Miscellaneous

Tips For Protecting Data Privacy And Security From Mitch Coopet, CTO & Co-founder Of Code42

In celebration of Data Privacy Day, Cloud Computing Today spoke to Mitch Coopet, CTO and cofounder of Code42 regarding data privacy and security tips for IT managers. To empower employees to work productively in different locations, Coopet remarked on the importance of ensuring that data protection protocols apply to multiple devices and operating systems. Coopet also suggested understanding the volume of unsanctioned apps in an IT environment and revisiting corporate backup policies to ensure data is backed up over a variety of devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Code42 is the company behind the popular endpoint backup service, CrashPlan, whose customers include Expedia, Yelp and P&G as well as Yale and Stanford Universities.

3 Tips For Protecting Data Privacy For IT Managers And Organizations by Mitch Coopet

1, Balance User Productivity with Enterprise IT Needs:

While typically cast in the role of the “enforcer” — or put more bluntly, saying “no” to employee requests for sharing across personal devices and apps — IT actually has an opportunity to help employees increase work productivity now more than ever.  To empower user productivity while maintaining rigorous security standards, data protection policies must support multiple devices and operating systems regardless of physical location. Looking ahead, IT can directly improve productivity and innovation for the enterprise by anticipating how employees will interact with data, particularly on laptops and mobile devices that exist at the edge of the corporate network, as opposed to operating within a traditional data center. Provide secure, easy ways for employees to work on their devices regardless of where they are, and educate them on the productivity tools available to them through IT.

2. Survey Unsanctioned App Usage: With more employees turning to the growing selection of cloud-based apps to get work done faster and on-the-go, it has become increasingly difficult for IT managers to monitor the huge volume of “unsanctioned apps” that live in a given network via their presence on employee-owned devices. According to a report from cloud app security company Netskope, nearly 90 percent of the apps being used at a given company are not formally sanctioned by IT. This underscores a broader trend, and the need for IT to move beyond simply condoning the use of officially sanctioned apps. Put plainly, it’s just not realistic to do anymore. Understanding which apps employees are using to create and access work data is half the battle in developing data management policies that address unsanctioned cloud app usage.

3. Re-think your backup hygiene: According to Forrester’s Forrsights Devices and Security Workforce Survey, over half of employees assume that their companies back up their most important files, whether or not this is the case. The reality is that today with more important work files living on laptops, smartphones and tablets, rather than centralized servers, IT often expects employees to take responsibility for backing up data that is not created or accessed on the network. It comes down to empowering employees to work on-the-go without compromising sensitive company data. One such avenue to ensure this approach is to provide a backup solution that continuously and automatically backs up employees’ endpoint devices and mitigates the risk of a data loss event.

Categories: Miscellaneous

Quantum Announces Three New Solutions To Help Enterprises Leverage Public Cloud For Data Storage, Archival And Protection Use Cases

Quantum today announces three new solutions for its Q-Cloud platform, namely, Q-Cloud Archive, Q-Cloud Vault and Q-Cloud Protect for AWS. Q-Cloud Archive and Q-Cloud Vault are cloud-based storage solutions that allow enterprises to complement on-premise storage infrastructures with the infinite elasticity and scalability of the public cloud. Both the Q-Cloud Archive and Q-Cloud Vault solutions leverage Quantum’s StorNext 5 workflow and data management platform to manage the transfer of data from on-premise storage facilities to public cloud infrastructures by delivering workflows and policies for tiering data to the public cloud. Use cases for Q-Cloud Archive and Q-Cloud Vault involve the storage of massive amounts of digital media, streaming telemetry data or internet of things datasets in addition to disaster recovery and business continuity scenarios. Q-Cloud Archive and Q-Cloud Vault customers enjoy the benefits that automated StorNext-managed workflows deliver regarding which types of data are tiered to the cloud in addition to its ability to tag data for future recovery and retrieval purposes with no additional hardware required. All told, Q-Cloud Archive and Q-Cloud Vault represent yet another example of the recent proliferation of cloud and big data as recently exemplified by Datapipe’s acquisition of GoGrid, a leader in Big Data solutions for the cloud. The innovation of Q-Cloud’s solution consists in its ability to impose a level of intelligent management and tiering of the flow of data to the cloud that grants customers greater control over the archival of massive datasets and positions them to effectively take advantage of the public cloud as an extension of their on-premise infrastructures for backup , storage and data protection use cases. Meanwhile, Quantum’s Q-Cloud Protect for AWS enables customers to replicate data to the AWS cloud for disaster recovery purposes in ways that similarly enhance the ability of customers to leverage the public cloud to tackle the challenge of managing the contemporary proliferation of transactional, operational, financial, strategic and third party data.

