Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blueprint: An Out-of-This-World Shift in Data Storage

by Scott Sobhani, CEO and co-founder, Cloud Constellation’s SpaceBelt

In light of ongoing, massive data breaches across all sectors and the consequent responsibility laid at executives’ and board members’ feet, the safe storing and transporting of sensitive data has become a critical priority. Cloud storage is a relatively new option, and both businesses and government entities have been flocking to it. Synergy Research Group reports that the worldwide cloud computing market grew 28 percent to $110B in revenues in 2015. In a similar vein, Technology Business Research projects that global public cloud revenue will increase from $80B in 2015 to $167B in 2020.

By taking part in the Cloud, organizations are using shared hosting facilities, which carries with it the risk of exposing critical data to surreptitious elements – not to mention the challenges associated with jurisdictional hazards. Organizations of all sizes are subject to leaky Internet and leased lines. As the world shifts away from legacy systems to more agile software solutions, it is becoming clear that the time is now for a paradigm shift in how to store, access and archive sensitive data.

The Need for a New Storage Model

Enterprises and government agencies need a better way to securely store and transport their sensitive data. What if there was a way to bypass the Internet and leased lines entirely to mitigate exposure and secure sensitive data from hijacking, theft and espionage, while reducing costs both from an infrastructure and risk perspective?

Though it may sound like science fiction to some, such an option is possible, and it’s become necessary for two main reasons:

  • Threatening Clouds – Cloud environments currently run on hybrid public and private networks using IT controls that are not protective enough to stay ahead of real-time cyber security threats. Enterprise data is maliciously targeted, searchable or stolen. Sensitive data can be subjected to government agency monitoring and exposed to acts of industrial espionage through unauthorized access to enterprise computers, passwords and cloud storage on public and private networks.
  • Questions of Jurisdiction – Due to government regulations, critical information could be restricted or exposed, especially when it has regularly been replicated or backed up to an undesirable jurisdiction at a cloud service provider’s data center. Diplomatic privacy rules are under review by governments intent on restricting cross-jurisdictional access and transfer of the personal and corporate data belonging to their citizens. This has created the requirement for enterprises to operate separate data centers in each jurisdiction – financially prohibitive for many medium-sized enterprises.

Storage Among the Stars

What government and private organizations need is an independent cloud infrastructure platform, entirely isolating and protecting sensitive data from the outside world. A neutral, space-based cloud storage network could provide this. Enterprise data can be stored and distributed to a private data vault designed to enable secure cloud storage networking without any exposure to the Internet and/or leased lines. Resistant to natural disasters and force majeure events, its architecture would provide a truly revolutionary way of reliably and redundantly storing data, liberating organizations from risk of cyberattack, hijacking, theft, espionage, sabotage and jurisdictional exposures.

A storage solution of this type might at first seem prohibitively expensive, but costs would run the same or less to build, operate and maintain as terrestrial networks. Further, it would serve as a key market differentiator for cloud service providers who are looking for solutions that provide physical protection of their customers’ critical information. This is because such a system would need to include its own telecom backbone infrastructure to be entirely secure.  While this is extremely expensive to accomplish on the ground, it need not be the case if properly architected as a space-based storage platform.

Sooner than many might think, governments and enterprises will begin to use satellites for the centralized storage and distribution of sensitive or classified material, the storage and protection of video and audio feeds from authorized personnel in remote locations, or the distribution of video and audio gathered by drones.

Escaping Earth’s Orbit

Cyber criminals don’t seem to be slowing their assault on the network, which means data breaches of Earth-based storage solutions will continue. Organizations need to think outside the Cloud in order to keep their critical data secure, both while being stored and in transit. The technology exists today to make satellite storage a reality, and for those who are working hard to stay ahead of malicious actors, it can’t arrive soon enough.

