Cloud security and your continuing data center operation

Jun 7, 2016 1:07:54 AM

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Keep your data center running and plan optimal cloud security for each application

In previous blog posts, we considered the cloud myths that assert cloud deployments are all about savings and cost control, and it’s best to commit all of your applications to the cloud, using a single vendor. Today, we make a case against wholesale data center decommissioning and outdated notions of cloud security.

Cloud legend #3: Cloud equals data center decommissioning

For some companies, closing down their data centers in favor of moving data and applications to the cloud may turn out to yield the most desirable results, but for many organizations, the best outcome will come about with optimally planned utilization of data center and cloud resources. Just like there are workloads that are a great fit for the cloud’s service model and some that are less so, your data center planning should not simply pursue closing down the facility.

One of the advantage of cloud services is that they can be highly modular, so you can bring to the cloud those workloads for which this makes most sense. Your cloud and data center strategies need to be complementary, and it would be a mistake to subsume your data center planning under your cloud project. However, the efficiencies and economies you discover in the cloud may certainly make it possible to reassign or reduce data center resources.

Cloud legend #4: Cloud security is inferior than the security of on-premise deployments

Thanks to organizations like the Cloud Security Alliance and other industry initiatives, cloud security today is generally robust and mature. Don’t rely on your assumptions about the security offered by cloud services and vendors. You need to verify cloud security levels in each instance, much like you do to validate the integrity of on-premise data and applications. In today’s connected world, the risks to cloud-based and on-premise technology environments are not all that different anymore. If your company is like many, you need to plan and implement the right security level for each of your cloud and on-premise solutions and usage scenarios given the intensity of risk, the business-criticality of the data and applications, and the level of availability you want to accomplish.

However, the cloud environment is more complicated than the on-premise realm when you want to pinpoint the accountability for security. For instance, when you engage a cloud IaaS provider, the provider will likely be responsible for security at the IaaS level. If the provider does not own the data center where the IaaS technology resides, the data center operator will handle security at the data center level. Ultimately, you are responsible for devising a security strategy and ensuring that all of your applications are protected by the right measures and policies.

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