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , ,

Q&A With Frederik Pfisterer, COO of Mambu, Cloud-Based Provider of Banking Technologies and Alexander Chagoubatov, Managing Director of Savvyloans.com

Mambu is a cloud-based banking platform that empowers banking organizations to deliver banking services such as deposits and loans to their customers. Cloud Computing Today recently had the privilege of speaking with Frederik Pfisterer, COO of Mambu and an executive from one of Mambu’s customers, SavvyLoans.com, about the efficacy of the Mambu platform. Topics discussed included Mambu’s technology platform, data security, business continuity and Mambu’s customer base.

1) Cloud Computing Today: How would you describe the technology stack and platform underpinning your cloud banking platform?

Frederik Pfisterer (Mambu): Mambu is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud banking platform that was developed in Java Enterprise and runs on any SQL database through the Amazon public cloud. The platform’s simple, agile architecture requires only a web browser or smartphone and Internet connection to deploy a powerful loan provisioning and management solution.

Alexander Chagoubatov (SavvyLoans.com): SavvyLoans.com also uses Java technology stack in addition to other cutting edge frameworks like Spring. Since the Mambu platform is built on the Java stack as well, this makes the communications around and integration of the project very smooth and enables us to get better overall support from the Mambu team.

2) Cloud Computing Today: How does your platform ensure security and confidentiality of customer data?

Frederik Pfisterer (Mambu): As a multitenant SaaS solution, Mambu takes special efforts to ensure complete data security and confidentiality of customer information. Annual penetration tests from different and independent third parties ensure both compliance with industry best practice and due levels of protection from hacking attempts. All data is stored in Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers which have strong physical security and industry standards compliance for data protection.

Alexander Chagoubatov (SavvyLoans.com): At SavvyLoans.com, we store all of our customer information in Mambu, which is PCI compliant. For this, our integration hub is on AWS and to Secure Shell (SSH) into it one needs to have a private key in order to ensure security and confidentiality. As an additional measure, all ports except those needed are blocked from public access.

3) Cloud Computing Today: What mechanisms and processes ensure business continuity of the cloud banking platform in the wake of a technical disruption or natural disaster?

Alexander Chagoubatov (SavvyLoans.com): When it comes to the SavvyLoans.com website, we are on an AWS cloud system with an elastic IP (EIP) address. If we experience trouble in one region, this allows us to clone our virtual machine (VM), remap it to another region and point the EIP address to it. In the disaster scenario, a technical disruption might require switching from AWS and spinning up a new VM with a different provider, but there would be little impact on clients.

Frederik Pfisterer (Mambu): Mambu provides multiple levels of protection from a business continuity perspective. Firstly, technology failure risks are mitigated by redundancy within a datacenter and across multiple datacenters. Secondly, business failure risks can be mitigated by escrow agreements and a regulatory compliant contractual framework.

4) Cloud Computing Today: Describe your customer base, its evolution to date and how you envision it progressing over the next year.

Frederik Pfisterer (Mambu): At Mambu’s genesis, our main focus was on providing cloud banking services to microfinance organizations in order support their operations, but over the years we’ve grown our primary global customer base to include online lenders, SME lenders and banks. We’ve begun doing more work in new areas, including the credit union, crowdfunding and P2P lending in which we’ve had great success, so we’re looking at eventually expanding our portfolio size by doing more business with those types of institutions.

