Jelle Frank van der Zwet, Cloud Marketing Manager at Interxion, explains what to consider in a data centre partner for system integrators thinking about the cloud as a new revenue stream.
The rising adoption of cloud computing by businesses offers System Integrators a huge opportunity to open up new revenue streams and enhance their relationships with customers. But cloud service delivery demands reliable, next-gen connectivity, as well as innovative solutions to deliver data classification and identity management to meet enterprise requirements, including governance.
For these reasons, before starting to build a cloud offering it is important to look very closely at the data centre you will be partnering with. This article will outline some of the key considerations, including location, scalability and security.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is in the process of expanding the top-level domain (TLD) name space by adding over a thousand new TLDs (beyond the ones we know and love like .com, .co.uk, .org, .it, .nl, etc.). Most of the new TLD applications are for:
- Generic terms to be operated as “open” registries that will allow anyone to own second-level domains (e.g., Omega.Watch and TagHeur.Watch and Timex.Watch etc.) or
- Brand names to be operated as “closed” registries by one company that will only allow that TLD operator to own second-level domains (e.g. Ka.Ford, Mondeo.Ford, etc.).
That all sounds like good news, but some large companies are applying for generic categories in the industries in which they compete and intend to operate them as closed registries. Examples include .cloud, .book, .news, .blog and .insurance. If these applications are granted, only the successful applicants will be able to register domain names for those TLDs (e.g. www.yourcompanyname.cloud). They will exclude competitors and exploit the new TLD for their sole benefit. The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) believe that this could have serious and harmful consequences for market education and fair competition. It would go completely against the spirit of openness on which the internet was founded.
If .CLOUD becomes a closed registry owned by one company it will have specific consequences for our industry. As we know, the wider market is often confused enough about the term Cloud and we believe the limitation of the TLD to refer to one commercial organisation would be detrimental to the market and to consumer choice. We also work on the principle that generic phrases are just that, they are not trademarks or brands and should not be reinforced as being the property of one company through a closed registry process. Therefore, closed registries for generic words like Cloud must be opposed!
Thanks to all members and supporters who have added their voice to our campaign to prevent .Cloud becoming essentially a privatised TLD – the ICANN site is still receiving comments so make your voice heard. If you want to participate please follow this link www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/closed-generic-05feb13-en.htm, add comments in to the forum, write to ICANN, help us to get as many people and companies involved as you can.
We are in the process of raising a community objection and will continue to do so.
A DMH Stallard panel debate held last week, Securing Your Data in the Data Explosion, saw a lively discussion amongst over 40 senior business leaders on both the strategic and technical issues surrounding data security.
Discussions and debate revealed some reluctance and uncertainty from directors on how to adopt best practice to address some of the issues raised, which was attributed to a number of factors. Security, compliance and who to ask for a second opinion remain key obstacles to moving the businesses forward in terms of IT innovation.
Looking to the cloud
“Moving to the cloud may actually make organisations more secure than they already are. Security through obscurity is not a valid justification for keeping data on your own servers.”
Discussion focused on how cloud computing continues to promise to be a fundamental transition in the evolution of IT and business. Audience members cited benefits such as lower costs (dramatically reducing expenses for hardware, maintenance, and IT staffing), greater agility and better accessibility. However, whilst a move to the cloud can bring huge operational and financial rewards, discussion highlighted the complex and challenging under¬taking that requires careful planning and some deep thought about what the businesses priorities are.
Several panellists brought to light that organisations complying with standards such as ISO/IEC 27001, written 15 – 20 years ago may feel that they are secure, but in reality there may be huge gaps in their strategy as the standards do not always take into account the latest forms of IT usage and device, opening them up to severe business risks.
Deletion of Data
“How can you tell that when an external provider says your data is deleted, it really is? Can you ever be 100% sure?”
Several attendees highlighted the issues surrounding the deletion of data, and highlighted some cases of businesses’ discarded computer hard drives containing sensitive business and personal data.
