Monday, April 19, 2010

Enomaly ECP 3.2 Service Provider Edition Released

I'm proud to announce the latest release of ECP Service Provider Edition. I know you'll typically hear me talk about how great our Enomaly ECP releases are (I am a little bias I know), but this one is a big one -- probably the biggest release we've ever done.

The release 3.2 adds significant new capabilities in the areas of storage management VM creation, integration with service provider's other web-based systems, and the customer API. Release 3.2 also provides significant usability enhancements in the customer interfaces, and adds support for additional languages.

Key New Features:
- Users can now add or delete up to two secondary storage disks on their VM's, within their quota limits. This can be accessed with the new "Disk" tab under the VM details screen.
- Users can now choose existing VM Templates or, to create VM's from a selection of ISO images hosted by the service provider. This allows users to have the ultimate level of control in creating their cloud infrastructure, however this feature can be disabled for service providers who wish to continue using strict VM templates.
- Users can now boot VM's from the ISO image selection, allowing OS recovery tools such as GParted to work against existing VM's.
- Added Korean, Japanese as new translations. Many updates to the Swedish translation.
- Added new API's for disk management feature.
- Users can now update their password and email address through the Customer UI.
- Custom URL's can be added to the Customer and Administrative UI.


- Improved Virtual Machine listing in Customer UI (transitional machine states and number of machines in group).
- Various improvements to the Administrative User Interface.
- Various improvements to the Installer.
- Updated documentation for Customer UI, Administrative UI, Configuration/Theming and ECP API.
- Login screen logo is now configurable.
- Improvements to billing and hardware template switching in HA environments.
- Refresh button added to all top level Customer UI tabs.
- Remote console information moved to a dedicated tab in Customer UI VM details screen.
- IP Address moved to a more visible location in Customer UI VM details screen.
- Network Interface changes, like disks, can only be changed while VM is powered off.
- VM Restarts on agent recovery are now executed in parallel.
- Changing Admin password no longer requires a restart of the ecpmanager process.
- Improved tracking of cursor in GUI based operating environments.
- Improvements to KVM network bridging to allow more server configurations to work on a fresh install.

For existing customers, please contact us for the download and upgrade instructions.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Communal Clouds of China

BEIJING - AUGUST 08:  Basketball player Yao Mi...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

After spending a week in the Peoples Republic of China I discovered that unlike the air quality a few things have become particularly clear to me. Saying cloud computing is big in China may be the understatement of the century -- it's gargantuan. It is the topic Du Jour. During my trip I had the opportunity to meet with some of the biggest players in the Chinese cloud computing scene ranging from large startups to massive state sponsored companies. All had the same story to tell, cloud computing is the future of IT. Today I thought I'd take a moment to describe a few of the more interesting opportunities I uncovered while in Beijing last week.

One of the more particularly interesting opportunities I discovered while in China was what I would describe as a Communal Cloud -- Cloud infrastructures built in conjunction to Special Economic Zones setup by the PRC. For those of you unfamiliar with the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) of the People's Republic of China. The government of China gives SEZs special economic policies and flexible governmental measures. This allows SEZs to utilize an economic management system that is especially conducive to doing business that does not exist in the rest of mainland China. You can think of these zones as massive city sized industrial parks focused on fostering economic growth in particular market segments. (I will say that economic growth is something that appears to come easy in China these days) Many of these zones also now feature their own on site data centers for the industries located within these areas. So the cloud use case I was told about is to offer state sponsored cloud computing to these companies. A kind of communal cloud made available at little or no cost. An IT based economic incentive of sorts. Kind of a cool idea.

Another thing I noticed while I was in Beijing was the sense of prosperity sweeping the city. My western educated business partners for example drove brand new Lexus's. The restaurants they took me to all seemed to have Ferrari's, Maserati's and other expensive European cars parked out front. Many discussions revolved around the very real possibility of a startup having an IPO on the Chinese stock market. Something that in North America has for a long time not been an option. Needless say, the smell of money was in the air (some may call it pollution).