About the author

Scott Sobhani, CEO and cofounder of Cloud Constellation Corporation and the SpaceBelt Information Ultra-Highway, is an experienced telecom executive with over 25 years in executive management positions, most recent as VP for business development and commercial affairs at International Telecom Advisory Group (ITAG). Previous positions include CEO of TalkBox, VP & GM at Lockheed Martin, and VP, GM & senior economist at Hughes Electronics Corporation.

Mr. Sobhani was responsible for closing over $2.3 billion in competitive new business orders for satellite spacecraft systems, mobile network equipment and rocket launch vehicles. He co-authored “Sky Cloud Autonomous Electronic Data Storage and Information Delivery Network System”, “Space-Based Electronic Data Storage and Network System” and “Intermediary Satellite Network for Cross-Strapping and Local Network Decongestion” (each of which are patent pending). He has an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.


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Microsoft Azure to Offer GE Industrial Internet Capabilities

GE and Microsoft announced a partnership that will make GE’s Predix platform for the Industrial Internet available on the Microsoft Azure cloud. The agreement, which marks the first step in a broad strategic collaboration between the two companies, will allow customers to capture intelligence from their industrial assets and take advantage of Microsoft’s enterprise cloud applications.

Specifically, the Azure cloud will provide Predix customers with scalable infrastructure, data sovereignty, hybrid capabilities, and advanced developer and data services. In addition, GE and Microsoft plan to integrate Predix with Azure IoT Suite and Cortana Intelligence Suite along with Microsoft business applications, such as Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power BI, in order to connect industrial data with business processes and analytics.

“Connecting industrial machines to the internet through the cloud is a huge step toward simplifying business processes and reimagining how work gets done,” said Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE. “GE is helping its customers extract value from the vast quantities of data coming out of those machines and is building an ecosystem of industry-leading partners like Microsoft that will allow the Industrial Internet to thrive on a global scale.”

http://www.microsoft.com
http://www.ge.com

GE to enter Cloud Services Market with Predix Cloud

GE announced plans to enter the cloud services market with its Predix Cloud -- a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) designed specifically for industrial data and analytics.

GE said it is developing Predix Cloud to capture and analyze the unique volume, velocity and variety of machine data within a highly secure, industrial-strength cloud environment. Machine data is expected drive the next phase of growth for the Industrial Internet and enable developers to rapidly create, deploy and manage applications and services for industry.

“Cloud computing has enabled incredible innovation across the consumer world. With Predix Cloud, GE is providing a new level of service and results across the industrial world,” said Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE. “A more digital hospital means better, faster healthcare. A more digital manufacturing plant means more products are made faster. A more digital oil company means better asset management and more productivity at every well. We look forward to partnering with our customers to develop customized solutions that will help transform their business.”

Predix Cloud will leverage GE’s deep domain expertise in information technology (IT) and its operational technology (OT).  GE businesses will begin migrating their software and analytics to the Predix Cloud in Q4 2015, and the service will be commercially available to customers and other industrial businesses for managing data and applications on Predix Cloud in 2016.

https://www.gesoftware.com/predix

China's Huaxintong Semi Licenses ARMv8-A for Servers

ARM has licensed its ARM v8-A architecture to Huaxintong Semiconductor Technology to accelerate advanced server chipset technologies in the rapidly expanding Chinese server market.

ARM said this multiyear license will enable Chinese companies to deliver ARM-based server technologies in their home market, enabling large scale deployment of the most efficient server solutions available.

Huaxintong Semiconductor Technology is a joint venture between China’s Guizhou province and a subsidiary of Qualcomm. The venture is registered in Guizhou province, which is already home to a data center cluster of more than 2.5 million servers for companies including China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicorn.

“China is facing a mountain of data flowing through its data centers and finding solutions that are cost effective and efficient is a key priority,” said Pete Hutton, executive vice president and president of products groups, ARM. “Huaxintong Semiconductor Technology is creating a blueprint for new server systems and engaging with them is opening up exciting new opportunities for ARM-based servers. This is a chance to reinvent the economics and performance of hyperscale data centers and enables China to architect its own server chips based on ARM technologies for its domestic market and for the rest of the world.”

http://www.arm.com


Mirantis Revs OpenStack 9.0

Mirantis announced its next major release.

