Tag: Cloud

Cloud Technology 101: IaaS vs #saas #cloud


Cloud 101: How to Choose the Right Cloud Infrastructure for Your Company

Don’t let complicated cloud computing decisions overwhelm you — get back to the basics with this overview of different types of cloud services and environments.

According to Gartner. the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 18 percent in 2017 to a total of $246.8 billion. The highest growth is expected to come from cloud infrastructure services (IaaS), followed by cloud application services (SaaS).

Despite this massive growth in cloud computing, most companies are still figuring out their cloud strategy as they consider the multidimensional uses of cloud services.

That’s why we’ve decided to publish a cloud technology primer on different types of cloud services and environments, in which you’ll get a quick, clear summary of the differences between private, public, and hybrid clouds, as well as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Already an expert on all things cloud? Check out our 2017 Cloud Migration Survey Report to see how your cloud strategy compares to that of your industry peers.

We like to think of cloud technology as a table, where the rows are your cloud service types (IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS) and the columns are cloud enviornments(public, private, and hybrid).

Any cloud-based tool or infrastructure should fit into one or more of the cells in this table. Below you’ll find an overview of each element.

Types of Cloud Services

What Is Infrastructure as a Service?

Different types of cloud services provide different levels of readiness or development.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the least ready-made cloud computing service, which means it offers developers the most control because it’s as close to hardware as you can get.

With IaaS, you pay for on-demand access to compute resources, RAM memory resources, disk storage, and networking components while enjoying rapid scalability and cost efficiency. There are multiple vendors in this space, but Amazon Web Services. Microsoft Azure. and Google Cloud Platform dominate the market.

What Is Platform as a Service?

Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides the next level of readiness or development. It is typically delivered as services for developers or architects as opposed to end users.

The main idea of PaaS is that it hides the infrastructure from users and provides additional functionality on top of the infrastructure. For developers and architects, this means spending more time using platform functionality to drive business value rather than sorting through complicated infrastructure concerns.

One of the most popular PaaS use cases is database as a service — for example, AWS Relational Database Service (RDS).

What Is Software as a Service?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a full-blown software solution that people use just like desktop applications — only they’re hosted remotely. The SaaS market is growing quickly at the expense of legacy on-premise solutions.

Even if this doesn’t sound immediately familiar, it’s likely you already use SaaS. For example, your old local Exchange server can be replaced by Gmail. Your internal CRM system may already have succumbed to the power of Salesforce. Even long-standing Microsoft Office users can now adopt the SaaS-based Office 365.

With the ease of implementation, rapid scalability, and cost efficiency, it’s no surprise that the SaaS model is on the rise for businesses of all sizes.

Choosing the Right Type of Cloud Service for Your Business

Your application use case usually dictates whether IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS is the right approach.

If you need to run virtual machines in the cloud, you’re looking for an IaaS vendor.

If you need a database, you could provision virtual machines using IaaS and install a database on them or you might prefer a PaaS solution in which you receive a ready-to-use database from the cloud provider.

And if you need something like CRM in the cloud, SaaS is really the simplest approach.

Types of Cloud Environments

What Is Private Cloud?

Many people confuse the term “private cloud” with traditional virtual environments. While the private cloud requires virtualization, not all virtualization can be labeled part of the private cloud. Self-service and on-demand resource allocation are key features of the private cloud which aren’t inherent to all virtual environments.

What Is Public Cloud?

At the core, public cloud environments aren’t much different than private clouds. Both offer users on-demand access to resources — but while private clouds are operated by internal teams, the public cloud is a service offered to external parties.

When you use the public cloud, you’re buying into multi-tenant services. The public cloud lets you take advantage of benefits such as dynamic scaling and pay-as-you-go variable pricing models that make IT resources much more cost-efficient for businesses.

Unlike the private cloud, which has seen slow adoption due to perceived similarities to standard on-premise IT, the public cloud is booming. According to the 2017 Cloud Migration Survey Report. 42% of computing resources will be located in the public cloud by 2018 whereas only 12% will be in the private cloud.

There are many considerations when adopting the public cloud — privacy/security, cost, flexibility, control, and compliance just to name a few — but the tangible benefits are enough to entice even the most demanding organizations.

What Is Hybrid Cloud?

