Cloud News: Akamai, Arista, IBM, Appirio

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Here’s a roundup of some of this week’s headlines from the cloud computing sector:

Akamai unveils cloud defense.  Akamai Technologies (AKAM) unveiled a new suite of cloud defense solutions aimed at protecting companies from increasingly sophisticated and costly Web attacks. “The Akamai network saw more distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against our customers’ Web sites in the fourth quarter of 2010 than in the first three quarters of the year combined,” said Tom Leighton, chief scientist and co-founder, Akamai. “Companies understand the benefits of the cloud and continue to push business-critical data and operations there; however, the need to protect these assets from the growing frequency and sophistication of Web attacks increases dramatically as a result.” As a means to monitor, manage and mitigate a DDoS atack, the new cloud based solutions will include the ability to cloak web infrastructure from the public Internet, IP blocking and rate limiting at the network layer, application layer web application firewalling, scalable protection against DNS attacks, blocking of traffic by geographic region, identification of suspected BOTs from real users, DDoS specialists to help assess infrastructure, 24/7 support with a response SLA and capped exposure to bursting fees related to an attack. Akamai is also announcing that their Web Application Firewall service now offers fast IP blocking and IP rate limiting to further offload unwanted requests and bandwidth outside the data-center.

Arista automates cloud networking. Arista Networks announced breakthrough network automation capabilities that simplify and accelerate the creation, migration and deployment of multi-tier network infrastructures. The Arista Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) capability empowers IT organizations to rapidly expand the capacity of a public or private cloud – adding thousands of servers and storage devices to the network in minutes. Building on the Arista Extensible Operating System (EOS) architecture ZTP can boot a switch, identify the proper IP address, upgrade its operating system version, add customer-specific or service-provider-specific extensions, generate its own configuration and add itself to the network. “Today’s networking capabilities are measured not only by performance and scale, but also by programmability, APIs and automation. Arista ZTP is the first in a series of automation capabilities we are bringing to the cloud network,” said Ken Duda, founder and vice president of software engineering at Arista. ZTP capability will be available in the second quarter of 2011 as a software option.

IBM announces partner initiatives. At the start of IBM’s Partnerworld Leadership Conference in Orlando, it unveiled new skills development, marketing, technical and sales programs to help IBM business partners capture the growing market opportunities in cloud computing and business analytics. “The initiatives announced today will help clients identify the top cloud and analytics providers, and help our partners engage more closely with each other and with IBM in these key growth areas,” said Jim Corgel, general manager ISV and Developer Relations at IBM. The cloud specialty will support five types of business partners that demonstrate their cloud expertise: cloud application providers, cloud builders, cloud infrastructure providers, cloud services solution providers and cloud technology providers. Also introduced was the first IBM Cloud Computing Authorization designed specifically for IBM software resellers.

Appirio introduces CloudSpokes. Appirio introduced CloudSpokes, a new crowdsourcing development community and marketplace that matches companies who need cloud development work with a worldwide community of cloud experts. CloudSpokes offers a competitive and collaborative environment for contests, networking, discussions and jobs involving today’s hottest cloud technologies. It’s a place for companies to cost-effectively find and reward top talent, and for developers to get recognized for their expertise as well as learn new skills from like-minded peers. Appirio will manage CloudSpokes and is pledging at least $1 million in contest prize money. “With CloudSpokes, you have an army of experts distributed across the world working to solve the same problems, with the same tool set, without the hassle of trying to set up shop and coordinate them. For us technology junkies, it’s a chance to learn, to help others learn, and to compete,” said Wes Nolte, a London-based award-winning cloud developer and author.

About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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