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In a lot of ways, 2013 has been a pivotal year for PCI compliance in the cloud. As recently as a few years ago answers to compliance questions for cloud environments were more than a little murky, typically regressing into endless debates on how to define “cloud” in the first place. Compared to where we were as an industry then, 2013 has ushered in the age enlightenment.

In February, PCI Council finally pushed guidance for ensuring compliance in several types of cloud environments. At nearly 50 pages it’s more of a self-published novella than clarification, but it’s a major milestone nevertheless. The biggest question – “Can you be PCI compliant in the cloud” – has been answered. Yes, you can.

Businesses unwilling to wait for the PCI council to catch up with the real world have been finding their own way for years of course, but now the uncertainty of picking just the right QSA or a cloud provider that understood security have been greatly reduced. Take a random walk through a set of cloud providers – Rackspace, Peak 10, Amazon for instance – and you find a lot of PCI resources that provide common sense answers, and in some cases a set of services to handle most of the heavy lifting.

Things are notably better, but ask anyone going beyond merely replicating their deployment in a legacy data center and you won’t hear about the “age of enlightenment” for PCI compliance. A more accurate assessment of our current state is just beyond the point where you get deer in the headlights looks when the topic comes up.

What will be the next pressure point? Heady topics like auto-scaling, deployment automation and usage based billing. Security has been largely exempt from dealing with these issues, in no small part because uncertainty of compliance in the cloud provided a convenient cover, but expect that ability to deal with elastic environments becomes a major issue in 2014.

Challenge here is much more technological than an issue of governance, and its exactly the area where security people will have a difficult time meeting business demands. After all, computing, storage and networking have been disrupted to the core by “software defined” movements, while security industry has escaped largely unscathed. What happens when your newly PCI compliant cloud deployment auto-scales to meet surging customer demand, leaving your security infrastructure in the dust?

We’ll be discussing cloud, security, compliance and more at Cloud Connect in Chicago on October 21-23rd.

Misha Govshteyn is the Vice President of Emerging Products at Alert Logic and will be a featured speaker during the Cloud Security and Risk Summit at Cloud Connect Chicago.

 
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A post by Jamie Porter, Cloud Connect PR Specialist

With Cloud Connect Chicago just a week away, a handful of our top exhibitors offered a preview of news they’ll be making from the expo floor. With demonstrations of the most recently announced innovations and the launch of new technologies, we expect the expo to be bustling with conversation about products best suited for the enterprise cloud.

Here’s a sampling of next week’s announcements:

CSA Chicago will feature best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, specializing in the areas of Legal Issues in the Cloud and the Anti-Botnet Working Group.

EdgeCast announces the new EdgeCast Route, a high-performance, high availability, scalable and secure DNS platform. Route leverages EdgeCast’s massive global IP Anycast network, with points of presence in most major metros across four continents, and with high-performance proximity to almost every broadband user in the world.

IBM will be showcasing new DevOps solutions that accelerate continuous delivery while leveraging the cloud. Learn how to automate application deployment to the cloud with new IBM UrbanCode solutions, or innovate in the cloud with JazzHub – a self-serve, instant-on, “one stop shop” for Mobile and Cloud application development.

Latisys announces its Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) product suite, offering clients a variety of options for business continuity from basic backup to completely automated failover between redundant sites. Fully customizable and tested regularly, these solutions ensure systems are protected in the event of a natural or human induced disaster.

OVH.com, the leading Internet hosting provider, will demonstrate its new Dedicated Cloud service offering a complete VMware Data Center in less than 30 minutes. OVH technical architect will be available at booth #407 for questions.

SingleHop, a dedicated server and cloud hosting company that offers highly scalable, automated, on-demand infrastructure services to both end-users and resellers, announces that the company will present its revamped white-label reselling platform.

Veeam will showcase Modern Data Protection™ – powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions built for virtualization and the cloud. Veeam Backup & Replication v7 includes Built-in WAN acceleration (for efficient D2D2C backup), GFS retention (using backup copy jobs), self-service VM and file recovery, VirtualLab for Replicas, and deployment planning.

VMware will feature vCloud® Hybrid Service™, a secure, dedicated infrastructure-as-a-service cloud built on the trusted foundation of VMware vSphere®. Develop new applications and run existing applications with no change, with common networking, management, and security that spans between onsite and offsite environments. Visit booth #400.