If “private cloud” is the most misused term in cloud computing, hybrid cloud is a close second. Many people believe that hybrid cloud applies to any organization that uses both public and private cloud environments.

A true hybrid cloud is when those public and private cloud environments are woven together into a single seamless experience. There are many misconceptions when it comes to a true hybrid cloud and, as a result, few organizations actually have one today.

Even if you’re actively trying to build a hybrid cloud, it’s difficult to take separate public and private clouds and move data/applications/services between them without any issues.

No matter how you look at cloud computing, one thing is clear — cloud-based environments and services are the future, and companies must adapt. Once you know all of the basics, you can start planning your migration to whichever combination of cells in the table works best for you. To learn about the leading cloud migration methods, download this free eBook on 5 Approaches for Migrating Workloads to the Cloud.

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What s the difference between iCloud Backup and iCloud Drive? #iphone #cloud #storage


What’s the difference between iCloud Backup and iCloud Drive?

For many an iPhone or iPad user accustomed to syncing their devices to their desktops or laptops, the 2011 arrival of Apple’s iCloud service created no small amount of head-scratching. No more syncing? iCloud backs up everything or just some things? What about photos? And do apps like Facebook really need to be backed up to the cloud?

Then, a few months ago, Apple took the wraps off iCloud Drive. a service that seemed to offer more bang for your storage buck. But is it a replacement for iCloud Backup? An extension of it? A totally separate entity? If you upgrade your storage plan, does that also give you more space for backups?

It’s all pretty confusing. So let’s take a look at which service does what, with an eye toward what options to consider for whole-device backup.

What is iCloud?

A big, muddled mess, that’s what. I base this assessment on my own confusion and the confusion of countless people who have asked me to explain it to them.

iCloud is, of course, Apple’s online storage service, but it’s not a file-sharing service like Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive. (That’s where iCloud Drive comes in; see below.) Rather, it serves to back up much (but not all) of what’s stored on your iDevice, while syncing some (but not all) of your data to other devices.

Indeed, venture into Settings iCloud and you’ll find more questions than answers:

In this example, taken from my iPhone 6 Plus, iCloud Drive is off — yet I paid for an upgraded storage plan when iCloud Drive was announced. Seems an odd disconnect. Meanwhile, Photos is set to “On,” but where exactly are my backed-up photos located? Mail, Contacts, and a few other core apps are “enabled,” but what does that even mean? Like I said: confusing.

Then there’s Backup. When you enable that, your device will archive things such as purchase history, device settings, app data (but not apps?), iMessage and text messages, and voicemail. Photos and videos? Yes, unless you’ve enabled the iCloud Photo Library beta, which already stores your photos and videos in iCloud.

But what’s this about “purchase history”? According to Apple, “Your iCloud backup includes information about the content you have purchased, but not the purchased content itself.” Movies, music, books, and the like are automatically downloaded back to your device if you restore a backup.

All those MP3s you ripped from your CDs, though? Or videos you copied from your PC? No dice: “iCloud Backup doesn’t back up music, movies, and TV shows that you didn’t purchase from the iTunes Store, or any podcasts, audio books, or photos that you originally synced from your computer.”

Aha! So even if you paid to upgrade your storage plan and enabled every backup option you could find within Settings, you might not be getting a full backup. Food for thought.

What is iCloud Drive?

In the simplest terms, iCloud Drive is Apple’s version of Dropbox. It’s a cloud-based, document -oriented file-storage service that keeps your data in sync between various devices: PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads and so on.

However, it doesn’t operate in the same way as, say, Dropbox or OneDrive, in that you can’t access (or organize) your collection of files via a Finder-like app — not on your mobile devices, anyway. Instead, you access them via specific apps: Photos, Pages, etc. CNET’s Jason Cipriani recently penned a complete guide to iCloud Drive. so that’s a great place to learn about the specifics of the service. Apple’s iCloud Drive FAQ is another useful resource.

The key takeaway, for our purposes, is that iCloud Drive is an optional component of iCloud and not a requirement for iDevice backup.

What’s the best iDevice backup option?

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer to sync. It takes all of about three minutes to plug your iPhone or iPad into your PC or Mac and let it perform a backup. Do this once or twice per week and you’re golden.

It’s an extra hassle, yes, but it’s also the best way to insure that everything on your device gets backed up: photos, music, text messages, and so on. It’s also the fastest way to restore everything, should you ever upgrade to a new model or replace a lost/broken/stolen old one.

