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Update: Sony division moves some services from AWS to OpenStack

By Brandon Butler
March 10, 2012 05:31 AM ET

Network World - Editor's note: The headline on this story has been updated to reflect SCEA's post-publication assertion that it is continuing to use AWS as well as using OpenStack. Amazon's denial of Bloomberg's report was also added.

The division of Sony that suffered a cyberattack last year, which led to a major PlayStation network outage and sensitive customer data being compromised, has dropped Amazon Web Services for at least a portion of its cloud hosting and computing in favor of an OpenStack platform hosted by Rackspace.

Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) -- which manages popular games such as "Grand Theft Auto IV" and "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" -- made the move away from AWS after a series of highly publicized performance issues, according to an email from a public relations firm representing Rackspace.

(Sony officials, having declined to comment over the course of a week, confirmed this afternoon after this story published that the company is using an OpenStack platform, but said it would continue to use AWS as well. "Sony Computer Entertainment America utilizes various hosting options, including those from Amazon Web Services and OpenStack, among others, for its game platforms, said Dan Race, director of corporate communications with SCEA. The reports claiming that SCEA is discontinuing its relationship with Amazon Web Services are inaccurate.)

The cyberattack that caused SCEA to shut down its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, which allows gamers to play opponents online and purchase games and content, also led to information such as customer names, email addresses, usernames and passwords of 77 million people being compromised.

BACKGROUND: Timeline of Sony outage

RELATED: Alleged members of hactivist group LulzSec busted

Sony, SCEA's parent, said last year there was an "external intrusion" of the network, but the company has since provided few additional details. A report by Bloomberg, however, linked AWS to the outage, citing an anonymous source who claimed that the hackers created a fake AWS account and used AWS computers to launch the attack on Sony. AWS has denied that its services were involved.

SCEA's decision to embrace OpenStack, which is an evolving open-source platform to launch cloud environments, is "big news" for the OpenStack community, said Marc Brien, an analyst with Domicity, who tracks the OpenStack movement.

Started last year by Rackspace and NASA, OpenStack has gained momentum in recent months and now includes more than 140 companies. Most of those, Brien said, are service providers that offer cloud products to customers, including Rackspace, Citrix, Dell and recently IBM. For a big-name end user to sign on to the project is a positive sign for OpenStack, he said. SCEA joins Disney and CERN, the European nuclear science group, as users committed to using OpenStack.

Originally published on www.networkworld.com. Click here to read the original story.
Reprinted with permission from NetworkWorld.com. Story copyright 2012 Network World, Inc. All rights reserved.
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