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IBM Launches SoftLayer Datacenter In Tokyo, Japan

IBM recently announced the opening of its first SoftLayer datacenter in Tokyo, Japan. The Tokyo-based SoftLayer datacenter complements existing IBM SoftLayer data centers in the Asia Pacific region that include locations in Singapore, Melbourne and Hong Kong. As such, the Tokyo-based site delivers increased redundancy, improved performance and lower latency for customers in the Asia-Pacific region. IBM’s CEO of SoftLayer, Lance Crosby, remarked on the launch of the SoftLayer datacenter in Tokyo as follows:

Since we established a Singapore cloud data center in September 2011, SoftLayer has seen tremendous growth in the Asia-Pacific market. Our new cloud data center in Tokyo will support this evolving market by offering locally the security, resiliency, and efficiency that customers are demanding around the world.

As noted in a press release, the Tokyo-based datacenter has the capacity to house thousands of physical servers. Meanwhile, IBM’s SoftLayer IaaS platform now boasts more than 1000 customers in Japan featuring an increase in customers by over 600% between Q3 2013 and Q3 2014. IBM’s enhanced presence in the Asia-Pacific region illustrates the growing importance of East Asia and the Pacific Rim to the global market share of IaaS products and services. Microsoft Azure, for example, operates Regions in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore while Amazon Web Services Regions include Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and China. The launch of IBM’s SoftLayer datacenter in Tokyo marks a pivotal moment in SoftLayer’s global expansion as it challenges the dominance of VMware, AWS and Azure in Asia-Pacific-based IaaS services. Moreover, as IBM’s integration of OpenStack with SoftLayer deepens, SoftLayer’s expansion in the Asia-Pacific testifies to the global penetration of commercial, enterprise-grade OpenStack technologies to geographies that include some of the world’s most renowned personal computing, automative and telecommunication companies in the vein of Sony, Samsung, Toyota, Hyundai and NTT Docomo.

Categories: IBM, Miscellaneous

Hampton Creek Raises $90M In Series C Funding For Advanced Analytics-Driven Food Startup

Big data analytics food startup Hampton Creek has raised $90M in Series C funding in a round led by Horizons Ventures and Khosla Ventures with additional participation from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff and other private investors. Hampton Creek uses advanced analytics to identify plants that enable the production of egg-free food products that contain fewer artificial ingredients, taste better and are healthier than their competitors. The funds will be used to advance its research and development efforts and accelerate the distribution of its products in collaboration with other major food vendors. In particular, Hampton Creek intends to use the funding to expand its market presence in Asia by distributing an eggless scrambled egg product that responds to consumer and watchdog concerns about the lack of sanitary conditions in which eggs are harvested in Asia. To date, Hampton Creek’s products include Just Mayo and Just Cookies. The company intends to release Just Pasta and Just Scrambled in 2015. Meanwhile, on Thursday, multi-billion dollar food conglomerate Unilever recently dropped its October lawsuit against Hampton Creek that claimed Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo, eggless mayonnaise product is not mayonnaise because it lacks eggs. In dropping its lawsuit, Unilver backpedaled and praised “Hampton Creek’s commitment to innovation and its inspired corporate purpose,” while noting the sharing of “a vision with Hampton Creek of a more sustainable world.” Hampton Creek has now raised a total of $120M that includes $23M in Series B funding from earlier this year.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Venture Capital | Tags: ,

Huddle Raises $51M In Series D Funding For Its Enterprise-Grade Collaboration Platform

Enterprise collaboration software vendor Huddle today announced the finalization of $51M in Series D funding. The funding will be used to consolidate Huddle’s leadership in the enterprise collaboration space by accelerating its product developing and sales operations in the U.S. and Europe. Today’s funding raise was led by Zouk Capital with additional participation from Hermes GP Environmental Innovation fund and existing investors Matrix Partners, Jafco Ventures, DAG Ventures and Eden Ventures. As a result of the capital raise, Nathan Medlock of Zouk Capital will join Huddle’s board of directors.

