A lot of people ask me – How are you going to get big enterprises to accept Cloud Computing? How are you going to get over the concerns around security and privacy?
Well, as I said in an earlier post, many enterprises will be running Clouds behind their firewalls, in their own data centers. But what about external Clouds?
Hmmmm. Is Cloud Computing really just a trendy term? Or are we onto something here?
When something is in a cloud, it is shrouded in secrecy. You can’t see it. You can only imagine what it is, if it is there at all.
At 3tera, we believe the optimal Cloud exists in multipal data centers, geographically dispersed. This adds to the question, “What is in the Cloud?” another question sort of – “What Cloud is it in?”.
Lets imagine that all the clouds in the sky are somehow connected (at the molecular level, they most probably are). Each of these Clouds are made up of millions upon millions of water droplets. Now imagine if you had to find a single particular water droplet in the sky and you had no idea what cloud it was in. Now, add to that, the ability of that water droplet to move from one cloud to another. Do you think you could find it?
So, I maintain that concerns about Cloud Computing privacy and security become very overstated when dealing with Clouds in multiple locations. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that running stuff in those kind of Clouds is far more private and secure than running the same stuff in traditional data center environments.
Imagine a sophisiticated hacker who wants to attack the First National Bank. Imagine that First National runs all of its applications in two data centers. All the hacker needs to do is penetrate one or both of those data centers. Once inside, he can monitor First National’s transactions indefinitely and methodically plot what type of transactions to spuriously submit and when to submit them.
Now imagine if First National’s applications run in multiple data centers worldwide, and each application did not necessarily always run in the same data center. What would the hacker do? I suppose he might accept that challenge, but if he was really out to get a bank, he’d move on to Second National.
You know, statistically, homes with burglar alarms get robbed much less often than homes without them. Of course this is due to the fact they they are more secure. But it is also due to the fact that a burglar will look for an easier target and not even try.
The same is true for Cloud Computing, if the Cloud is done right. At 3tera, we like to say that Cloud Computing is not a substitute for good architecture. But if the Cloud is architected like the sky – multiple sub-clouds interconnected, that IS good architecture. “Sky Computing” is private and secure!!!
Finally, there’s a practical side to all this.
External Clouds will be operated by companies whose business is data center operations, not companies whose business is financial services, pharma, health care, manufacturing, etc. These companies, to remain competitive, will constantly update their data centers with the latest technologies. These technologies assuredly include those that keep data private and secure.
So, to all of you early adopters of Cloud Computing, I say, “Bravo!”. By being brave you are achieving world class security and privacy for your precious information technology assets, without incurring huge data center capital expense.
Your applications and data can be naked sitting ducks, or moving targets in flak jackets. The choice is yours.