Have you heard of Cloud Computing? I bet you have! Given the current IT scenario which changes by the hour, more appropriately where change is the need of the hour. Today, we have to deliver more with minimum resources. In other words, we need to “DO MORE WITH LESS”. Nowadays everything is being service-oriented and to add to that an economy recovering from a recession has added more fuel in enterprises turning towards Service Offerings. Also, the proliferation of the Internet has given the opportunity to provide real-time access to consumer and business products, software and solutions, without the requirement that an end-user personally own the underlying resource. Cloud services are accessed over the Internet via user-friendly web interfaces; they are location independent and do not drill a hole in your pockets.
So, why all the hype around cloud computing? Just two words: cheaper & faster.
The pay-as-you-go benefits are so compelling that today many have turned towards cloud offerings or are planning towards the same in other words a “cloud-first” approach. Given this fact what are the pros & cons, what type of cloud suits me and is the service interoperable with what we use today are some of the intriguing real-world questions which should surface in our minds whilst choosing a cloud offering? I have tried to answer these three questions below
- Public v/s Private
Security is a key area of concern for Cloud Services
The key steps to mitigate security concern for cloud services will involve the following
- Move non-sensitive data and preferably on a trial basis on the cloud for e.g. Digital content, streaming media, video, music, etc.
- Handle the security/encryption at your end instead of leaving it for the service provider
- The secure registration process for the cloud to prevent misuse/spamming
- Better Auditing and good control should be there on the data hosted on the cloud.
- Proper paperwork/agreements need to be put in place in case of highly sensitive data i.e. Terms and Conditions, SLA’s and NOC’s, etc
- Backup the data regularly at your end instead of relying on the service provider. Though there should be a provision of backing up data from the service provider.
- Get Information on the infrastructure of the service provider where the data is to be hosted.
- Ensure Data Confidentiality and Data isolation for highly sensitive data
Public or Private Cloud: What works best?
Public and private clouds both have their own place considering the current economic scenario for that matter. Even if we ignore the financial fact then to lot remains to choose between the private and the public cloud. Both work best for different scenarios. Following are the key differences to make a choice between the two.
|Public Cloud||Private Cloud|
|Less sensitive data||For sensitive and critical data|
|Low cost||Costlier than public cloud|
|Less amount of data to store||Huge data to store|
|Store data with Lower Shelf life||Store data with a higher shelf life|
|Less/Compromised security||More secure|
|No full control over data or infrastructure||Total control over data as well as infrastructure|
|No Data Isolation||Data Isolation|
|No Maintenance costs||Maintenance costs|
The basic idea of a cloud platform and cloud computing to be interoperable is to have the ability to use various languages, tools to design, develop, debug and deploy applications to the cloud infrastructure standards data access, identity management, deployment packages, ability to seamlessly access services hosted on other clouds (private to public cloud and public cloud to another public cloud) For e.g. Microsoft Azure allows using multiples languages (.NET, PHP, Ruby, Python or Java) and various development tools (Visual Studio or Eclipse) to build applications which run on Windows Azure and/or consume any of the Windows Azure platform offerings from any other cloud or on-premise platform. Windows Azure platform also supports multiple Internet protocols including HTTP, XML, SOAP and REST.