Huddle is an enterprise collaboration software vendor that delivers a solution for enterprises marked by functionality that enables enterprises to expeditiously deploy collaboration solutions for internal teams as well as between corporate teams and vendors. The platform features the ability to configure workspaces defined by role-based access privileges, elicit input and approvals from team members, freeze documents at different stages in their evolution and leverage dashboards marked by user-specific reminders, alerts and notifications as illustrated below:

Whereas many collaboration platforms are dominated by cloud-based storage and sharing functionality, Huddle focuses on delivering the collaborative functionality required for teams to productively interact in the service of the completion of deliverables and long-range projects. Team members receive updates on contributions by fellow collaborators in a space that prioritizes tasks and activities. Moreover, Huddle differentiates in the enterprise collaboration space with a secure cloud platform that empowers enterprises to connect corporate and satellite offices, as well as their partner and vendor ecosystem. The company’s success in adding four U.S. federal agencies to its roster of customers in addition to NASA, UK government agencies, the NHS and the Government of Greenland testifies to the platform’s enterprise-grade security, compliance and auditing functionality.

Alastair Mitchell, CEO of Huddle, remarked on the significance of Huddle’s positioning within the larger enterprise collaboration space as follows:

We’ve seen the content collaboration market come of age over the last year, with enterprises and governments now replacing legacy software at scale and embracing this new way of working. There has also been an increasing trend away from simple cloud storage. It has become a low-value commodity and simply replicates the age-old problem of content getting lost and siloed on shared drives with a new one – content now just gets forgotten about in the cloud. Instead, business managers have realized that secure collaboration workspaces that enable teams within and across the firewall to work together on content is where the real value now lies.

Here, Mitchell remarks on the way in which Huddle enriches simple cloud storage with “secure collaboration workspaces” that transform the way in which teams work together. Huddle replaces email collaboration with a suite of functionalities that promises to bring the power of collaboration software to the enterprise. Current customers include Grant Thornton, Baker Tilly International, National Grid, P&G and Driscoll’s and Panasonic Europe. As told to Cloud Computing Today in an interview with Huddle’s CEO, Alastair Mitchell, today’s round of funding provides the fuel to dramatically scale out Huddle’s operations after the company’s impressive traction to date in both the government and private sector. Competitors such as Box, Dropbox, Teambox and Amazon Zocalo stand to take note of the capital raise as Huddle continues to expand its traction amongst enterprise and government customers in the U.S. and Europe.

Categories: Miscellaneous

Avi Networks Emerges From Stealth With Cloud Application Delivery Platform And $33M In Funding

Avi Networks today emerged from stealth to announce the general availability of its Cloud Application Delivery Platform. The Avi Networks Cloud Application Delivery Platform leverages a disruptive technology branded the Hyperscale Distributed Resources Architecture (HYDRA) that attempts to bring the application delivery and load balancing technologies enjoyed by internet giants such as Facebook and Google to the modern enterprise. HYDRA takes advantage of software defined networking marked by a separation of the control plane and the data plane in conjunction with distributed microservices that apply a multitude of services such as load balancing and SSL termination to incoming network traffic in parallel. HYDRA also features built-in analytics that give customers real-time visibility into resource consumption specific to applications and swathes of network traffic. The Avi Networks HYDRA-powered Cloud Application Delivery platform empowers enterprises to optimize load balancing and application delivery within private cloud deployments in addition to hybrid cloud infrastructures that additionally take advantage of the services of a public cloud environment to complement an on-premise infrastructure.

Founded by former Cisco executives, Avi Networks has raised a total of $33 million in funding from Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Menlo Ventures. In addition to delivering revolutionary load balancing and application delivery technology to the enterprise, the Cloud Application Delivery Platform promises to assist cloud service providers achieve the performance benefits and economies of scale enjoyed by platforms such as Google’s Andromeda platform and Facebook’s Autoscale system. Expect more details about the Cloud Application Delivery Platform to emerge in subsequent months but for now, the application delivery and load balancing space features a new incumbent focused on improving end-user experiences given the proliferation of cloud-based applications that impose new demands on application-delivery infrastructures. Umesh Mahajan, Founder and CEO of Avi Networks, elaborated on the significance of the company’s value proposition by noting that, “In today’s mobile cloud era, the traditional appliance-centric, monolithic application delivery approach doesn’t work anymore,” and as such, the company conceived and operationalized a disruptive application-delivery and load balancing framework that competes with the likes of F5 and Citrix.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Venture Capital | Tags: ,

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