For more news, check out the press release we issued yesterday. Thanks to all exhibitors who submitted to the press release!

To stay on top of even more announcements coming from Cloud Connect next week, be sure to visit our dedicated Press Releases page, where we’ll link to all exhibitors’ news. To read up on conference news, you can also check out our News & Coverage page, where we’ll log articles we see in top industry publications. We already have several preview stories up, if you want to get a head start on your reading. Enjoy!

 
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Gartner predicts that from 2013 to 2016, $677 billion will be spent by cloud customers to create cloud advertising and other business services. This estimate does not even include the billions of dollars of private cloud infrastructure investment. So when a modern bank robber is asked why he is targeting cloud services, he will most likely answer, “Because now that’s where the data is” — so that’s where the money is.

What are today’s bank robbers attempting to do? Some are using cloud services to run their Zeus botnets and other hacking infrastructures. Other risks include hacktivists who target your service provider with DDoS attacks, rendering your business service unavailable for hours or days because the cloud provider didn’t have the bandwidth or controls in place to contend with the attack.

So what are obvious considerations to protect against these emerging threats?

1. Know what data your company is storing in the cloud.
– Don’t find out after someone else publishes it on the Web or sells it to a crime syndicate.
– Be aware what types of data your business is producing or holding during the initial stages of the project.

2. If you are storing any confidential data in the cloud, encrypt it.
– Assume the data is going to be attacked and potentially leaked in the future.
– Encryption increases the costs for hackers to gain access to your data and may thwart their efforts.

3. Have a Plan B for critical business services.
– Assume that your cloud provider is going to have a disruption in the future.
– Determine how much downtime you can handle and still remain profitable and consider designing redundant services between multiple providers.

4. Choose a cloud provider that is aligned with your risk tolerance.
– Assess various cloud service providers and choose that one that best fits your budget and risk tolerance.
– Don’t bargain-hunt for a cloud provider — you may one day wish you had chosen a provider with stronger security.

Robert Malmrose is Chief Security Officer at Quantitative Risk Management and a featured speaker in the Cloud Security and Risk Summit at  Cloud Connect Chicago 2013. This post is a summary of Robert’s article that was published in InformationWeek.

 
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Cloud Connect Chicago is right around the corner and we are ready for a great event.  We recently took the wraps off this year’s keynote lineup which includes an impressive variety of opinions, case studies & perspectives on the cloud enabled enterprise.   The keynote program runs 9 – 11am on Oct 22nd and 23rd.  See you there!

Robin Chase, Founder, ZipCar and GoLoco

Competing in the Collaborative Economy

A new organizational structure is transforming the sources of power and value creation. It used to be that companies would gain a competitive edge by bringing resources inside the company in order to reduce transaction costs. Today, the smartest companies and governments are using the Internet to leverage assets outside of their sphere of control. We are stepping into the age of abundance. The collaborative Peers Inc economy is exactly what we need to respond to the size, scale, and urgency of problems facing the planet.


Paul Walsh, Vice President of Weather Analytics and Meteorologist, The Weather Company

Rethinking Weather – Using Weather Analytics to Grow Your Business (and save the world)

2012 was yet another year with unprecedented and high-impact weather events.  That trend has continued in 2013 and is expected to continue for the balance of our collective lives. While it sounds grim, there is a silver lining. In this presentation, learn how the convergence of new weather technology and sensing capabilities, big data analytics, high-speed computing, enhanced forecasting capabilities and new media channels are enabling companies to rethink how they leverage weather and environmental information to dramatically enhance business effectiveness and create new opportunities for growth.


Ric Telford, VP, IBM Cloud Services

Competing for the Future in the New Era of Computing

Cloud pacesetters are gaining competitive advantage through strategic reinvention, better decision making, and smarter engagement.  Interest in cloud has moved well beyond an IT obsession – into the very fabric of the enterprise.  What defines a cloud pacesetter goes beyond adoption to differentiation and business results. Please join Ric Telford, VP IBM Cloud Services, as he talks about innovation in this new era of computing and how cloud computing helps clients differentiate through reinvention of relationships, insights, and ecosystem expertise.


