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News briefs: Akamai to acquire Prolexic to mitigate DDoS attacks

This week, Akamai announced its plan to acquire Prolexic to help customers mitigate DDoS attacks, while Google's public IaaS exits beta.

Akamai acquires Prolexic to mitigate DDoS attacks

Content delivery network provider Akamai Technologies announced Monday its agreement to acquire cloud-based security services provider Prolexic Technologies for $370 million. The acquisition is aimed at strengthening Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai's security and performance platform by improving its ability to mitigate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, stated Akamai CEO Tom Leighton in a press release.

Akamai executives said a more robust approach to security is needed to prevent the growing problem of DDoS attacks against enterprises. Currently, Akamai's security services focus on the application layer, but the acquisition will enable it to start protecting traffic from DDoS attacks at the network layer, according to Business Cloud News.

Google's public IaaS enters general availability

Google Compute Engine, Google's public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering, was released as a commercial service on Monday after more than a year of operating in beta. Google Compute Engine offers a Linux virtual machine that can be used in several instances to execute workloads and runs on the same infrastructure Google uses for its own cloud services. Several companies already use Google Compute Engine, including Red Hat and Evite, according to PCWorld.

However, Google needs to step up its game if it wants to take down Amazon Web Services as the top IaaS provider. Unlike Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud service, Google Compute Engine doesn't support Microsoft Windows and lacks a large integrated service ecosystem, according to Business Cloud News.

Gartner analyst Lydia Leong wrote in a blog post that while it's unlikely AWS will be dethroned as cloud service king anytime soon, "AWS and Google will hopefully goad each other into one-upmanship, creating a virtuous cycle of introducing things that customers discover they love, thus creating user demand that pushes the market forward."

Amazon: Cloud is safer than on-premises

In the opening keynote address at the 2013 Cloud Security Alliance Congress on Wednesday, Amazon's Teresa Carlson declared that cloud services are more secure for enterprises than running IT in-house. Carlson, the vice president of the worldwide public sector unit at Amazon Web Services, said cloud computing has become the cheaper, faster and more secure option for organizations, according to Infosecurity magazine. Carlson cited a September IDC survey that stated 60% of organizations surveyed agreed that services from cloud providers are more secure than their own IT organizations.

Carlson discussed seven reasons for the superiority of cloud security over in-house computing, including economics of scale, cloud's speed of innovation, and cloud platforms as "system containers," reported Infosecurity. Carlson said by outsourcing cloud services to providers, organizations can better focus their resources on specific security threats.

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Good move for Akamai, as it hosts so much content for others, it needs a good way to keep serving its customer data.