Cisco Expands Intelligent Automation for the Cloud
A new version of Cisco Systemís software for automating the management and security of data and assets in the cloud features a new virtual datacenter feature (shown) that allows a companyís internal project teams or divisions to provision their own pool of cloud reasons exclusively for their use. This, and other features, help companies intelligently automate the protection of cloud assets, the company said. (Source: Cisco Systems)
The software defined data center rolls on. This is a great trend in cloud infrastructure evolution. Security really is a key. Many engineering firms, especially smaller ones, are reluctant to use cloud computing. To some extent there are the liabilty problems. A small to medium firm can be easily put out of business if there is a breach of confidential data. They tend to keep their infrastructure close. There is also the problem of skills. If your IT group is not cloud savvy, this can be a big risk. Automating these tasks can help overcome some of that resistance.
A colleague of mine had his data "managed" by the cloud happy I.T. personnel at his day-job. For all the best intents, the data was inaccessible. The colleague lost it.
He demanded his data back his local machine, the I.T. guy refused arguing his reasons. My colleague said (I'm paraphrasing), "I don't care what your reasons are, don't even say them. Put the data back on my system right now."
I.T. reluctantly said, "Ok, I will get it back to you within the hour."
The colleague, "No, you're going to do it right now."
He didn't leave until it was finished. And the data was returned within 3 minutes.
Sometimes I.T. and the cloud just isn't the right fit.
I agree that it's risky to put data in the cloud and that there are glitches (as exhibited by Caleb's comment) as well as a cultural perception, that must be overcome for it to work. Yes, automation will help, but it's only part of the solution. And ensuring that automation is doing what it's supposed to do also could be a barrier. Cisco's work is a good step in the right direction, and I do think there are a lot of viable scenarios for storing and securing data in the cloud. But it really has to be done with great care by people who know exactly what the risks are and what they are doing.
I agree that the cloud has to overcome some resistance from users but clearly it is the future. It will be interesting to see how it evolves. Using it for remote back-up has been awesome but I have also been unwilling to send select files into the cloud for specific reasons. Working exclusively from the cloud (no local files) would be harder for me to accept especially since local storage is so cheap.
Yes, I think that is one of the reasons for resistance--the accessibility and affordability of local storage. People still get peace of mind from having their files locally where they can always have access to them without worrying where they are "out there somewhere" in the cloud. But perhaps the generations of people who are brought up with the Internet as the norm, using Web-based email and the like (perhaps not even knowing what local-based email clients are!) will feel more comfortable with the cloud.
For me, I think that the emergence of web based applications to eliminate installation hassles and provide automatic software updates is the best argument for the cloud. Many would say they are already here but I can't say I know too many colleagues who have gone this route yet, and some apps still require a local install. I am sure there are individuals and organizations that have made the switch with no turning (or looking) back. I'm still a believer in the cloud but would like to hear from others on this issue and what the tipping point issues are for them.
You know, it's interesting to me--I have covered the technology industry since 2000 and for the last five years or even more all we have heard is how the cloud is poised to be the "next big thing." But adoption still is slower than many would have thought. Sure, people have been quick to embrace Web-based email, but it hasn't gone much further than that. I guess this scenario is nothing new, as we've seen this sort of thing time and again with new technology that's supposed to be all the rage, but then doesn't quite live up to its hype. I still think the cloud has the potential to be a true game-changing technology and be all that and a bag of chips, but as evidenced by all of these comments, there are still serious hurdles to true ubiquity.
Kaspersky Labs indicated at its February meeting that cyber attacks are far more sophisticated than previous thought. It turns out even air-gapping (disconnecting computers from the Internet to protect against cyber intrusion) isnít a foolproof way to avoid getting hacked. And Kaspersky implied the NSA is the smartest attacker.
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