The Case Against AWS – And It’s Not AWS’ Fault

Recently the NSA, a highly secure US government entity, left an unprotected disk image loaded with classified information right out in public on AWS. The NSA left it there on an “unlisted” server, but it didn’t have a password. Thus, if you stumbled across it, or someone went looking for it (a cybersecurity person at UpGuard did just that), it was yours for the taking. I will bypass all the ironic commentary/jokes that could/should be made and get to the point: It isn’t Amazon’s fault. If you are dumb enough to put this out there unprotected, you get what you deserve. Don’t blame the highway commission because you drove into a tree at 200MPH. What it does highlight, beyond human stupidity, is the ease of doing damage because no one is there to protect you from yourself. If this were any reasonable enterprise storing these records themselves, SOMEONE would be watching or protecting things like this from occurring. A security officer would have created policy that was pushed down to IT admins who would set up specific volumes that could be used for sensitive data with permissions to access that data enforced all over the place. Someone would be an adult. It’s not AWS’ job to be your babysitter. It’s their job to give you what you pay for—in this case, a virtual machine with a virtual disk. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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AWS Is Not Slowing Down at re:Invent

AWS, as an established public cloud leader, can afford to rest on its laurels, but with competitors sprinting behind it, it is not slowing down in any way. During the Global Partner Summit at the re:Invent trade show, there were numerous announcements, including the Networking Competency for AWS Partners and the availability of PrivateLink for customer and partner network services. Are there any patterns I see? The most obvious item is that AWS is relentless in releasing new capabilities. The term “re:Invent” references themselves as well as the directive posed to their customers. A more pragmatic view is that AWS continues to fill in some holes in its offerings as the ecosystem evolves. AWS has a history of releasing many services per year, and it is not slowing down. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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IBM Cloud Private – What it Means and Why it Matters…

A significant disconnect exists in the public perception of cloud computing customers and end users—namely in how enterprises are served by the likes of public cloud players, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM Cloud. Why is that notable? For two reasons. Since large organizations are far better funded than small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), they are obviously attractive targets for cloud providers. But at the same time, enterprises have discretely different and far more robust computing needs. So, while companies of every size can adopt conventional cloud offerings, those services aren’t appropriate for every application or scenario. That’s especially true for large private and public-sector organizations that face demanding compute and regulatory requirements, like healthcare and finance companies. They typically support their most business-critical applications and data with robust, secure, on-premises systems. But that places them in a quandary if they wish to maintain the best aspects of their traditional infrastructures while gaining public cloud’s easy-to-use benefits, plus cloud-native integration and portability features, and access to new development tools and paradigms. An approach many are taking is to deploy “private clouds” that blend the best of both worlds. In fact, IBM estimates that starting in 2017 companies will spend more than $50B annually to create and evolve private clouds, with growth rates of 15%-20% through 2020. Speeding and simplifying that process is central to IBM’s new Cloud Private platform. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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…Compuware Introduces Topaz on AWS…

If you asked me three years ago what I thought of Compuware, I would have described it as “a point product company in managed decline.” At the time, Compuware was bifurcated between mainframe point solutions and application performance management software. Sales had softened; it was slow to release new products; and its portfolio was “stagnant.” In short, the company was struggling. But, in late 2014, everything changed for Compuware with a cash investment infusion; the hiring of a new, more focused management team; major changes in company culture (including a stronger emphasis on innovation); and the introduction of a new strategy with a strong focus on Development/Operations or DevOps, build/deploy; data management and cybersecurity. Accordingly, I wrote a report at the end of 2015 that described the new Compuware. Nearly two years later, I see Compuware as a company focused on making it easy for customers to consume its product offerings – while at the same time being optimized to create new products and services. Its two most recent announcements include expanded Topaz on AWS (Amazon Web Services) solutions support for CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?
Oct05

Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?

Not only has ‘Big Iron’ shrugged off its naysayers — suffering neither Monty Python’s ‘flesh wounds’ nor Mark Twain’s ‘reports of my death’ — the mainframe appears to be poised for a renaissance, one that software developer Compuware hopes to accelerate with its recent DevOps announcement for Amazon’s popular AWS cloud platform. “We’ve made Topaz [its flagship solution for mainframe Agile/DevOps] into what customers are evaluating and incorporating as a force multiplier,” said CEO Chris O’Malley. “The next step is bringing Topaz to AWS,” he told IT Trends & Analysis, accelerating DevOps availability to “minutes instead of months. In some cases, it can take more than a year for competitive products.” The mainframe, or at least IBM’s version, has been a staple of IT for more than 50 years, and it shows no signs of disappearing. The numbers speak for themselves: 55% of enterprise apps need the mainframe; 70% of enterprise transactions touch a mainframe; and, 70-80% of the world’s corporate data resides on a mainframe. However the installed base appeared to be shrinking as newer, less-costly alternatives proliferated. Annual mainframe system sales have declined from a high of about $4 billion earlier this decade to $2 billion in 2016, accounting for just 3% of IBM’s total revenue (although the associated hardware, software and technical services accounted for nearly 25% of IBM’s sales and 40% of its overall profit last year). Apparently Big Iron is back in vogue. According to a new study, the global mainframe market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 2.58% between 2017-2021. In March it was reported that mainframes had reached an inflection point where they will either continue as a revenue-supporting mechanism or evolve into a revenue-generating platform. “IDC believes that the mainframe has a central role in digital transformation; businesses that do not take advantage of its broad range of capabilities are giving up value and, potentially, competitive advantage,” the research company stated. ‘The mainframe is not going away, but the way that you use it will change,’ noted Robert Stroud, Principal Analyst, Forrester, in a blog entitled DevOps And The Mainframe, A Perfect Match?. ‘Containers and microservices are coming to every platform, including the mainframe. Gradually breaking large monolithic applications into smaller services will help you transition to a containerized future that promises faster application delivery, greater scalability, and better manageability – regardless of the platform.’ A month ago IBM refreshed its z series mainframes with the LinuxONE Emperor II. “LinuxONE is a highly engineered platform with unique security, data privacy and regulatory compliance capabilities that doesn’t require any changes to developer or open source code, combined with...

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