News briefs: IBM patent for BYOD security, AWS' Chinese data center

This week, IBM patents a method for securing cloud-based mobile apps, while AWS announced its plan to open a Chinese data center.

IBM patent details method for protecting mobile cloud apps

IBM was awarded a patent for a method of launching virtual machine (VM) instances that IBM said will make cloud-based mobile applications more secure. The technology will mitigate some of the security vulnerabilities that bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives have exposed enterprises to -- namely the consequences of employees downloading and running sabotaged cloud applications on mobile devices that have access to corporate networks.

The method includes launching a secure VM within the mobile device that verifies the integrity of an application's software code in a contained environment before permitting the device to launch it, according to the patent. If the virtual machine detects an application has been modified, it denies access to it. The patent covers security controls that restrict and prevent access to apps unless their original, previously encrypted code remains unchanged and uncompromised.

"Our technique helps businesses prevent altered apps from running and unleashing their wrath on businesses, their networks and their customers," stated Andrew Cornwall, inventor and mobile software developer at IBM, in a press release.

Amazon Web Services to open Chinese data center

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced its intent to open a data center in Beijing in early 2014.

Amazon is partnering with local telecom companies, including ChinaNetCenter and Beijing Sinnet Technology Co., to comply with China's laws and regulatory requirements. The companies will provide infrastructure and bandwidth for Amazon, according to PCWorld.

"China represents an important long-term market segment," said Andy Jassy, AWS senior vice president, in a statement.

A select group of China-based companies and companies with Chinese customers will be invited to use the data center early next year. Chinese AWS customers currently use infrastructure based overseas. The Beijing-based data center will allow customers to use Chinese infrastructure and store their data in China, according to International Business Times.

Services in the Chinese data center will include Elastic Compute Cloud, storage, database and messaging services. The portfolio includes Amazon's Hadoop-based Elastic MapReduce platform and CloudFormation, PCWorld reported.

CenturyLink partners with Dell to expand cloud offerings

CenturyLink Inc. has joined Dell's Cloud Partner Program to sell its Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to Dell customers, both companies announced this week.

Dell Inc. said the new partnership will offer its customers choice and flexibility in their cloud computing pursuits, as well as having a centralized source of integration, control and support. Dell has struggled to maintain its footing in the cloud services market, launching a series of public cloud services in 2011 and 2012, only to shutter them all in earlier this year, noted SearchCloudComputing.

"CenturyLink's best-in-class public cloud offerings, combined with Dell's leading end-to-end, scalable solutions and services enable customers to build, control and use cloud-based solutions to drive a competitive business advantage," said Jeremy Ford, executive director and general manager of Dell Cloud Services.

CenturyLink's services are currently available now to Dell customers, who will have access to CenturyLink Cloud's compute, storage and networking services. A PaaS offering based on Cloud Foundry and Iron Foundry is also available.

Rackspace chair says Salesforce.com will adopt OpenStack

Rackspace Inc. chairman and co-founder Graham Weston said Salesforce.com Inc. will make its Software as a Service platform available on OpenStack, according to a Wall Street Journal blog.

However, Salesforce has not confirmed or denied Weston's announcement, telling The Wall Street Journal that the company does not comment on rumors.

If the rumors are true, the move to OpenStack could be good for Salesforce. The company has been expanding its offerings beyond contact management to include other business functions such as marketing and human resources. Adopting OpenStack would allow Salesforce's services to be delivered by many different service providers, according to Forbes.

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