As an added bonus, you’ll save yourself, at minimum, $12 per year. That’s the price for Apple’s 20GB iCloud plan, which is probably insufficient if you are indeed trying to preserve everything on your iPhone or iPad. But the next tier is $3.99/month ($48 annually) for 200GB, which is probably overkill for most users.

Still not sure which way you should go? Apple explains more about each backup method to help you make an informed decision.

In the meantime, hit the comments to share your thoughts on iCloud, iCloud Drive, and the overall state of iDevice backup.

Share your voice

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Project management cloud solutions #force.com, #salesforce.com, #project #portfolio #management, #ppm #on #salesforce, #ppm, #apm,



Cloudbyz delivers innovative Cloud and Mobile Software and Solutions that embed industry domain processes and capabilities and help enterprise to achieve innovation, agility and transform customer centric enterprise.

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CLOUDBYZ CTMS built natively on Salesforce.com platform offers comprehensive capabilities and helps life sciences and contract research organizations (CRO) to Innovate clinical research with real-time visitbilty and faster time to market.


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CLOUDBYZ offers array of pre-built industry solutions for life sciences, CRO and enterprise IT by leveraging in-depth industry experience and technology expertise and help customers to achieve innovation and agility in Digital Age.


Transformation services span technology strategy, innovation, operating model, service delivery design and implementation. Our Transformation offering leverages the full breadth and depth of expertise to establish a platform for growth for our clients.



Built on leading cloud platform, Cloudbyz applications help you to be more agile and innovative. Get automatic upgrades and new features three times a year so you can focus on the business.


Cloudbyz’s team of industry experts bring decades of experience delivering customer management solutions for global companies. We embed this domain expertise in our software to deliver innovation with deep capabilities for customers.


Reports and Dashboards offer a real-time picture of your business at a glance. Dig deeper with detailed reports that anyone can create. And access your reports and dashboards from anywhere.


Built on world’s most trusted cloud platform. Get granular control over everything from user authentication to data access. Rigorous, multi-layered approach to data security is trusted by the world’s most heavily regulated industries.

Have been looking for a solution that does everything in the title for a long time, and with the benefit of the force.com platform, it is even better, particularly with the ability to adapt the tool to our specific needs. We are now easily tracking all applications, the work requests for them, the work done on them, the change management around them. A great tool, and Cloudbyz is very attentive to needs/requests as well. Keep up the good work!

Chris Talley Sr Director, App Development, Delta Career Education

It is as good as it sounds. Comprehensive integrated management of the PPM, ALM and APM domain. Allowing a 360 view of applications, effort and resources on our total IT lanscape and all in realtime. Finally with ITPM we can truly have that business alignment we have been looking for and start to plan, develop an manage quicker, more agile and with higher quality. Getting rid of the various point tools frees up heaps of time that can now be deployed towards delivering real business value.

Cloudbyz has a strong mix of knowledge around Salesforce.com best practices, understanding their client’s sales processes, and architecting solutions that ensures productivity gains for the sales organizations they work with.

Mike Pugh Director of Sales Operations – LRSUS at Wolters Kluwer

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What are microservices? #cloud #architecture #patterns


What are microservices?

Microservices – also known as the microservice architecture – is an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled services, which implement business capabilities. The microservice architecture enables the continuous delivery/deployment of large, complex applications. It also enables an organization to evolve its technology stack.

Microservices are not a silver bullet

The microservice architecture is not a silver bullet. It has several drawbacks. Moreover, when using this architecture there are numerous issues that you must address. The microservice architecture pattern language is a collection of patterns for applying the microservice architecture. It has two goals:

  1. The pattern language enables you to decide whether microservices are a good fit for your application.
  2. The pattern language enables you to use the microservice architecture successfully.

Where to start?

A good starting point is the Monolithic Architecture pattern. which is the traditional architectural style that is still a good choice for many applications. It does, however, have numerous limitations and issues and so a better choice for large/complex applications is the Microservice architecture pattern .

Example microservices applications

Want to see an example? Check out Chris Richardson’s Money Transfer and Kanban board examples.

Microservices.io is brought to you by Chris Richardson. Experienced software architect, author of POJOs in Action and the creator of the original CloudFoundry.com. His latest startup is eventuate.io. a microservices application platform.

