Cloud Computing and Governance

Week 1 Blog Entry

BSIT 400

I am Jeff Fackler.  I have been in the Air Force for 19 years now.  I have only dealt with cloud computing in my past BSIT 375 class.  I am a Cyber Systems Operator in the AF, and love my job.  For my first blog entry I would like to point out that you can become certified through CompTIA in Cloud Computing Essentials.  To do this you can take their exam.  What that entails is a 50 question test that is multiple choice.  You have 60 Minutes to take the test and you must score above a 720 on the exam in order to pass.   It cost $119 to take.  The exam covers clouds services from a company perspective.  The test validates if you know the business value of cloud computing, cloud types, steps to a successful adoption of the cloud, the impact and changes on IT services management, as well as risks and consequences of cloud computing.  If you are interested and would like to look into this certification further, please follow the link below for more information.

https://certification.comptia.org/certifications/cloud-essentials

 

Week 2 Blog Entry

As I am more familiar with Network Area Storage, I decided that I would look up some info regarding it and cloud computing.  I did a little bit of research on the differences and some comparisons of a NAS and Cloud Computing.  Below is the information that I came across that I would like to share.  There are some features that are kind of must haves in regards to building NAS as your type of storage for your company.

  1. Security – Your NAS will be storing confidential company data, consider the use of SSL to protect the Web management interface a bare minimum.  Cloud Computing Services have security as a main priority with every service that I have researched.
  2. Power Consumption – Because your NAS is likely to be switched on 24/7, energy starts becoming more important in the way of environmental impact and your electricity bill.  The cloud alleviates this issue, but is normally factored into the cost.
  3. iSCSI Support – An increasing number of NAS come with iSCSI support, making this a de facto feature.  In cloud computing this is not a factor as you will be connecting to all of your storage remotely, which keeps you from having to purchase a certain type of storage.
  4. Ability to sync/backup to another NAS – Storing a copy of the data with another NAS at another physical location is invaluable in ensuring data survivability.  Cloud Computing Services offer assured recovery in the event of a disaster.
  5. Multi-functional Capabilities – Extra features built into a NAS can be very useful.  The availability of FTP services can be used for staging and transferring large files across the Internet – with the right firewall configuration. The ability to host Web files can be used to host internal websites or intranet portals.  Cloud Services offer many different capabilities, to include scaleability on the fly which is one of their best features.
  6. Deduplication – Depending on the compression ratio gained and preferred backup regime, this might be invaluable to some Small/Medium Business.
  7. On-board, hardware-accelerated encryption –  If possible, opt for NAS with on-board encryption support that can perform encryption at much faster speeds. Encryption is the best defense against vendors or business partners simply walking away with one of the companies hard drives.  Although not necessarily defined as a feature of Cloud Computing, they do offer Cloud Bursting which replicated the hardware acceleration, as they open up the private cloud to join in the public cloud for processing calculations for the time that “acceleration” is needed.
  8. Support for syncing with cloud storage – This allows your business to do without configuring a firewall or VPN that is required for NAS-to-NAS backups. With that some cloud-based services have high levels of redundancy, which can reinforce data survivability a second layer of backup for data.

All of these are items to look into if your company is going to be using a NAS or going to a Cloud Service platform.  Do you feel like there were any items that I missed?  Please feel free to let me know on the discussion board.  Thank you.

 

Week 3 Blog Entry

In doing research for this weeks paper I found that their are many companies that help a company bridge the gap between having a lengthy contract and providing needed cloud services to a company wanting to grow.  I find it interesting that even with cloud service companies that you would have to sign an over 1 year contract.  As the scale-ability with them is almost instantaneous.  This allows a company to, on short notice, increase the amount of storage space, computing power, or hardware acceleration that they would need during peak times.  I did not find where they would be locked-in to that contract for an extended period of time, but then I do not think that the regular internet user is going to be pr ivied to the view of actual contracts.  I would think that it might be similar to our cell-phone contracts where if during the year you want to add more bandwidth, or more data, then you might be locked-in to another year on that contract.  I have had this happen to me before.  Those are just my thoughts on this issue.  I wish I had more information.

