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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

Biggest Threat to Cloud Computing!

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The biggest threat to Cloud Computing is not security concerns, theft or privacy!

It is simply that no company in the world can guarantee availability!

The news story Google users hit by mail blackout ought to instill fear into anyone contemplating Cloud Computing for enterprise purposes!

The scary thing is that Google had this outage for hours and they have the brightest folks on earth. If anybody can design a system impervious to such denial of service attacks I would have guessed it would have been Google!

Denial of service attacks are pernicious and debilitating. I have experienced them when we placed a less secure OS (won't name the name!) than Linux for just half hour on our network exposed to the public internet.

It did not take 30 minutes for denial of service attacks bots to discover our system and start multiple attacks. That I can understand!

But Linux/GoogleCustomizedUnix servers were supposed to have better security or am I missing something?

Malicious hackers are looking for the most conspicuos and high profile installations ao that they can have the thrill of seeing their creations bring down the best of the best on the net!

Cloud computing as in Gmail for personal use or YouTube for watching teens with straws up their nostrils having fun singing or dancing may not have huge impacts. But will Cloud Computing scale up to serious use when it comes to mission critical applications of enterprises?

Seems like we may have some way to go before we talk about serious use of Cloud Computing in the Enterprise!

Once we get past this pesky problem of outages due to attacks.

You may stop me, but you can't stop us all. - Agent Bob in the Movie Hackers

1 Comment

I am sorry, but I need to disagree on this point.
Yes, you are correct that an outage of hours on the Google Email is a problem (I use gmail for personal use only).
Although annoying I guarantee that the uptime for google services is significantly greater than most companies worldwide. I work for a company with ~300 employees here in the USA and in 6 other countries around the world. And with our interal servers and IT team we still have outages (be it email, VPN or webservers).

At least with google, as you so rightly put it, I know that when gmail goes down "some of the brightest folks on earth" are working on solving my problem.

Maybe long term the solution is the same as with power. Most people accept the odd time without electricity, and those who need power at all times (like Hospitals) have automatic generators to kick in whenever there is a problem.
Like with Email, if your company can survive the odd outage (and it will be less that if you do it internally) then go with the cloud.
If you have to have higher availability, then the email needs to be a on backup server in your control as well.
Technically, maybe difficult today but if we get to the point were some businesses need email and the consequences of not having it are big enough then someone will solve it.

As for the point of hackers chasing the big targets, you are correct - google is a target, but then again so is Windows (which a lot of companies use) - so you are vulnerable either way.

Nari Kannan's blog explores how new approaches to business intelligence can help organizations improve the performance of business processes--whether these processes are creative or operational, internally-focused or customer-facing, intra-departmental or across functions.

Nari Kannan

Nari Kannan started and serves as the CEO of appsparq, a Mobile Applications development company based in Louisville, KY with offices in Singapore and India. Nari has over two decades of experience in computer systems development, translating product and service strategy into meaningful technology solutions, and both people and product development. Prior to this, he has served as both Chief Technology Officer and Vice President- Engineering in six successful startups, two of which he co-founded. He has proven experience in building companies, engineering teams, and software solutions from scratch in the United States and India. Prior to this, Nari started Ajira Technologies, Inc., in Pleasanton, CA, where he served as Chief Executive Officer for more than six years. While at Ajira, Nari was instrumental in developing service process management solutions that modeled, monitored, and analyzed business processes, initially targeting the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Telecom, and Banking verticals in India, and Finance, Insurance, and Healthcare verticals in the United States. Prior to this, he served as VP-Engineering at Ensenda, an ASP for local delivery services. He also served variously as Chief Technology Officer or VP-Engineering at other Bay-Area venture funded startups such as Kadiri and Ensera. He began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Software Engineer. Nari has a long involvement with Customer Support and other customer facing processes. At Digital Equipment Corporation he was involved with their 1800 person customer support center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was tasked with coming up with innovative tools to help customer support people do their jobs better. He holds a U.S patent for a software invention that automatically redirected email requests for customer support to the right group by digesting the contents of the request and guessing at which software or hardware support group is best equipped to handle it. At Ensera, he led a 45 person team in developing an internet based ASP service for handling auto insurance claims, coordinating information flow between end-customers, Insurance companies, Repair shops and Parts suppliers. Ensera was acquired by Mitchell Corporation in San Diego. Nari holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola College, and an M.B.A degree from the University of Madras in Madras, India. He graduated with a M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. Contact Information: Nari Kannan. Email: nari@appsparq.com Mobile: 925 353 0197. Website: www.appsparq.com View more .


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