Learn more about microservices

Chris offers a comprehensive set of resources for learning about microservices including articles, an O’Reilly training video, and example code. Learn more

Microservices consulting and training

Chris offers a comprehensive consulting services, workshops and hands on training classes to help you use microservices effectively. Get advice

Example microservices applications

Want to see an example? Check out Chris Richardson’s example applications. See code

Get the book: Microservice patterns

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MSFT Stock: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Is Keeping Its Head in the Cloud #markets, #msft,


Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Stock Is Keeping Its Head in the Cloud

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ) has finally shed the last vestiges of the software monopoly it was in the 20th Century.

Now, it is an integrated tech firm in its truest sense. Granted, some of its divisions cast a longer shadow than others, but the fact is, it finally has built diverse divisions that are leaders in their respective sectors and that is being reflected on the top and bottom line.

What s more, MSFT is executing on its vision and it is integrating its platforms across its divisions so that most divisions add value to the products in other divisions.

The Importance of Cloud to MSFT Stock

While its software business is still its main driver, its Azure cloud business is growing at nearly triple-digit rates, and is a worthy competitor to Amzon.com, Inc. s (NASDAQ: AMZN ) AWS Amazon Web Services dominance.

Few players in the cloud space can compete with AWS on price, but given Microsoft s $125 billion cash hoard, it has the war chest to go after Amazon in this arena. Also, MSFT s Azure can scale down easily to attract smaller businesses, which make up a much larger percentage of the economy.

Its most recent acquisition, social-media-for-professionals site LinkedIn. is actually growing, which is a pleasant surprise. It isn t yet clear how MSFT is going to monetize its 500 million users and add them to the MSFT revenue stream, but so far, so good.

Its new Surface line of tablets is getting generally solid reviews, but we ll have to wait how sales develop over the next couple of quarters. From reviews, these machines have what it takes to give Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL ) a run for its money. That is quite a statement.

The phone division is still almost a year away from building a truly Microsoft phone, but it is on track and focused, which is more than we could usually say about it in recent years.

Its gaming division will release a new version of the Xbox the Xbox One X later this year as it gears up for the release of its augmented reality HoloLens headset. MSFT has by most accounts the best gaming box on the market, and as augmented reality games and multiplayer online games grow, MSFT is set to reap the rewards.

On the innovation front, Office 365 now has a dictation function, called of course, Dictate. It supports 20 languages and translates 60 in real time. It also replaced its Office 365 Video with Stream, which comes with Office commercial versions. Stream comes with real-time transcription, which also means you can search a video by phrases.

All these advances make it understandable why just this week, Morgan Stanley raised its price target from $72 to $80 with an overweight rating.

It respectable 2.2% dividend is a reminder that MSFT stock is built for the long haul and rewards dedicated shareholders. The stock is up 13% year to date but plenty of excitement awaits in the latter half of the year.

Richard Band sProfitable Investing advisory service helps retirement savers outperform the market without losing a minute of sleep along the way. His straightforward style and low-risk value approach has won seven Best Financial Advisory awards from the Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Foundation.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2017/06/microsoft-corporation-msft-stock-head-cloud/.

2017 InvestorPlace Media, LLC

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QuickBooks Hosting #application #hosting #services, #application #hosting, #software #hosting, #software #hosting #services, #software #hosting


QuickBooks Hosting Solutions

Our QuickBooks Accounting Stations give you anywhere, anytime access to your hosted QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise. QuickBooks hosting eliminates the need to travel, and allows accounting firms and the clients they serve to access the same data at the same time.

Sage 50 Hosting Solutions

Sage 50 Virtual Desktop hosting gives you the ability to be more productive with anywhere, anytime access to your accounting software and files. As a leading provider of cloud hosting for Sage 50, we have the knowledge and experience to keep all of your data safe, backed up and ready for you to use.

Microsoft Office Hosting

Microsoft Office is the powerful productivity suite that is used by the majority of businesses, and comes standard on every Virtual Desktop. Microsoft Office cloud hosting offers a new way to access tools like Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point and more from anywhere, anytime.

Online Accounting Bookkeeping

As a cloud computing service company developed with accountants and bookkeepers in mind, CPAASP has more experience hosting financial software than any other provider. Our customizable platform allows us to host name brand software from Sage, Microsoft and Intuit along with the integrations and add-ons that professionals need.

