News briefs: CSA to create cloud security controls for BYOD

This week, the Cloud Security Alliance works on a framework of cloud security controls to protect BYOD users, while Rackspace Q3 profits fall short.

CSA to develop cloud security controls to tackle BYOD

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) announced Wednesday the launch of its Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) initiative -- a project tasked with designing a better way to secure personal devices on corporate networks, a trend known as bring your own device (BYOD).

The goal of the SDP initiative is to produce a framework of cloud security controls that "mitigates network-based attacks on Internet-accessible applications by eliminating connectivity to them until devices and users are authenticated and authorized," according to a CSA press release. The SDP working group is led by Bob Flores, former chief technology officer (CTO) of the Central Intelligence Agency and current CEO of Applicology Incorporated, an IT consulting firm based in Vienna, Va., along with Junaid Islam, CTO of Campbell, Calif.-based cloud security vendor Vidder.

Islam told Business Cloud News the goal of the initiative is to use the cloud -- as opposed to conventional network perimeters -- as the first line of defense against hackers. However, the initiative will not create new security protocols, according to SearchCloudSecurity. The working group will publish a framework that shows cloud providers and enterprises how to use existing standards within the cloud, Islam said. More details about the SDP Initiative, including a one-year roadmap, will be available at the CSA Congress in Orlando, Fla. next month.

Rackspace's third quarter a mixed bag

While revenues were up for Rackspace, profits were down as the company fell short of expectations for the third quarter. Rackspace reported revenue of $389 million, exceeding investors' expectations of $387.5 million. But the company's profit margin was 4.2%, dropping from 6% in the second quarter and down from 8.1% year-over-year, according to ZDNet.

In an earnings call on Monday, CEO Lanham Napier said Rackspace is in an investment period as it transitions from a dedicated hosting company to a public cloud provider. Rackspace has invested $117.5 million on new property and equipment, including data centers and office spaces, according to Business Cloud News. The mixed results of Rackspace's third quarter show the difficulty in breaking into a market dominated by Amazon Web Services. However, Rackspace predicted continued growth for the fourth quarter, with projected revenue between $400 and $408 million.

OnApp simplifies cloud management with unified interface

OnApp, a London-based cloud management vendor, released this week the 3.1 version of its software, which now allows users of its cloud-building platform to control cloud infrastructure, servers, networks and more through a single, drag-and-drop interface.

OnApp sells its software to hosting providers, telcos and managed service providers in the Infrastructure as a Service business. It also offers automation for bare-metal servers and what OnApp refers to as "Smart Servers," which combine the automation of cloud with the high performance of dedicated hardware, according to the company. OnApp CEO Ditlev Bredahl told GigaOM the software creates an abstraction layer between infrastructure and workloads that allows for on-demand access to everything in a user's data center. The platform also comes with what OnApp calls "recipes," which are a new way to automate and manage workflows for servers and apps. It also includes "blueprints" for VMware virtual server management. Bredahl told GigaOM that OnApp is extending its business model from being all about cloud to enabling on-demand infrastructure.

IBM awarded patent for green cloud computing

IBM announced last Friday that it was awarded a patent that allows cloud providers that are operating their own data centers to dynamically re-allocate compute and networking resources to lower-powered systems, according to Business Cloud News. This method reduces energy consumption in data centers, saving cloud service providers money while also promoting environmental sustainability.

Keith Walker, IBM master inventor and co-inventor of the patent, said in a press release that cloud providers will be able to more efficiently manage their data centers, in addition to reducing their environmental impact. IBM said the patent, submitted in September 2011, is modeled after the way energy utilities offer consumers ways to access and pay for alternative energy sources to reduce their environmental impact.

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