Home > Cloud Computing, Virtualization > Will You All Please Shut-Up About Securing THE Cloud…NO SUCH THING…

Will You All Please Shut-Up About Securing THE Cloud…NO SUCH THING…

How’d ya like this picture of “THE Cloud…”

This love affair with abusing the amorphous thing called “THE Cloud” is rapidly  approaching meteoric levels of asininity.  In an absolute fit of angst I make the following comments:

  1. There is no singularity that can be described as “THE Cloud.” There are many clouds, they’re not federated, they don’t natively interoperate at the application layer and they’re all mostly proprietary in their platform and operation.  They’re also not all “public” and most don’t exchange data in any form. The notion that we’re all running out to put ALL our content and apps in some common repository on someone else’s infrastructure (or will) is bullshit.  Can we stop selling this lemon already? There will be lots of Clouds that we’ll spread much of our information and applications onto — some internal, some external, some public, some private….

    Yay!  More people have realized that outsourcing operations and reducing both OpEx and CapEx by using shared infrastructure makes sense.  They also seem to have just discovered it has some real thorny issues, too.  Welcome to the 90’s. Bully!Just like there are many types of real billowing humid masses (cumulonimbus, fibratus, undulatus, etc.) there are many instantiations of resource-based computing models that float about in use today — mobile.me, SalesForce.com, Clean Pipes from ISP’s, Google/Google Apps, Amazon EC2, WebEx — all “cloud” services.  The only thing they have in common is they speak a dialect called IP…

  2. The current fad of butchering the term “Cloud Computing” to bring sexy back to the *aaS (anything as a service) model is embarrassing. More embarrassing is the fact that I agree with Larry Ellison wherein he stated:

    “The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do. I can’t think of anything that isn’t cloud computing with all of these announcements.
    The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s
    insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?

  3. It ain’t all new, folks. Suggesting that this is a never-before-seen paradigm that we’ve not faced prior and requires entirely thinking as to privacy, trust models, security as a service layer and service levels mocks the fact that the *aaS model is something we’ve been grappling with for years and haven’t answered.  See #2.  I mean really.  I’ve personally been directly involved with cloud-models since the early 90’s.  Besides the fact that it’s become (again) an economically attractive and technologically viable option doesn’t make it new, it makes it convenient and marketable.  That said, we’re going to struggle with the operational and organizational issues and where theory meets practice on the battlefield.
  4. Infrastructure Gorillas are clouding the issue by suggesting thier technology represents THE virtual datacenter OS. Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Cisco.  They all say the same thing using different words.  Each of them claiming ownership as the platform/OS upon which “THE cloud” will operate.  Not one of them have a consistent model of securing their own vDCOS, so don’t start on how we’re going to secure “IT.”(Ed: In fairness just so nobody feels left out, I should also add that the IaaS (Infrastructure as a service)/integrator gorillas such as IBM and HP are also in the mix — each with their own flavor of service differentiation sprinkled on top.)

If you thought virtualization and its attendant buzzwords, issues and spin were egregious, this billowy mass of marketing hysteria is enough to make me…blog 😉

C’mon, people. Don’t give into the generalist hype.  Cloud computing is real.  “THE Cloud?”  Not so much.


(I don’t know what it was about this article that just set this little rant off, but well done Mr. Moyle)

Categories: Cloud Computing, Virtualization Tags:
  1. October 14th, 2008 at 15:35 | #1

    So would this be a good time to mention cloudsecurity.org? 😉 LoL…

  2. October 14th, 2008 at 15:42 | #2

    Hey Craig!
    You're spared because your URL is not THECloudsecurity.org 😉

  3. October 15th, 2008 at 06:42 | #3

    Amen is right.

  4. Shack
    October 15th, 2008 at 07:50 | #4

    Damn, Hoff, this one was actually good for a morning laugh. I just couldn't agree more, the IT industry gets all antsy if we feel we're not "innovating" enough in a particular time frame, and so we start inventing nonsensical shit. And aforementioned nonsensical shit had better damn well sound IMPORTANT.

