We've all dealt with spam, even if we haven't been taken in by a phishing attack or identity theft, so anything that cuts down on junk messages is a good thing. From a business perspective, a service like TrueDomain's could help large e-mail senders restore the trust consumers once had in them. We'll still be suspicious of poorly written e-mails from "eBay" and our bank, however.
One big area of concern regarding cloud security is storage, of course. For now, cloud storage may remain off-limits for the most sensitive data, but a startup called Oxygen Cloud -- a subsidiary of LeapFILE, a provider of secure file transfer technology -- is helping businesses use cloud services to securely share and collaborate on files. The Oxygen Cloud service, now in beta, lets enterprises build a "hybrid storage solution" combining different public and private clouds, while applying AES 256-bit encryption to data in transit both in the cloud and on local devices.
While Oxygen Cloud's standard service combines a Web-based platform with a desktop client, the company will also deliver its technology on local hardware through a partnership with Data Robotics. Oxygen Cloud is so named because the service supposedly "breathes life" into files.
Building the private cloud
Businesses that worry about the security or performance and availability of public cloud services are in some cases opting to build private clouds, which are generally defined as highly virtualized networks that allow the delivery of IT as a service, potentially with developers and end users provisioning their own resources through self-service portals.
Vendors tend to slap the private cloud label on any old IT product, but a couple of newcomers among our New IT Company to Watch have built private cloud software that may be worthy of the name.
Chris Pinkham, who led development of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, is the founder of Nimbula, whose software automatically organizes virtual servers into an Amazon-like private cloud that operates behind the enterprise firewall. Nimbula Director, available in beta and slated to be generally available later in 2010, lets customers offer virtual machine instances in any flavor they like, from Linux to Windows, while setting policies that determine how much compute and storage capacity VMs can consume.
One of Nimbula's early customers, CIO Joubert Steyn of the Metropolitan Health Group, a health insurance company in South Africa, says he opted to build a private cloud because "South Africa is still quite bandwidth-constrained." Even for customers with enough bandwidth to use public cloud services, software products such as Nimbula Director can drive up utilization rates of existing in-house resources and improve services for developers.
Available now, Cloud.com offers open source infrastructure-as-a-service software that helps service providers and enterprises turn physical and virtual resources into cloud computing services. The software, CloudStack, runs on top of the VMware, Citrix XenServer and KVM hypervisors, creating computing pools consisting of VMs, storage and networking capabilities, accessed through self-service interfaces for both administrators and users.