Hosters link hands for vCloud kumbaya Staff

VMware makes new cloud friends
A throng of shiny new VMware cloud providers touted the possibilities of vCloud Director today at VMworld. NTT America announced its

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cloud and virtualization services are vCloud-powered, and telecom giant Verizon debuted a new category of VMware service provider called Data Center Services. The pitch is that VMware hosting providers can get up to speed ahead of what their customers want by deploying vClouds in their operations.

Managed hosting provider and VMware partner Virtacore, one of those old-meets-new cloud providers, is also offering vCloud Express. CEO Thomas Kiblin said his customers were champing at the bit for cloud -- elastic, self-service, pay-as-you-go -- and they wanted the kid gloves, highly managed treatment, not the do-it-yourself cloud infrastructure from Amazon. He said AWS looked a lot like regular old IT to them.

"Our customers are typically large; they want out of IT, out of management," he said. Virtacore's vCE deployment is all new, too; new racks of servers, new availability zones, and existing VMware users at Virtacore can plug right into it, he said. So far, vCloud is looking like a success for the service providers; what about the enterprise?

An Amazon security first: FISMA for Appian
Business process management (BPM) firm Appian has hit an important milestone; its Appian Anywhere SaaS product has been granted approval for use by the federal government and been certified safe under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the 2002 data privacy regulation that many consider a good place to start for quantifiable security goals.

That's not exactly news; lots of software has earned FISMA certifications, which come in low, moderate and "we could tell you but we'd have to kill you" levels. Appian Anywhere, however, runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has been questioned over and over again on security matters. This is sure to be a talking point for AWS for some time to come, but before anyone gets too excited and declares Amazon's cloud security bona fide, it must be noted that Appian's score is "low." This means it met only the minimum bar for acceptance.

This can be done, for a software service , by demonstrating that your application properly applies end-to-end encryption when transmitting data; a feat of engineering that won't turn many heads these days.

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