Yet Another interesting thing I noticed was that of scale. Even the smallest startups had 50 employee's with many two year old companies boasting hundreds of people. One of the largest data center providers I met with, a company formed in 2005 claimed to have more than 100 million (USD) in revenue in a little over 4 years. Impressive growth to say the least. All the more impressive was their customer base was almost completely made up of China based companies. The Chinese market isn't just hot, it's on fire.

As for me, business is booming in China. More news to follow in the next few weeks.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Announcing Enomaly ECP High Assurance Edition for Trusted Cloud Computing

Today I am in Beijing, China at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) and am happy to announce the latest Enomaly product offering, The ECP High Assurance Edition (HAE). ECP HAE has been something we've been busy developing in partnership with Intel over the last 18 months and continues on the previous research of world renowned security expert Dr. David Lie from the University of Toronto. The platform uses a variety of hardware assisted security mechanisms to provide what we believe is the most secure public cloud computing platform for service providers available today. In this post, I thought I'd take a moment to dive into some of the technical capabilities of HAE and our rationale. 

Like it or not, security concerns have been a key factor limiting the adoption of cloud computing services. We believe that customers with higher security requirements, such as banks, health and government agencies, have been right to be cautious about the security capabilities of exiting public clouds. Our new technology will enable these customers to begin to reap the benefits of cloud computing, by giving them reliable proof the underlying environment hasn't been compromised. In the most simple terms, ECP HAE provides a trusted and verified cloud computing infrastructure. 

To give a little more background, the Enomaly ECP HAE platform allows a remote cloud user to establish trust in a cloud provider's platform. The end customer uses Enomaly's ECP HAE client, which uses our patented technology to verify the integrity of the cloud provider's software stack. When the client is connected to an "approved" HAE-verified platform, Enomaly's HAE client displays a prominent positive verification screen indicating that the platform is safe to use. Validation can also be provided programmatically and integrated into existing application monitoring solutions and business processes engines which enables a extra level of verifiable trust when using remote cloud resources. If a remote providers environment changes for any reason you will know proactively before it's too late. HAE changes cloud security from a reactive process to a proactive one and enables a variety of new potential applications never possible before because of the lack of insight into cloud service providers' infrastructures. 

What might happen if the cloud provider's hypervisor were to be tampered with?  This could happen for a variety of reasons.  For example, a disgruntled employee at the cloud provider might want to steal secrets from the cloud provider's customers, or there could be a malicious insider paid by a competitor to spy on the VMs of the cloud users.  Similarly, the hypervisor itself may have a security vulnerability that is exploited, allowing a remote attacker outside of the cloud provider to tamper with the cloud provider's hypervisor. Since the hypervisor is the most trusted component in a cloud computing infrastructure, any loss of its integrity means an immediate and catastrophic breach of security which could easily never be detected because of the very nature of the hypervisor - it makes you or your applications see what whatever it whats you to believe. So even a exploited hypervisor will appear to be normal from the point of a virtual machine making VM based security a risky endeavor to say the least. HAE goes a long way toward solving this problem. 

Enomaly HAE enables our hosting & cloud service provider customers to securely establish the integrity of the remote platform. To do this, Enomaly's HAE system uses Intel's TXT processor extensions along with a Trusted Computing Group (TCG) Trusted Platform Module (TPM) in conjunction to the Xen hypervisor. We use a mechanism called remote attestation, which until now has only been explored [mostly] in experimental research settings. Thanks in part to the work of our lead security architect, Dr David Lie, we've taken the bold step of making attestation practical by integrating it into the ECP system targeting IaaS hosting providers. HAE takes care of all the complexity of making the attestation requests, ensuring that the requests cannot be tampered with and distilling the result of the attestation requests into a simple and easy to understand safe / not safe message. More importantly, this trust can be directly integrated into existing monitoring and business processes to ensure only truly secure remote cloud environments are being utilized in a completely automated way. 

