: let's do a trial. Let's test it," Lopez said.

The Spanish operator also revealed that it is still making improvements to its 3G Box cloud storage device, after coming up against issues during development.

The 3G Box was announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. It is a 3G USB dongle that looks and behaves like a memory stick, but instead of storing data on the device it connects to a cloud storage service that allows users to upload and store up to a terabyte of data.

"I have the idea that it's the data in the device," rather than stored in the cloud, Lopez explained, while demonstrating how users interact with the 3G Box in exactly the same way as they would interact with a regular removable storage device.

However, attempts to improve the service by allowing multiple devices simultaneous access to the same cloud storage account have not yet been successful, Lopez admitted.

The issue arises when multiple users attempt to access the same file, which results in permission errors. Telefonica is currently working on a solution, but Lopez did not give a timeframe.

Cloud Security: Better Than You Think 

Excerpted from GigaOM Report by Barb Darrow

Security is almost always cited as the primary inhibitor to wider cloud adoption by businesses.

For example, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of 390 IT pros surveyed think the use of cloud computing makes it harder to protect privacy, and 50 percent worry about a data breach or loss, according to the 2011 IBM Global Business Resilience and Risk Study.

Well, those IT pros need to get over it, said Joe Coyle, CTO of Capgemini, the system integrator and IT consultant.

"Everyone is screaming for an accepted security model for the cloud, and I think it's already here. People just need to take a deep breath," Coyle said in an interview this week.

On the technology side, his only concern is at the hypervisor level, and even there, it's not so much about security as it is about auditing. "You need good reporting and auditing tools so that providers can prove that virtual machine A doesn't encroach on virtual machine B," he said.

Virtualization is great at carving up a physical environment into multiple pieces, but moving that technology into a shared environment opened a whole can of worms where people worry about overlapping partitions and other things. Those tools are now becoming available, he said.

Whether companies run their technology in-house, in the cloud or a combination, they need to make sure they (or their proxy) run a hardened, properly patched operating system; that idle CPUs are shut down; that files are encrypted; and that firewalls and DMZs are up to date and working.

Companies also need to make their service level agreements (SLAs) reflect those expectations for performance, uptime, etc. and clearly delineate which vendor (or cloud provider) is responsible for which pieces of the puzzle. That's not all that different from how SLAs should be negotiated and written by companies with in-house data centers running hardware, software and networking gear from multiple vendors.

A big caveat here: Large public cloud providers, like Amazon, don't negotiate SLAs, so this discussion revolves around enterprise, private or co-located clouds.

People think SLAs are a bigger deal in the cloud, but the principles are the same, Coyle said. Just as with security, a company needs to break down the layers of its stack from the operating system and hypervisor to the file systems, the network, the applications. Then it needs to lay out who has responsibility for each tier and component within that tier clearly. Layering the cloud atop existing IT doesn't change any of that and reinforces the need for very detailed SLAs.

"The famous example is 'I can't be down for more than two hours,'" Coyle explained. "Well, what do you mean by 'down?' If you can't get to your data, is that because your building itself is down or is it the connection to an outside data center?"

IT pros for the buying company need to spell that out in advance and in as much detail as possible so the SLAs are enforceable, Coyle said.

Cloud Computing Seeks a New Identity

Excerpted for eWeek Report by Clint Boulton

Anyone wondering what 2012 will look like for the cloud computing market can look at 2011 and add a lot more of the same. If cloud computing is the tree trunk, its two strongest branches are mobile and social technologies.

Amit Singh, Vice President of Google Enterprise, told eWEEK that the cloud computing sector is leaning heavily on mobile and social in 2012. He said the trend is to move from the era of individual productivity to one of teamwork, in which users work together on projects and share content, all through a web browser.

To augment this, Google is ensuring greater integration of the Google+ social network across Google Apps, the company's suite of Gmail and Google Docs - a marriage that makes those cloud collaboration apps more social. As a practical example, Apps users can use Google+ Hangouts to collaborate with either ad hoc or scheduled video chat sessions.

On the mobile front, Singh said Google recently addressed bring your own device (BYOD). In this trend, the IT department supports employees who use their personal smart-phones and tablets to communicate and share information at work.

To meet the needs of Google Apps customers that practice BYOD, Google rolled out mobile device management software. It lets IT managers control Android, Apple's iOS, and Microsoft's Windows Mobile devices from the Google Apps control panel.