Narayan Desai, Principal Experimental Systems Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory

Optimizing for Creativity: Building Clouds for Data-Intensive Informatics

One of the key impediments to large scale informatics is the development of new approaches for data analysis and organization. In this talk, I’ll describe our experiences using openstack over the last 3 years and how it has accelerated the development activities of our scientists. I will discuss our experiences, why we selected Openstack, and the remaining open issues in these platforms.


Jean-Sebastien Bruneau, Cloud Architect, OVH.com

The Cloud Triangle: Where should you be?

Choosing the right “as a service” technology can be a daunting task. How do you select the right solution in a world of choices where the term Cloud is used in so many ways? OVH proposes a walktrough the cloud marketplace to trace a clear path to risk free service externalisation.


Alistair Croll, VP, CloudOps Research

What Would You do if You Were Starting From Scratch?

What would you do if you were starting from scratch? And why aren’t you? In this session, author and entrepreneur Alistair Croll looks at what’s holding back big companies, and the threat posed by not being willing to burn the boats. In a world of abundant, ubiquitous technology, the risk of sitting still far outweighs the risk of moving too quickly. As everyone around the boardroom table realizes their fortunes depend on technology, the CIO’s mindset needs to change dramatically if they, and indeed their entire IT organization, are to remain relevant.


Duke Skarda, CTO, Softlayer

Selecting the Right Cloud Architecture to Optimize Performance

Performance is the intersection of power, agility, and control.  If you value performance you don’t want to use an oversubscribed, commodity cloud as the cornerstone of your business.  In this session we will discuss the features of a cloud that combine to create a truly performant environment.


Fireside Chat with Cloud Security Alliance:  The State of Security & The Cloud

This keynote will provide a brief overview of CSA research on government access to information, attitudes domestically and abroad, will discuss future impacts on cloud providers and government policies, and outline the CSA view on best practices on balancing safety, security, individual privacy and business interests of cloud.

  • Jason Witty, Senior Vice President & CISO, U.S. Bank
  • Jim Reavis, Co-founder & Executive Director, Cloud Security Alliance

Stack Wars: The Battle for the Enterprise Cloud
The Stack Wars rage on with heated debates around which cloud platform is best suited for the enterprise. Join this lively discussion with leading cloud providers and judge for yourself which will come out on top!

Moderator: Alistair Croll, VP, CloudOps Research

  • Monty Taylor, Manager, Automation and Deployment, Hewlett-Packard
  • Jim Anthony, Vice-President, Tier II Solution Architecture Team, Verizon Terremark
  • Mathew Lodge, VP, Cloud Services, VMware

Ted Rudman, Interim Vice President, Pricing, Marketing/Loyalty, Supply Chain & Corporate Systems, Sears Holdings Corporation

Transforming Data Architecture Complexity at Sears

The Hadoop ecosystem of big data tools has transformed the way structured and unstructured data is ingested, processed, stored and analyzed at Sears Holdings, a highly data-driven company. Discover the challenges that hadoop helps overcome and key use cases that drive big data value across the organization.


Molly Rector, Chief Marketing Officer, EVP Product Management and WW Marketing, Spectra Logic

Enabling the Disruptive Thinkers in Your Organization

Big data is not only changing the way we store data but more importantly, why we store data. No longer are we storing data just to look back in history but now we are keeping it to predict the future. Enterprises are rapidly adapting to utilize Cloud Storage techniques to remove obstacles that block users from being able to retain, access and learn from their data. “Disruptive Thinkers” in each Enterprise are using these tools to analyze the past in order to reveal the opportunities for data driven decisions on where to invest in the future for market space leadership and differentiation.


 
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In partnership with Everest Group, an advisory and research firm on global services, Cloud Connect launches its first awards program, Innovation through Cloud in Enterprise (ICE) Awards, to honor companies that have achieved innovation through the adoption of cloud solutions. Cloud Connect just announced the four finalists, and a winner will be announced in just a few weeks during Cloud Connect Chicago.

Everest Group narrowed down nominations to name four pacesetting enterprises that, through cloud implementations, have transformed business processes, positively impacted stakeholders and significantly contributed to the bottom line. The four finalists for the inaugural ICE Awards are:

“Cloud solutions have drastically changed business operations for the better. When implemented correctly, cloud directly contributes to business agility, streamlined collaboration between employees and partners, and higher revenue,” said Steve Wylie, Cloud Connect General Manager. “The four selected ICE Award finalists have made big strides with cloud implementation and we’re pleased to recognize their efforts in Chicago at Cloud Connect.”