ECP High Assurance Edition is available immediately to service providers interested in offering a high-security cloud computing platform to their customers.  In addition to its unique security features, ECP HAE includes the industry-leading capabilities of Enomaly's ECP platform, enabling a service provider's customers to access and manage any number of virtual servers, running Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris, or any other operating system with the software applications of their choice.  Customers can access and manage their virtual servers through a web-based dashboard, and can also automatically scale up and down their use of cloud servers through a robust API.

We are delighted to be able to deliver this uniquely differentiated offering to our service provider customers We believe the fast-growing market for cloud computing services will benefit from the improved security that service providers can offer their customers by using Enomaly ECP HAE. 

(Posted via email from China - please ignore any strange formatting)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Upcoming Week in Peoples Republic of China

National emblem of the People's Republic of ChinaImage via Wikipedia

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I'll be in Beijing this coming week for the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) launching our Enomaly High Assurance Edition (HAE) of ECP.

For those interested, Enomaly’s HAE provides continuous cloud security assurance by means of unique, hardware-assisted mechanisms (thanks to our friends at Intel). Enomaly ECP High Assurance Edition provides both initial and ongoing Full-Stack Integrity Verification providing the end hosting customer with hardware-verified proof that the cloud stack (encompassing server hardware, hypervisor, guest OS, and even ECP itself) is intact and has not been tampered with. More details to follow.

Apart from our HAE product launch we'll be meeting with various customers and partners in China. Unfortuntatly my blog which is powered by blogger doesn't work inside the PRC, so I won't be able to post regular details of my verious adventures. But fear not, I'm working on a big China Cloud Computing related blog posts which I will post upon my return.

I have a few open spots in my schedule, so if you're in China and want to talk clouds. Make sure to get in touch.

Catch you on the flip side (of the globe)
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Intel® Cloud Builder Deployment Guide for The Enomaly Elastic Computing Platform (ECP)

For anyone interested in learning more about using the Enomaly Elastic Computing Platform, our friends at Intel have published a detailed deployment guide as part of their Cloud Builder Program.

The Intel® Cloud Builder program provides a starting point by supplying a basic hardware blueprint and available cloud software management solutions such as Enomaly’s Elastic Computing Platform, Service Provider Edition. The use cases described in this paper can be used to build more complex use cases and deployment models to suit specific needs.

The audience for this paper is Cloud Service Providers, Hosters and Enterprise IT who are looking to realize the revenue potential of leveraging their existing data center infrastructure by offering cloud computing services to their customers or internal users.

You can grab a copy here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kicking off CloudChasers Radio Show

I'm happy to announce that I will helping kick off the new CloudChasers Radio Show sponsored by Novell this Thursday April 8 @ 1:30pm (Eastern).

CloudChasers is a live Internet radio show tackles the drama surrounding cloud computing head on. Each week, a Novell guest and a third-party subject matter expert will examine the emerging ideas, challenges and opportunities relevant to cloud computing in a spirited, non-formatted discussion. It's a must-listen for every IT professional chasing the cloud.

Date: April 8, 2010
Topic: Cloud Adoption: What's Holding Us Back?
Time: 1:30pm EDT (10:30PT)
Host: Leslie Poston, writer for, author of Twitter for Dummies and founder of Podcamp NH

Jon Bultmeyer, Director, Identity R&D at Novell
Reuven Cohen, blogger at, founder of Cloud Camp, and CTO at Enomaly

There's no shortage of voices saying that cloud computing offers the promise of enormous agility, flexibility, and cost savings. But if the cloud is set to revolutionize IT, why aren't more enterprises embracing it fully for business-critical operations? Is it security risk? Regulatory concerns? Integration worries? Join us as we discuss what's really holding us back from taking advantage of the cloud – whether it's something technological, operational, or even cultural—and how those obstacles can be overcome.

#DigitalNibbles Podcast Sponsored by Intel

If you would like to be a guest on the show, please get in touch.