With financial software securely managed in the cloud, accounting online can be done from any internet connected device regardless of location. Stop restricting yourself to using software on one computer, and stop traveling to and from client locations to get data files and documents. Bookkeeping online saves time, money and allows businesses to expand without needing to upgrade their technology.

Whether you move some or all of your business’s financial software to the cloud, you can start doing more from anywhere, anytime with hosting services from CPAASP.

3312 Rosedale Street Ste 203
Gig Harbor, WA 98335

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Modern Dev Environment Delivered · Koding #integrated #development #environment, #cloud #ide, #dev #environment, #cloud


Modern Development Environment Delivered.

Koding provides every developer with access to information and data on the best practices used by your entire team.

– Michael Girouard, Senior Engineer at CloudFlare

Using Koding helps developers get up-to-speed in a matter of minutes so they can focus on their code. As for our customers, I’m personally trying to guide us through a redesign of our platform experience which would hopefully alleviate the need for complicated dev environments, We are evaluating Koding to bridge the gap between local development and production environments.

– Collin Donahue-Oponski, UX Lead, Platform UI/UX Team at DigitalGlobe

We are doing internal training at Accenture, when I setup my classes on Koding, no one needs to do any setup anymore.

– Arkadi Shishlov, Software Engineer at Accenture

GitLab+Koding means you can ship code faster, and contribute to more projects in a collaborative environment.

– Sid Sijbrandij, Co-founder, CEO at GitLab


Solving your software’s sales and training issues

You have a “Download” link that everyone clicks, yet vital customers are lost through your setup instructions. Let’s help you engage with them!

You can use Koding for:

Pre-Sales Automation

Turn your website’s “Download” button into a “Try now” button, so you can engage with your customers. Learn more…

Platform for Training

Why should any trainer spend hours trying to configure environments instead of getting straight to training? Learn more…


If you’d like to extend your ecosystem and build more apps for your organization, we can set you up! Contact us.

Virtual Classrooms

One solution might work well for an app and fail in yours. It’s not a one-size-fits-all thing. Contact us.

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Welcome to Emantra – Australian Hosting and Cloud Services #cloud, #secure, #gateway, #government, #hosting,



Emantra hosts applications, platforms and infrastructure using the “as a service” model from premier data centres located in Australia. Your choice of physical or virtual machines, and dedicated or multi-tenanted software instances. Delivered through multiple diverse gigabit gateways certified to PROTECTED level to the internet, private network or VPNs. These high-availability services, from full-touch to low-touch, carry a financially backed SLA tailored to your critical requirements. Emantra’s customers, including many government agencies and large corporate entities, are drawn to its agility, service flexibility and the quality of its local care and attention.


As an Australian Cloud Solution Provider partner of Microsoft, Emantra can curate and support your implementation of Office365, Skype for Business, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Azure. From guidance, discovery, benchmarking and recommendation to migration, testing, implementation and ongoing hand-holding at the level you choose. We manage these services using the same skills learned from ten years of private hosting and case study involvement with Microsoft. Partner with Emantra to benefit from the global scale and sophistication of Microsoft’s cloud combined with Australian compliance, productivity enhancements, integration and dedicated local support.


Emantra provides integration and satellite services to customers with a hybrid of on-premise, private hosting and public cloud computing resources. We design, implement and support such architectures which achieve goals of simplicity, cost saving, and reliability. Our services can largely replace your in-house IT cost centre, or help you rationalise its ongoing role. From a user perspective, the best hybrid solutions are invisible. Careful attention is therefore required to access and identity management, rights management and the integration of diverse resources in a secure manner. This is a new and developing field, one where Emantra is building a leading Australian capability.

Full Service Hosting

Emantra has the skills and perspective gained as an enterprise hosting practitioner for ten years. We now bring that experience to bear in the public cloud arena.
Full service hosting means that we are able to exploit the best of both technologies to deliver your optimal solution. Few others can do this. Emantra’s services are utilised directly by customers or channelled through some of the largest system integrators, developers, and SaaS software vendors in the country. We are privately owned and proudly Australian. We invest in local jobs, facilities and suppliers. Read below about some of our featured services or call us on 1300 728 953 anytime for more information. Initial consultations are always free and without obligation.