Join us on Tuesday, October 22, as Jimit Arora, Everest Group Vice President, will announce the winner during the keynote program. For more information, check out the full press release.

 
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A post by Joylyn Tanner, Senior Communications Manager for Cloud Connect.

My mother was born in Chicago, and as a result, I have an overwhelming sense of pride for the city, Da Bears, deep dish pizza and Wrigley Field.  This affinity for the Windy City inspired me and my colleagues to cull together our top-picks on where to eat and what to see when you’re in town for Cloud Connect. With over 7,000 restaurants to choose from, more than 500 parks and a menagerie of bars, theaters, comedy clubs, etc., we’ve created an infographic that can help you navigate the goods with some short commentary below from yours truly.

Where to Eat:

Chicago is the birthplace of the beloved deep dish pizza, as well as fast food behemoth, McDonald’s and chewing gum giant, Wrigley’s.  With these notorious knocks under its belt, Chicago is sure to tantalize your taste buds during your stay.  It’s tough to narrow down, but our first staff pick for the best pie in the city is Lou Malnati’s, followed closely by Giordano’s and Pizano’s.

Italian bites run rampant in Chi-town, a couple of our faves are Rosebud on Rush and RPM Italiano.  And if it’s just a good dog you’re in search of, be sure to hit Hot Doug’s.  It’s cash only and don’t go at prime lunch time because the lengthy line will overwhelm.

If more of a scene is your thing, Howells & Hood is nestled at the base of the Tribune Building and features an unparalleled drink selection (largest draft beer selection in all of Chicago!), tasty menu and remarkable views to cap your evening.  Reservations strongly encouraged – you can’t go wrong with this choice!

If you can’t pull yourself away from the conference grounds, Hyatt Regency McCormick offers a couple dining options: Shor for a contemporary American meal, Forno if a plate of pasta hits the spot, or the lobby bar M/X for small bites and a cocktail.

Things to See:

Did you know that the first Ferris wheel made its debut in Chicago in 1893? Now Navy Pier is home to the 15-story Ferris wheel and a must-see when in Chicago.  During the week of Cloud Connect, Chicago’s Chocolate Festival is at Navy Pier and open to the public, while for those in search of some Halloween funk can check out The Fear Haunted House, also happening at the Pier. The insider’s tip here though is the stained glass exhibit that can’t be missed!

Lincoln Park Zoo is free and who doesn’t love free?!  With fall upon us and Halloween in the air, the Zoo has an events calendar you should check out prior to your visit to make sure you’re maximizing on fun, which may or may not include a Spooky Zoo Spectacular.

If you prefer setting sail, you can’t go wrong with the Architectural Boat Tours.  While on board, you’ll navigate along the Chicago River, be awed by 50+ buildings unique architecture, and learn the ins and outs of how the city grew from a small back-country outpost into one of the world’s most important crossroads.  While on the topic of Chicago history, may we recommend a Mob Tour, where you can escape into the city’s underworld of gangsters and criminals?  Problem is, tours only run Saturday and Sunday, so if you’re in early or sticking around after the event – secure your spot now to learn about all the old gangster hot spots.

What to Do:

If you need some greenery in your life, parks abound.  Stop by the local Bird Sanctuary off McCormick or visit Memorial, Grant or Millennium Park, which plays host to the famous “Bean.”

If a drink and a laugh is more up your alley, Second City Comedy Club will put you in stitches with their improv. Shows run nightly at 8:00 pm during the week of Cloud Connect.  Social Twenty-Five is located in the trendy River North neighborhood – just a few miles from McCormick – and has become a favorite hot spot with live music entertainment and a swanky two-level bar.  You could also belly up to the bar at Chicago classic, Pippin’s Tavern, a quintessential Irish pub located on Rush Street.

Don’t be afraid to take on public transit to get you where you want to go.  All you need to know to plan your route can be found on Chicago’s Transit’s website.

And finally, it was to my delight when Cloud Connect decided to expand to Chicago last year and return in 2013 to such a fun-loving city.  I’m looking forward to the event and being back in my mom’s hometown.   Hopefully, this can help you chart your course while in Chicago and if we missed something you’d like to share, please feel free to comment – we are all ears.

