GoCloud Hosted Desktop News Roundup #12

Citrix announce latest in Project Avalon, IBM announce new security tools, The Pirate Bay move to the cloud

This week saw the latest Citrix Synergy event taking place in Barcelona, with Citrix unveiling the latest phase of Project Avalon. The company unveiled two tech previews: “Excalibur” and “Merlin” which it’s reported will make up the core of the Avalon project.

Avalon aims to deliver Windows apps and desktops to any enabled device and the project was first announced back in May at Citrix Synergy San Francisco. Excalibur is intended to deliver advancements in "simplicity, scalability and rich multi-media services needed to deliver Windows apps and desktops to millions of new consumer style mobile devices”.

Excalibur is available for download as a preview version on November 1, whilst Merlin will be released in the same incarnation early next year. Those who were unable to attend either of the events can learn about the projects via SynergyTV, which is still available to view online.

Excalibur includes Citrix’s “Flexcast 2.0”, a single console application which will enable administrators to manage all devices and deliver a mixture of applications. This is made possible by extending the Flexcast Management Architecture to Xendesktop and Citrix XenApp and will include the ability to deliver Windows images to physical desktops.

Excalibur will also include support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, along with Server R2 and clients running Windows 7 and XP.

Merlin will focus on Windows as a service, "simplifying and automating infrastructure deployment and management across virtual infrastructure, private clouds and public clouds, while enabling self-service subscription for users and departments”.

"With Avalon, we are bringing together the openness of Citrix CloudPlatform with our market leading desktop virtualization solution to give enterprises and service providers the ability and flexibility to deliver Windows apps and desktops from private, public and hybrid clouds to users on any device, anywhere,” said Bob Shultz of Citrix.

For more details and videos of keynote speakers at the Barcelona and San Francisco event, visit the Synergy 2012 website.

IBM announce new cloud security software

IBM has announced the release of “a broad set of security software” designed to reduce concerns companies have on the take up of cloud services, mobile and big data initiatives.

The company say that the software help clients to maintain security control over a variety of issues including mobile devices, internal and external threats, database security and compliance. “A major shift is taking place in how organizations protect data,” said Brendan Hannigan, General Manager, IBM Security Systems.

“Today, data resides everywhere—mobile devices, in the cloud, on social media platforms. This is creating massive amounts of data, forcing organizations to move beyond a traditional siloed perimeter to a multi-perimeter approach in which security intelligence is applied closer to the target.”

Cloud adoption has been traditionally slow to take off due to concerns surrounding security and compliance and many large companies are doing what they can to address this. Last week we reported on Microsoft’s new tool which aims to test a company’s readiness for the cloud and it was found that many companies who have adopted cloud services are finding the cloud to be more secure than previous infrastructures.

The security tools from IBM include improved data encryption management, as well as a Mobile Security Framework, which is designed to help organisations protect data and applications on mobile devices. This will be especially useful for those organisations that run BYOD schemes.

The Pirate Bay moves to the cloud

On a lighter note, file sharing website The Pirate Bay (TPB) has moved its servers to the cloud in yet another attempt to thwart the authorities that are attempting to shut them down. The site will now operate from servers dotted around the globe and hope this will be enough to stop it being taken offline.

"All attempts to attack from now on is an attack on everything and nothing," The Pirate Bay said.

The move is part of an ongoing campaign to ensure that they can continue to run their business, which has been accused of illegally sharing movies, music, software and more.

Its servers were first shut down in 2006, following a raid by Swedish police, who took the site offline. TPB says that attempts to shut down the service will now be nigh on impossible, as it uses a variety of service providers which are located in different parts of the world.

"The site that you're at will still be here, for as long as we want it to. Only in a higher form of being. A reality to us. A ghost to those who wish to harm us," TPB said in a statement.

"The hosting providers have no idea that they're hosting The Pirate Bay, and even in the event they found out it would be impossible for them to gather data on the users."

"If the police decide to raid us again there are no servers to take, just a transit router,” they continued.

"If they follow the trail to the next country and find the load balancer, there is just a disk-less server there. In case they find out where the cloud provider is, all they can get are encrypted disk-images."