Cloud Computing Risks & Options

Cloud computing risks and options are ever increasing. The “?-as-a-Service” phenomenon is expanding business models and opportunities, bringing costs down, and allowing businesses to focus on tasks that bring value to their organisation. With it, however, comes the risks of entrusting its precious resource, its data, to the Cloud.

Frontier Technology recently gathered Cloud experts, enthusiasts, users, and potential users to a briefing that demystified Cloud concepts and jargon and presented options on how businesses can make the most of it while being aware of the risks.

Neil Cattermull, a favourite panelist in major Cloud discussions in the UK and Frontier Technology’s Executive Director, gave an educational presentation on the concepts surrounding the Cloud phenomenon. He explained how the Cloud can be reached via different journeys depending mainly on an organisation’s needs and environment: they could either take the Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud & Hosted Private Cloud routes.

Talking about cloud computing risks, he also clarified the differences between the three major building blocks of the Cloud. Software-as-a-Service or SaaS is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet. Platform-as-a-Service or Paas, on the other hand, is a model for delivering operating systems and associated services over the Internet without downloads or installation. The service delivery model allows the customer to rent virtualised servers and associated services for running existing applications or developing and testing new ones. Lastly, Infrastructure-as-a-Service or IaaS is a provision model in which an organisation outsources the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers, and networking components. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud physical infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, deployed applications, and possibly limited control of select networking components. The client typically pays on a per-use basis.

Further, Neil presented another topic, “Make Business Sense of the Cloud for Business Continuity.” The emergence of Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service or DRaaS provides a higher level of resiliency and scalability than the on-premise option. Catering to natural disasters as well as technology failure, it is a pay-as-you-go model that provides instant recovery of an organisation technology, made available by virtualisation.  He later gave tips on what organisations must consider before choosing a provider: their credentials, their datacentre tier, due diligence, and regulatory compliance.

CommVault Systems’ Nigel Tozer presented storage options in the Cloud, highlighting Simpana Software – a single platform to protect, manage and access all company information. This software is powering Frontier Technology’s Cloud services and is also available as a service from them.

“Where is the data going, who can access it?” These are some of the key questions organisations have when deciding to go to the Cloud. Frank Jennings, Partner and Head of Commercial at DMH Stallard, addressed these concerns and presented the risks that surround the Cloud. According to the Cloud Industry Forum’s study on “UK Cloud adoption and trends for 2013,” data security was the highest concern for organisations, followed by data privacy and data sovereignty and jurisdiction. Depending on the provider and where their datacentre is based, various entities may have access to an organisation’s hosted data: cloud provider, cloud channel reseller, third party IT consultants, governments, mobile networks, and the customers. To restrict access, organisations must manage data proactively, create different levels of access for different types of data and perhaps, keep data in a hybrid cloud, Frank Jennings suggests.

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For a full scope of the event’s content, please feel free to download these presentations:

Demystifying the Cloud – Neil Cattermull, Frontier Technology

Make Business Sense of the Cloud for Business ContinuityNeil Cattermull, Frontier Technology

Leveraging Storage in the Cloud – Nigel Tozer, CommVault

Managing Data Risks in the Cloud – Frank Jennings, DMH Stallard

The Frontier Technology Cloud – Edwin Wong, Frontier Technology

For more information, please get in touch with us on 0845 603 6552.