Entropy in Cloud Computing Applications

Entropy, as it pertains to computer science and cryptography, is one of those topics that most of us (myself included) largely take for granted these days. In this context, entropy is a source of pseudorandomness that is typically collected by the operating system and made available to applications via a pseudorandom number generator (PNRG). We […]

How to Create an Amazon EC2 AMI That is Larger Than 10GB

Recently, I have been dealing with an issue surrounding the 10GB size limit for AMIs within Amazon’s EC2 service. If you don’t what I’m talking about, here is a quick primer: a virtual instance running within Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service is launched from a read-only boot image that Amazon refers to as an […]

Enterprise Cloud Computing – What is it, exactly?

I am often asked to define cloud computing. The overwhelming marketing hype attached to the term at the moment has obscured the benefits, in both technology and economics, that are available if you look closely. My typical response goes something like this: cloud computing does not allow you to do anything you could not do […]

Ephemeral Drives in Amazon EC2 – When Are They Mounted?

Virtual instances running in Amazon’s EC2 service have several ephemeral disk drives that can be used for temporary storage (temporary because they are not persisted as part of the AMI). Recently, I had to figure out exactly when those drives were mounted and available during boot. The specific issue I was seeing was that I […]

Cygwin Lighttpd with SSL

Last week, I needed to configure a Windows 2003 AMI in EC2 to run lighttpd with SSL. Once again, a simple job that I thought would be quick and painless turned into an extensive hacking session. Here is a quick roadmap of what I did. My initial thought was that there must be a native […]

Security for Cloud-based Enterprise Applications

Being the architect of a cloud-based enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) product — Adobe LiveCycle Express — I get asked a lot about the security of cloud-based applications. They are all the questions you would expect: “Is my data secure in the cloud?”; “How safe are cloud service environments?; “Aren’t you just asking to be hacked?”. My […]

Cygwin SSHd on a Windows 2003 AMI Within Amazon EC2

Recently, I needed to configure a Windows 2003 AMI in EC2 to run a ssh server. I would have expected this to be a simple job, with a variety of choices for making this work, but in the end it was far more time consuming, complicated, and frustrating than I would have guessed. Here is […]

Adobe LiveCycle Express — Cloud Computing Meets Adobe LiveCycle ES

Adobe LiveCycle Express is a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) product offering from Adobe that takes a cloud computing approach to delivering Adobe’s LiveCycle ES enterprise software suite using Ruby on Rails, Adobe Flex, and Amazon’s EC2 and S3 services. LiveCycle Express grew from a research project I conceived while working in Adobe’s Advanced Tchnology Labs division. […]