Featured Services

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Microsoft to slash cloud-connection rights for stand-alone Office #office # #private #cloud


Microsoft to slash cloud-connection rights for stand-alone Office

Microsoft last week announced sweeping changes to Office’s support rules, which will push more corporate customers to the Office 365 subscription model.

The support policies introduced Thursday will cut in half the time that non-subscription versions of Office — usually labeled “perpetual” as a nod to the licenses which, once purchased, let customers run the software as long as they want — can connect to Microsoft cloud-based services. These include Microsoft-hosted Exchange email, the OneDrive for Business storage service and Skype for Business, the corporate edition of Microsoft’s video-calling service.

Under the new rules, owners of perpetual-license versions of Office will be able to use those services only during the first half of their 10-year support lifecycle, the portion Microsoft dubs “mainstream.” Currently, those customers may connect to cloud services such as Exchange mailboxes for the full decade of Microsoft’s combined mainstream and “extended” support.

For example, Office 2007 will exit its 10 years of support in October; as of October 31. “Outlook 2007 will be unable to connect to Office 365 mailboxes, which means Outlook 2007 clients using Office 365 will not be able to receive and send mail.”

Microsoft will enforce the changed requirements starting Oct. 13, 2020, said Ron Markezich, the executive who heads Office marketing, in a post to a company blog. As of that date, “Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support will be required to connect to Office 365 services,” said Markezich.

Office 365 ProPlus is the standard suite provided to enterprise customers who subscribe to Office 365 plans that include rights to the locally installed applications, including the $20-per-user-per-month Office 365 Enterprise E3 and the $35-per-user-per-month Enterprise E5.

By the time the Oct. 13, 2020, date comes up on the calendar, all currently supported editions of perpetual Office — Office 2010, Office 2013 and the newest, Office 2016 — will have dropped out of mainstream support. (Office 2016’s mainstream support will expire on that date.)

The bottom line: If enterprises want to access Office 365’s cloud-based services, they must 1) subscribe to a plan that includes ProPlus and, more importantly, install and use that constantly upgraded suite; or 2) pay for and install a perpetual-licensed version of Office every five or fewer years.

Microsoft justified the change with much the same kind of explanations it’s used for other big shifts in support, notably the mandate that older editions of Windows, including Windows 7. will not be supported on devices powered by the latest Intel and AMD processors.

“When customers connect to Office 365 with a legacy version of Office, they’re not enjoying all that the service has to offer,” argued Alistair Speirs, a senior operations program manager, on another blog. “The IT security and reliability benefits and end-user experiences in the apps is limited to the features shipped at a point in time.”

Markezich went even further. After using the same explanation — word for word — as Speirs, he added to the bash-perpetual-Office campaign by trumpeting its rival, ProPlus. “When a modern app is connected to a modern service, magic happens,” Markezich asserted.

“What Microsoft’s saying is that the Office 365 services won’t work forever with [a perpetual-licensed Office], that eventually things will break,” translated Wes Miller, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft.

By changing the connect-to-services rules, Microsoft has taken aim at customers who have mixed cloud services with traditional perpetual — or “stand-alone” — software. Most enterprises, in fact, continue to use perpetual-licensed versions of Office, even as some have outsourced email to Microsoft by subscribing to lower-priced plans like the $5 per-user-per-month Office 365 Business Essentials or the $8 per-user-per-month Office 365 Enterprise E1.

According to Michael Silver, an analyst at Gartner, many businesses have dipped into Office 365 sans ProPlus to cap costs. Some of those Microsoft customers “have saved some money for a while,” Silver said, by sticking with an Office edition for six, seven, eight years — or even longer — rather than upgrade every three, the usual interval between perpetual-licensed versions. “Organizations have tried to moderate their costs for a while,” Silver added of such firms.

Under the new rules, that won’t be possible, as companies will be able to run any given perpetual-licensed Office for no more than five years if they want to access cloud-based email hosted by Microsoft, or use the 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage space that comes with a Business Essential or E1 plan.

Silver noted that while Microsoft’s decision could be viewed as just one more shove to subscriptions, that wasn’t surprising. “The writing has been on the wall,” he said of the decline in emphasis of perpetual-licensed Office. As Silver implied, Microsoft has made no secret that it prefers subscriptions — and not just for Office — for the recurring revenue they generate.