  5. October 15th, 2008 at 11:05 | #5

    Ah Hoff; gotta jump in on this one, in my standard point/retort format. 🙂
    1) This is an invalid argument. Of course there's not just one "THE" cloud. It's what we refer to as the act of moving a service from your control and data center to another one. It's like saying "I'm going to the airport." Do you care which one? No, just that I'm now leaving my current city for another location. It's a term we use to generically refer to the act, not to singularly call out any one particular remote service. So when someone says "The Cloud" we know what they mean; we have a starting point for a discussion.
    2) Completely agree that the media hype with the term "Cloud Computing" is all puffy smoke and mirrors. It's just like virtualization in 2007: everyone uses it for everything because it sells magazines, gets SEO placement, attracts blog readers, etc. It's overused, and just like we did this year, it's our job to fix that. We're getting there.
    3) I would argue that in its purest form, it is something new. The difference is with integration. 5 years ago I was just using salesforce.com as an external service, basically a web app. Today, I can tie salesforce.com into my internal document management system, or directly into my SAN, making salesforce.com an extension of my internal infrastructure. That's the difference, and that's what new. An excellent example of this is using your own load balancer for application services in Amazon's EC2. That wasn't realistically feasible 5 years ago with traditional hosting providers. Now I can manage the external service myself as part of my infrastructure.
    4) I'll throw you an "amen, brother!" on that one. No one is overusing the Cloud mkt hype more than the platform providers. Interestingly, I see the most benefit from a cloud model in the applications and storage, both parts of the infrastructure that sit "after" the platforms.
    But I do empathize with your frustration and I'm right there with you for calling foul on the mkt. It's all way, way over-hyped. But again, let's have patience; it will come around to our way of thinking. 🙂

  6. October 15th, 2008 at 11:17 | #6

    So what exactly does this mean?

    . . . and Cisco NAC support is extended to cover all NAC versions, protecting the network from infected guest hosts. Beats the heck out of me. It is in the last line of F-Secure's press release about their new

  7. October 16th, 2008 at 08:56 | #7

    F-Secure Launches In-the-Cloud Protection for the Enterprise http://www.darkreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=16

  8. October 16th, 2008 at 10:34 | #8

    Point 2 – Dead on. When I talk about "cloud computing" I may not be talking about the same concepts you attach to the term "cloud computing". It's more difficult to go from discussing infrastructure and design to actually getting things done because nobody is really sure of what anyone else is talking about. I'm getting worked up just thinking about this buzzword bingo.
    Point 3 – I'd like to suggest what we're experiencing is akin to the September that Never Ended. While thinking in "cloud-models" is not new for some of us, it's new enough for most that the people doing it for a while haven't had time to educate the newbies with our limited knowledge. It's new thinking for a lot of people because the barrier to entry is so much lower than it was even a few years ago and "cloud" infrastructure/software is more available to the masses. If I wanted to build a "cloud" infrastructure ten or even three years ago my options were much more limited. I'd probably use Beowulf (if that's what I meant by "cloud") or build my own instance of whatever I meant by "cloud". Now I've got EC2, Google AppEngine, GridGain, GigaSpaces, Object Grid, Coherence and S3 and on and on and on. Using and integrating these readily available services and software is much cheaper than doing it "the old way".

  9. October 16th, 2008 at 13:24 | #9

    So, read these as respectful points of debate…I'm having a hard time reading through some confusing elements of your responses, so bare with me here…
    1) Buahaha. You should run for office! Attempting to dismiss my argument as invalid and then offer an argument of your own is about as reasonable and fair as saying "I don't want to debate the causes, let's just get ta fixin'"
    You betcha! 😉
    3) What you just described is a connection to a third-party business partner and extending/re-perimeterizing your network. It's tighter integration with a *aaS partner. The APIs are new as are some of the underlying technologies to enable their access, but it's not a paradigm shift.
    The notion that you can "…manage the external service myself as part of my infrastructure" is simply dressing a turd in fine couture.
    What you're describing is less a function of "the/THE Cloud" and more a function of the availability of published APIs…the examples you give about not being able to do that 5 years ago are a chicken/egg argument.
    At any rate, we agree on most things, so perhaps we're just talking past each other…either way, it's fun.

  10. October 23rd, 2008 at 06:27 | #10

    Can I buy The Cloud and have my interns implement it? Will it help our CRM? I think I'll mandate this as my CIO's directive for next fiscal…

  11. October 24th, 2008 at 03:05 | #11

    What?! I thought "The Cloud" referred to that graphic that everyone uses when creating a network diagram in Visio.

  12. October 24th, 2008 at 13:02 | #12

    It will only be a matter of time before someone makes a pizza box system painted in pastel blues and whites, and calls it The Cloud, which you can buy and put in your rack. It might even glow softly in moonlight at night. And do something on your network. Not really sure what, but I'm sure it makes the network happier and users more productive.

  13. November 26th, 2008 at 05:43 | #13

    Similar to how products were prefixed with i- and e- over the past decade, we will now be flooded with products prefixed by Virtual- and Cloud- which will involve neither.

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