 

Week 4 Blog Entry

In my research into our group project I found that there are 3 big companies that are offering cloud services that are names most people should be familiar with.  Those companies are Apples ICloud, Amazon Web Service, and Microsoft OneDrive.  All of these companies offer storage to its users on a fairly inexpensive pricing scheme.  For the average user just wanting to store pictures and videos as most of us do, you can get up to 5GB of free storage without signing a contract.  But for families and small businesses that need more storage they will need to look at the pricing available from each of the vendors.

ICloud offers 50GB – $.99 up to 2TB – $9.99

Amazon Web Services offers many different plans from 50TB to 500+TB of storage at $0.021 GB/month.

Microsoft OneDrive offers 50 GB for $1.99/month up to 5TB at $9.99/month

I found it very interesting to see that cloud storage was not that expensive on a personal basis.  I could see myself utilizing cloud storage in the future.  I have had to deal with my fair share of dead hd’s and trying to recover data from those drive taking me days to do so.  This would ensure that my files would be available to me whenever I had an internet connection and keep it from loss during a disaster.

 

Week 5 Blog Entry

In doing some research on cloud storage in relation to email, I was reminded that the DoD had moved their email services to the cloud a few years ago.  This move was called the DoD Enterprise Email of DEE as it is known.  When I first joined the Air Force, we had an Exchange server at each base.  It was locally managed by the communications squadron that was based there.  Anytime that the Exchange server had an issue it would take down email for the entire base.  One of us server admins would get called in to fix it immediately.  Then about 10 years ago we moved all the Exchange servers to each of the INOSC (Integrated Network Operations and Security Center) locations.  There they had a team of folks that were there 24/7 so that if there was an issue it could be troubleshot and fixed in a more timely fashion.  Now we have the DEE, which has freed up our communications subject matter experts work on issues dealing more in tune to war fighting.  This also reduced the cost of operations and maintenance.  It is also secure to military and civilian standards.  This is just one of the ways the military has worked to save money and also changed the way they do business in one aspect that allows others to adapt and change for the better as well.

Reference:

https://www.disa.mil/Enterprise-Services/Applications/DoD-Enterprise-Email

 

Week 6 Blog Entry

In my research this week I came across many Cloud Company security breaches.  I found these very interesting.  It seems that we trust these companies with vital data, that when not protected can cause tremendous damage to a company or to individuals.  I would like to name a few of those breaches just so that you can see some of the ramifications of not having proper security to protect you data while it is in the cloud.

In 2013 Target has a massive data breach that saw some 41 million customers information being downloaded by hackers.  Due to this data breach, the brick and mortar stores saw a huge loss in revenue due to being linked to the store that had such a massive break in security.  It is estimated that the 2015 holiday season saw Target sales drop 46% which they calculated to be at a cost of $148 Million.

In 2012 hackers stole 68 million user account information from Dropbox.  These accounts were sold on the darkweb market place and helped to rise the price of bitcoins.  After the hack was discovered Dropbox saw that some companies lost faith in them and moved onto services such as Bitcasa and YouSendIt.

“The web titans of today are using cloud infrastructures almost exclusively. That includes internet pioneer Yahoo, who found itself on the wrong side of the history books. For whatever reason, it took the better part of three years to tally all the damage, but Yahoo finally disclosed the final numbers on the breach that occurred in 2013. Apparently more than one billion user accounts were compromised in the attack. This includes first and last names, email addresses, dates of birth, and questions and answers to security questions. This incident is on record as the largest data breach in history and unrelated to a separate incident that exposed 500 million accounts months prior. (StorageCraft, 2018)”

7 Most Infamous Cloud Security Breaches – StorageCraft. (2018, March 19). Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://blog.storagecraft.com/7-infamous-cloud-security-breaches/

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