Companies will still be able to connect Office to on-premises services, such as an Exchange server, as long as they like under the new rules, Miller and Silver both pointed out. And enterprises that prefer to acquire Office as perpetual-licensed software won’t be barred from that either: Microsoft has already pledged to produce a successor to Office 2016 that would connect to cloud services after October 2020.

But the policy revisions will affect Office users. “This is going to be an issue” for some corporate customers, Silver said, as they transition from the essentially-static, perpetual-licensed Office to the upgraded-twice-a-year ProPlus. “It can be a difficult transition to manage.”

Senior Reporter Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld.

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Gartner: Seven cloud-computing security risks #cloud #email #security


Gartner: Seven cloud-computing security risks

Cloud computing is fraught with security risks, according to analyst firm Gartner. Smart customers will ask tough questions and consider getting a security assessment from a neutral third party before committing to a cloud vendor, Gartner says in a June report titled “Assessing the Security Risks of Cloud Computing .”

Cloud computing has “unique attributes that require risk assessment in areas such as data integrity, recovery, and privacy, and an evaluation of legal issues in areas such as e-discovery, regulatory compliance, and auditing,” Gartner says. (Compare security products .)

Amazon’s EC2 service and Google’s Google App Engine are examples of cloud computing, which Gartner defines as a type of computing in which “massively scalable IT-enabled capabilities are delivered ‘as a service’ to external customers using Internet technologies.”

Customers must demand transparency, avoiding vendors that refuse to provide detailed information on security programs. Ask questions related to the qualifications of policy makers, architects, coders and operators; risk-control processes and technical mechanisms; and the level of testing that’s been done to verify that service and control processes are functioning as intended, and that vendors can identify unanticipated vulnerabilities.

Here are seven of the specific security issues Gartner says customers should raise with vendors before selecting a cloud vendor.

1. Privileged user access. Sensitive data processed outside the enterprise brings with it an inherent level of risk, because outsourced services bypass the “physical, logical and personnel controls” IT shops exert over in-house programs. Get as much information as you can about the people who manage your data. “Ask providers to supply specific information on the hiring and oversight of privileged administrators, and the controls over their access,” Gartner says.

2. Regulatory compliance. Customers are ultimately responsible for the security and integrity of their own data, even when it is held by a service provider. Traditional service providers are subjected to external audits and security certifications. Cloud computing providers who refuse to undergo this scrutiny are “signaling that customers can only use them for the most trivial functions,” according to Gartner.

3. Data location. When you use the cloud, you probably won’t know exactly where your data is hosted. In fact, you might not even know what country it will be stored in. Ask providers if they will commit to storing and processing data in specific jurisdictions, and whether they will make a contractual commitment to obey local privacy requirements on behalf of their customers, Gartner advises.

4. Data segregation. Data in the cloud is typically in a shared environment alongside data from other customers. Encryption is effective but isn’t a cure-all. “Find out what is done to segregate data at rest,” Gartner advises. The cloud provider should provide evidence that encryption schemes were designed and tested by experienced specialists. “Encryption accidents can make data totally unusable, and even normal encryption can complicate availability,” Gartner says.

5. Recovery. Even if you don’t know where your data is, a cloud provider should tell you what will happen to your data and service in case of a disaster. “Any offering that does not replicate the data and application infrastructure across multiple sites is vulnerable to a total failure,” Gartner says. Ask your provider if it has “the ability to do a complete restoration, and how long it will take.”

6. Investigative support. Investigating inappropriate or illegal activity may be impossible in cloud computing, Gartner warns. “Cloud services are especially difficult to investigate, because logging and data for multiple customers may be co-located and may also be spread across an ever-changing set of hosts and data centers. If you cannot get a contractual commitment to support specific forms of investigation, along with evidence that the vendor has already successfully supported such activities, then your only safe assumption is that investigation and discovery requests will be impossible.”

7. Long-term viability. Ideally, your cloud computing provider will never go broke or get acquired and swallowed up by a larger company. But you must be sure your data will remain available even after such an event. “Ask potential providers how you would get your data back and if it would be in a format that you could import into a replacement application,” Gartner says.

This story, “Gartner: Seven cloud-computing security risks” was originally published by Network World .

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