 
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The recent Cloud Connect tweet chat on “Management, application performance & security in a Hybrid Cloud world” addressed one of the fundamental challenges facing business technology stakeholders – weighing the benefits of cloud computing with potential loss of direct access & control over application infrastructure.  This is especially true with PaaS & SaaS where more of the infrastructure control is ceded to the Cloud provider.

Our Enterprise Cloud Adoption Survey shows that businesses are growing increasingly comfortable with both SaaS & PaaS.  But what are the tradeoffs and concerns?  Here’s a snapshot of our Cloud Connect twitter discussion on this topic: Continue Reading »

 
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A post by Scott Bils, Managing Partner, Leverhawk.

As cloud computing matures and success models emerge, enterprises are now getting serious about using cloud to drive business and IT transformation.  Successful cloud adoption is about more than technology and platforms though – it also will require a more complete understanding of the true economic, organizational and operational implications of the cloud.  Unfortunately these are issues that most IT leaders are ill-prepared to address.

The Cloud IT Executive Summit (CITES) provides an unparalleled opportunity to hear the latest insights from industry experts, thought leaders and enterprise executives who are leveraging cloud and other next generation IT platforms to drive disruptive business strategies and achieve competitive advantage. The Summit will provide an opportunity for forward thinking CIOS and IT decision-makers to engage in peer-level discussions and learn best practices from other executives who are leading the migration to next generation IT models.  The CITES sessions will feature a variety of discussions on cloud-enabled transformation, including:

  • ITaaS – The New Operating Model with Scott Bils, Managing Partner at Leverhawk
  • Cloud Strategy and Economics, with Joe Weinman, Senior VP at Telx
  • CIO perspectives on Cloud Strategy with Bob Gill, Research Director at Gartner
  • The Future of Cloud Computing, with Jamie Goldstein, Partner at North Bridge Venture Partners,
  • Customer Perspectives on Cloud Transformation with Latisys

The Cloud is fundamentally transforming the “business model” of IT, requiring CIOs and their organizations to become service providers themselves.  CITES will provide a roadmap for executives seeking to navigate the strategic, organizational and operational issues on the way to transformation.

Register here and join the conversation!

 
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By Emily Johnson

Cloud Connect Chicago 2013 is taking a new approach to the program this year. The focus is on the top cloud computing infrastructure management platforms including: OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus and VMware and the full-fledged stack wars that are currently playing out in the media.

We had an opportunity to sit down with Randy Bias, Cloudscaling’s CEO & CTO and Director of the OpenStack Foundation who organized the Cloud Connect OpenStack track and Boot Camp and he shared his thoughts on how his program is coming together and what he thinks attendees will gain from it. Continue Reading »

 
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The knowledge and best practices you gain at Cloud Connect Chicago will ultimately help your organization maximize their cloud investment. You’ll come back better prepared to help your company develop strategies to increase efficiency and productivity; and ideas on how to test and implement new, transformative technologies.

Need a little help demonstrating the ROI your trip to Cloud Connect will have? Share the below list which helps demonstrate the importance and impact your trip will have on your organization.

  1. Discover innovative ways that the cloud can help you boost productivity and create new revenue streams.
  2. Stay abreast of industry trends and issues, hear industry experts and end users discuss use cases and best practices surrounding their cloud migration.
  3. Evaluate which cloud stacks and platforms are right for your specific challenges, so you can optimize spend in these key areas.
  4. Up-level the skills and experience of your organization with CompTIA Cloud Essential Certification.
  5. Meet with over 30 vendors and find new solutions to your cloud, security, infrastructure or big data questions.
  6. Anticipate emerging cloud trends so you can plan for any impact on your business.
  7. Renegotiate service agreements and/or upgrade to the next version by scheduling one-on-one meetings at Cloud Connect.
  8. Network with like-minded professionals and learn how they are tackling cloud issues in your industry.
  9. Learn from top peers, analysts and other end users in the Cloud Connect Conference sessions including cloud & private clouds, AWS, CloudStack, and OpenStack
  10. Connect with thousands of experts — including leaders from companies like ZipCar, Boeing, Sears, and The Weather Company, the brightest innovators in IT — for guidance and advice on the specific challenges your company is facing.

Leverage the Convince Your Manager tools on the Cloud Connect website to get additional details and justification letters to share with your management team. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

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