There are many companies that deal specifically in data destruction. Panellists covered the key issues to consider when outsourcing this type of service, including making sure the service provider is properly insured and provides audit trails for each destroyed item, as well as ensuring that the business keeps its own audit log. It is also important to identify the kind of data stored on devices, in order to ensure that each item is treated appropriately. Bear in mind that there may be regulatory or legal requirements for information disposal depending on what data is stored on the disk. And, of course, the outsourcing agreement should contain appropriate protections for the business.
The changing role of IT teams and divisions in organisational approaches
“Look into the possibility of outsourcing to enable your IT department to innovate, rather than fire-fight.”
Internal IT departments are key to business success in developing the right strategic and technical data security solutions. One panellist commented that “when it comes down to it, your business success or otherwise is down to your IT department’s culture – it will be either enabling or empire building.”
There seemed to be a division in the style and approach to data security across the attendees’ IT departments. One attendee pointed to the need to take informed decisions and to ensure that business decisions are taken for the right reasons.
There seemed to be consensus that there was a divide in the market and that younger businesses seemed to be making the most of technology, whereas businesses which have been in the market for longer are more reluctant and are keen to see the results of the use of such developing technologies before adopting them.
The panel came to the conclusion that the following three point plan was appropriate to move forward with addressing business data security issues:
- Segmentation – audit the data identify via what data you hold and who can access this data
- Ramifications – what are the likely financial and reputational implications of losing this data and act accordingly
- Personalisation – a one size fits all approach is not applicable and each business should take steps that best work for it.
The debate follows the publication of DMH Stallard’s recent report into data security.
To register to receive a copy of this report then please email email@example.com.
The report is in addition to DMH Stallard’s best practice whitepaper on cloud contracts which was co-authored with Cloud Industry Forum “Contracting Cloud Services - A Guide to Best Practice” . Previous reports have focused on IP “How Manufacturers Leverage IP to Create Value and Safeguard their Futures” and ethical business “How Manufacturers are Embracing the Challenge and Reducing their Risk.
By Ian Moyse, EMEA Channel Director, Webroot
Moore’s Law back in 1965 predicted silicon power would double every two years. But what its creator, Gordon E. Moore, couldn’t have predicted was the dramatic economies of scale the cloud would eventually bring to all of our lives. For one, it’s helped lead to a drop in price for essentials like computing power and storage by making them more accessible. But also, it’s enabled conveniences no one ever would have imagined four or so decades ago.
Today we’re able to use a mobile device with massive power and local storage to locate and download from virtually anywhere in the world an application for as little as 59 pence. Think for example of Shazam, which identifies songs you can’t quite discern after it listens for just a few seconds. Leveraging its cloud database, Shazam also lets you buy and download the song via your smartphone. All of this – the convenience, the low cost, the power on the local device – is driven by the cloud.
The Cloud has not only driven down costs, but it’s helped increased our satisfaction with – and expectations of – our Internet experience. It’s enabled mobility and delivered immense computing power to anyone, anywhere at any time. The cloud has also driven the success of many vendors and will continue to do so as developers deliver applications that are faster to market and reach a wider commercial audience at a lower cost of delivery.
We should expect to see more changes in the size and delivery methods of the technologies we use –where very small files, programs or devices connect to the cloud where all of the benefits are stored. Such client/cloud configurations are a boon for consumerisation as our appetites for an always-connected, “iWant” lifestyle increase.
In 10 years on iPhone 14 and iPad 11, will we see applications that are free and pay 1p per use perhaps? Or will we see others employing new models that yet again change the way we digest and pay for computing power and information?
More changes to the Cloud economics that we won’t see coming are inevitable. Perhaps an update to Moore’s Law will be formed to hypothesize that the number of applications running the in the cloud will double every two years; based on today’s adoption and consumption rates, however, we’re more likely to see this being every two months
Transition to the Cloud
Cloud Computing Summit
- Date: 22nd August to 23 August 2013
- Location: New Delhi
Legal Implications of Cloud Computing
- Date: Thursday, 23rd May 2013
- Time: 8.45am
- Location: Central London
- Event price £449
Cloud Computing World Forum 2013
- Date: 26th - 27th June
- Location: National Hall, Olympia