Rackspace launches Visual Studio plug-in
Rackspace has taken a stab at the Windows developer crowd with a new add-on for the popular Visual Studio (VS) development platform. The Rackspace Plug-In for Visual Studio 2010 links user sessions with an existing Rackspace Cloud account, so Windows servers can be spun up, down and configured right from the console.
The plug-in supports the full Rackspace application programming interface (API), and the company says the aim is to give developers more choice as to where they put their testing environments.
Microsoft shop Neudesic built the plug-in with Rackspace, and while it hasn't seen much use yet, Rackspace expects it to be a hit with VS 2010 users. VS 2010 also supports Windows Azure in the same way, but while Azure offers a handful of select preconfigured computing services, Rackspace gives users full-blown servers they can do anything they want with.
No more hardware firewalls for cloud
Software firm art of defence is touting its scalable, distributed hyperguard software firewall as the proper solution for cloud-based server setups. It points to the recent Cloud Security Alliance security white paper as an endorsement of the distributed Web Appliance Firewall (dWAF).
While many will applaud the common-sense notion that software protections are valuable when using virtualized servers far away from you, others may point out that you'd better hope the firewalls your cloud provider is using are etched in stone. dWAF won't help much if an attacker decides to collocate with your virtual machines and attempt side-channel attacks.
TrackVia launches cloud database for boneheads
Startup TrackVia has announced the general availability of its database Platform as a Service, aimed at non-technical users who have "outgrown Excel." The theory seems to be that if you have a pile of records, you should upload them to TrackVia and use the service's graphical tools and data analytics capabilities to play with them.
TrackVia is about five years old and venture backed; the company says it's in charge of a billion records and has a broad customer base.