"Everybody now has a computer in their pocket and is connected to a data center," said Singh. Those users are all connected in common with a multi-tenant architecture, which is shared through massively parallel processed servers.

Peter Coffee, Vice President and Head of Platform Research for Salesforce.com, sees the cloud helping end-users break through barriers that previously existed between devices and content. For example, while employees may not author complex documents on their tablets, they can create this content on their laptops and review it on the road from their tablets.

"People do not want to be burdened by what device is holding a piece of content," said Coffee, adding that making content accessible in a device-neutral and context-neutral way is imperative in the business world.

Salesforce.com is practicing this concept via Data.com, where it pulls information from LinkedIn, Dun & Bradstreet, and other sources as part of a crowd-sourced database of social customer data. This enables sales teams to get information on people they do business with on their laptops, tablets and smart-phones before they meet.

Forrester Research analyst James Staten thinks cloud technologies have "entered the awkward teenage years," searching for identity and independence in the high-tech sector. He said several trends will bubble up next year.

Staten said the industry will see a shift away from stand-alone mobile apps to what Forrester calls the App Internet, which entails "specialized local apps running in conjunction with cloud-based services" across smart-phones, tablets and other devices. He pointed to Amazon's Silk web browser on the Kindle Fire tablet as an example of this trend in the consumer sector.

Cloud outages will continue to plague the industry following a year in which Google, Amazon Web Services and others experienced downtime. It's how companies come back from the downtime that matters.

"Your company will survive a major cloud outage," Staten said. "It happens to every cloud service. The sooner you learn to deal with cloud outages, the better off you will be."

Lawmakers Float New Anti-Piracy Bill

Excerpted from Daily Online Examiner Report by Wendy Davis

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) have been among the most vocal opponents of PROTECT-IP (PIPA) and SOPA - anti-piracy proposals currently pending in the Senate and House.

Today, the lawmakers unveiled a draft of a competing bill - the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act. That measure targets copyright infringement by empowering the International Trade Commission (ITC) to take action against foreign websites dedicated to unlawful activity.

SOPA and PIPA provide for court orders banning ad networks and payment processors from doing business with "rogue" sites. The measures also provide for orders forcing search engines to stop returning links to sites dedicated to infringement. And they enable the government to obtain orders banning Internet service providers (ISPs) from putting through traffic to certain URLs - though web users could still reach the sites by typing in their numerical addresses.

The Wyden-Issa proposal differs from SOPA and PROTECT-IP in a few key respects. One of the most significant is that the Wyden-Issa proposal doesn't provide for orders requiring search engines to stop indexing sites, or for service providers to stop putting through traffic to certain URLs.

The lawmakers posted the draft online and are soliciting feedback through the web - a process that in itself has impressed some observers like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). "The introduction of a true, targeted alternative to SOPA and PIPA, and the open process with which it's being introduced, is good news for the tech community, for the Internet, and for the democratic process," the group stated today.

Coming Events of Interest

The Critical Path to IPv6 - December 13th in New York, NY. Attend this brand new Network World Technical Seminar to gain practical information on how to help lead your organization through this necessary transition.

2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) - January 10th-13th in Las Vegas, NV. With more than four decades of success, the International CES reaches across global markets, connects the industry and enables CE innovations to grow and thrive. This is the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow. 

CONTENT IN THE CLOUD at CES - January 11th in Las Vegas, NV. Gain a deeper understanding of the impact of cloud-delivered content on specific segments and industries, including consumers, telecom, media, and CE manufacturers.

State of the Net Conference - January 17th-18th in Washington, DC. Unparalleled opportunities to network and engage on key policy issues at the largest information technology (IT) policy conference in the US and the only tech policy conference routinely recognized for its balanced blend of academics, consumer groups, industry, and government. 

Cloud Connect - February 13th-16th in Santa Clara, CA. The premier technology event for cloud computing, features the latest technologies, platforms, strategies, and innovations within cloud computing.

2012 NAB Show - April 14th-19th in Las Vegas, NV. From Broadcasting to Broader-casting, the NAB Show has evolved over the last eight decades to continually lead this ever-changing industry. From creation to consumption, the NAB Show has proudly served as the incubator for excellence in helping to breathe life into content everywhere. 

CLOUD COMPUTING CONFERENCE at NAB - April 16th in Las Vegas, NV. Don't miss this full-day conference focusing on the impact of cloud computing solutions on all aspects of production, storage, and delivery of television programming and video.

Copyright 2008 Distributed Computing Industry Association
This page last updated December 18, 2011
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