Mirantis OpenStack 9.0, which is based on the Mitaka Openstack release, includes enhancements to Fuel, the OpenStack management software project, aimed simplifying the task of operating private OpenStack clouds. Cloud operators can use Fuel to scale the cloud up or down, selectively make changes to their configuration, and deploy new functionality to an existing cloud, such as Murano, a self-service application orchestration and catalog. Additionally, operators of large-scale infrastructure can now export Fuel configuration values into 3rd party configuration management tools.

“The improvements in Mirantis OpenStack 9.0 are based on real-world production deployments of Mirantis OpenStack, including our collaborations with AT&T and Volkswagen,” said Boris Renski, co-founder and CMO of Mirantis. “The improvements we made - largely in the area of post-deployment operations - integrate Mirantis’ services expertise into the software so that we can deliver better business outcomes. Mirantis OpenStack 9.0 will be a valuable asset to Mirantis as we help customers build and operate private clouds.”

The new release also brings enhancements to make it easier to run high performance workloads in OpenStack. Improvements to network function virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) performance include features such as SROIV, DPDK, NUMA CPU pinning, and huge pages.

http://www.mirantis.com

CyrusOne Builds Data Center Capacity Fast

CyrusOne announced the commissioning of a significant amount of power and a new data hall at its San Antonio II data center. The company added 9 megawatts of critical power in conjunction with the newly finished data hall. The San Antonio II data center is expected to encompass up to 372,000 square feet upon second-phase completion.

“The cloud market is experiencing a whirlwind of growth and demand, testing even the most agile cloud service providers and enterprises to meet highly aggressive time-to-market requirements,” said Gary Wojtaszek, president and CEO, CyrusOne. “To support these cloud and high-growth enterprise companies, CyrusOne has been relentless in setting record delivery times that enable customers to go hyperscale at hyperspeed to meet their business needs.”

Cyrus also noted the recent completion with its second data center building in Sterling, Va. The 232,000-square-foot Sterling II data center facility added 159,000 colocation square feet and 30 megawatts of critical power to the company’s Northern Virginia data center campus.

http://www.cyrusone.com

Equinix Plans Huge, New Data Center in Amsterdam

Equinix unveiled plans to build a new International Business Exchange™ (IBX) in Amsterdam at its existing campus at the Amsterdam Science Park.

Equinix said it will invest $113 million, in the first phase of development for the new data center, called AM4, will support growing demand for Platform Equinix™ in Amsterdam, one of the most network-dense locations globally. which will house 1,555 cabinets. On completion of the four expansion phases the facility will represent a total investment of $189 million and provide 4,200 cabinets on eight floors of data center space with a total usable floor area of more than 124,000 square feet (11,500 square meters). The building and first phase is expected to be completed and operational by Q2 2017.

Equinix also announced that it is now offering direct connectivity to AWS in Amsterdam.

http://www.equinix.com

Intel Appoints Dr. Tsu-Jae King Liu to Board

Intel announced the appointment of Dr. Tsu-Jae King Liu to its board of directors.

Liu, 53, holds a distinguished professorship endowed by TSMC in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS), in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley where she also serves as associate dean for Academic Planning and Development. Liu’s previous administrative positions within the College of Engineering include associate dean for research and EECS department chair. She has also held research and engineering positions at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and Synopsys Inc.

Liu holds over 90 patents and has received numerous awards for her research, including the Intel Outstanding Researcher in Nanotechnology Award (2012) and the SIA University Researcher Award (2014). Currently, her research is focused on nanometer-scale logic and memory devices, and advanced materials, process technology and devices for energy-efficient electronics. She received B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1984, 1986 and 1994, respectively.

http://www.intel.com

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