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Maintaining Control of your Cloud
As is the case with many new technology innovations, excitement is in the air about the cloud hosting. But as businesses begin to host their IT systems in the cloud – many large companies agree that security is one of the issues that need to be dealt with in order to get over the deep-seated dread from security analysts. Businesses are enthusiastic about the fact that cloud hosting provides opportunities for cost savings in the IT department, but worried because in private conversations, some security analysts have expressed fear that a “Deepwater Horizon-like event” will happen on the web.
Why is there such uncertainty about security in the cloud?
Company CEO’s remain cautiously optimistic. The potential for savings is great and many CEO’s admit that the lure towards this web hosting is great because of the potential for savings in their IT departments.
Once an enterprise sends out data to external clouds, it will need to find ways to manage, secure, and actually deliver this data from inside the corporation to an external host. And because with most web applications, you have your web data and business computing programs running online, rather than separately on your office computers. As a result, security is a concern for some companies that utilize the web. Potential corporate users are leery of losing control of their data to external webs.
Solution: Many companies have chosen internal or private clouds for heightened security.
Most of the large companies that have enterprise customers agree that while security and regulatory compliance issues can be dealt with, legal hurdles require a company to know where its data are physically stored.
Private cloud hosting the type best suited for businesses
What is becoming clear is that the best way to get hesitant companies to join the cloud revolution is to introduce private or internal webs for corporate IT and then gradually merge or offload data from those private corporate clouds into public ones. In other words, for cloud vendors, the big opportunities are in helping enterprise customers deploy their own internal webs, helping them manage multiple Intranets, offering private cloud hosting, and figuring out how to transfer data between internal and external hosts.
Today, many companies have put—or are beginning to put—their business-critical information into the hands of four or five companies that specialize in cloud services. These companies have placed all of their customer-specific data into a cloud run by one company, and other critical systems into another cloud run by a different company. The logic is simple: If one cloud fails, just move the information to another cloud. At most it will cause a few days of discomfort.
Many companies using or plan to use cloud computing
Cloud computing allows businesses to ditch internal IT systems and access IT services over the internet from remote systems hosted in elsewhere, resulting in far fewer incompatible IT systems that need outsourcing to integrate them. This can result in significant cost savings for companies who can scale down their IT departments. This cost savings is a big factor in the growth of cloud hosting.
A December survey by Cisco of more than 2,000 tech managers across 13 countries found that 52 percent are using—or plan to use—cloud computer services in the near future.
It has been about three years since Amazon made its risky bet on delivering computing and storage via external hosts. It started by offering commitment-free, pay-as-you-go storage, enabling startups to start scaling their businesses without significant investment in capital equipment. It later added compute cycles to its services, and today it has a host of other offerings, including a content delivery network.
Transition into the cloud
So while enterprises reach for the sky, they’ll keep some of their IT firmly on the ground. This gives plenty of companies opportunities to deliver and manage the data as it goes from their internal IT departments to the sky.