Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Aruna Ravichandran

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Cloud Database – Are You Prepared?

There are a lot of issues around data in the cloud

The ongoing saga of everything cloud is entertaining, if nothing else. I have a couple of areas of interest that aren’t really burning up the electrons, one of them is cloud databases. Let’s face it, while “the cloud” is interesting in an application sense, for IT it is relatively useless without the ability to access databases. Normally databases housed in your internal IT department. Of course internal “private” clouds will address much  of this issue, until they are readily available, we are faced with the reality that we have to find a solution we can trust to house data that is essential to our organization’s well being. There are a lot of issues around data in the cloud, I’m going to focus in on a couple that IT departments are trying to figure out – or should be.

  • Security – data access control and standards compliance
  • Security – physical/network control
  • Latency – how much impact will remote databases have on performance
  • Standards – how is data put into and gotten out of the database
  • Data Redemption – how do I get my data out if for any reason we stop doing business?

There’s a lot there, but it’s not nearly as long as the list could be if I was to dissect all of the services out there. For the record, any “cloud data solution” that includes the phrase “frees you from the restrictions of an RDBMS” or “develop applications without IT” are not considered here. My reasoning is simple, your organization holds a ton of critical and relevant data in RDBMS databases now, changing that is possible, but at least for the time being, these applications will be limited to business units or pretty small businesses. I am looking at the problem from the IT perspective. No doubt I missed some vendors – Cloud is the winner of 2010’s buzzword bingo after all, and I was just researching with my own resources.

And a final note, I have not gone and tried any of these databases. There just isn’t time to do that level of research for a blog post. So understand that I am working off of the web pages of these vendors. Still, the market is young enough that for many, you can tell what they’re about pretty reliably.

Of all of the products that I explored, I have to say that Caspio Bridge has done the most to resolve the security and standards issues. They are PCI and TRUSTe compliant, which speaks volumes. They offer SQL Server with an AJAX front end, and allow you to get the data out in a selection of formats that includes XML and CSV, which is “good enough” for the current state of cloud databases, I would think.

Then there is Dabble DB who has a disclaimer about HIPPA that is understandable and probably helps the lawyers sleep at night, but isn’t designed to win customers’ confidence:

Does Dabble DB® comply with HIPAA?

We cannot enter into any agreement above or beyond our existing privacy policy, and we cannot offer any guarantee about specific compliance with HIPAA or any applicable state law. It is the responsibility of the health care entity to determine whether Dabble DB® meets the requirements of HIPAA.

Both Microsoft’s SQL Azure and Oracle via AWS are solid DB offerings but offer little tangible in terms of security. They are very desirable in the sense that they offer their standard interfaces, making it pretty easy to adapt your applications to them, but both are relatively silent about security other than the role-based security built into their RDBMS, which is a bit disconcerting. Rackspace and Joyent both offer complete cloud solutions, and honestly these two providers do the best job of documenting what is available and how to use it. But again, they seem to miss the point that users care about the level of their security. Now granted, with so much documentation on their sites, I’m guessing there is more info there than I found about the security issues.

Truly, Oracle, Azure, and Rackspace are the ones you have the least to worry about where latency is concerned – these companies (actually Amazon in the case of Oracle) have huge, dispersed datacenters, and data redemption is pretty straight-forward from all four of the vendors mentioned in the last paragraph, simply because they use the databases we all use. Disclosure: We are partners with Oracle and Microsoft, but I assure you that their inclusion is based upon the fact that you have one or both running in your datacenter already, not because of our partnership.


WHAT’S THE POINT?

Well, you might be asking what the point of this blog is… And honestly I have had an interest in this topic for a while, but only now got the time to start research. I went into this thinking I would be sorely disappointed because no one was talking about the database where cloud is concerned. There are still serious issues – if you fall under HIPPA, can you put your data on someone else’s network? How about PCI? Do your execs believe that this other company will be as cautious with your data as your employees? What is the recourse if one of those other apps in the cloud gets into your space? Don’t ever let a cloud provider tell you it can’t happen. It can, they’re on the same network, often on the same physical hardware. But overall? I wasn’t at all disappointed. Not a bit.Cloud

You see, I expected to find the state of cloud databases to be much, much more sparse and juvenile than what I found. Lots more juvenile than what I found.

I’m not yet certain what I think of treating your cloud database as ‘just another app’, since it holds sensitive information and a cloud is not your private network. Remember: for a few bucks a month a hacker can legally be on the same physical network as your DB, something we’ve spent years and a small fortune preventing. But if you trust your IT staff’s (or your own if you are IT staff) ability to lock down MySQL or SQL Server or Oracle like it was on a public IP address, then this is probably a good choice for you.

Caspio really did do the best job of convincing me that they’re on to the security stance though. Seriously, they didn’t bury their claims in legalese or tons of other disclaimers and documentation, they listed their certifications and what precautions they take with both physical access and staff access to your data. Still leaves the question of how well they can detect suspicious activity coming from a “customer” instance, but since they’re selling DB services and not OS instances, this is a little less of a concern (though certainly don’t dismiss the risks, AJAX can be an attack vector also).


NEXT?

I want to look at this from the other side that IT cares about – which app or server vendors have a method for you to securely link back to your own database. You could always write a proxy to handle access or lock your server down to only accept requests from a specific IP range, but I want to understand how that lockdown would impact scale-up and if it was loose enough not to impact scale-up, what that would mean to other “customers” who paid their few bucks a month. I’ll explore that topic in a future blog though, for Monday’s blog is already upon me.

But for now, it’s late, and I’ve (hopefully) given you something to think about at least, and given myself a ton to think about.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@CloudExpo Stories
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
As people view cloud as a preferred option to build IT systems, the size of the cloud-based system is getting bigger and more complex. As the system gets bigger, more people need to collaborate from design to management. As more people collaborate to create a bigger system, the need for a systematic approach to automate the process is required. Just as in software, cloud now needs DevOps. In this session, the audience can see how people can solve this issue with a visual model. Visual models ha...
What is the best strategy for selecting the right offshore company for your business? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, will discuss the things to look for - positive and negative - in evaluating your options. He will also discuss how to maximize productivity with your offshore developers. Before you start your search, clearly understand your business needs and how that impacts software choices.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ANSeeN are the measurement electronics maker for X-ray and Gamma-ray and Neutron measurement equipment such as spectrometers, pulse shape analyzer, and CdTe-FPD. For more information, visit http://anseen.com/.
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, will discuss some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he’ll go over some of the best practices for structured team migrat...
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
First generation hyperconverged solutions have taken the data center by storm, rapidly proliferating in pockets everywhere to provide further consolidation of floor space and workloads. These first generation solutions are not without challenges, however. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Wes Talbert, a Principal Architect and results-driven enterprise sales leader at NetApp, will discuss how the HCI solution of tomorrow will integrate with the public cloud to deliver a quality hybrid cloud e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
The session is centered around the tracing of systems on cloud using technologies like ebpf. The goal is to talk about what this technology is all about and what purpose it serves. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Shashank Jain, Development Architect at SAP, will touch upon concepts of observability in the cloud and also some of the challenges we have. Generally most cloud-based monitoring tools capture details at a very granular level. To troubleshoot problems this might not be good enough.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they bu...