The Data Center: Security, Compliance Issues Holding Back the Clouds

August 15, 2008 —  (Page 2 of 2)
I think workload portability can become a crucial step in the evolution of cloud computing. Today, many companies are offering seamless migration of virtual machines in real time between servers. The same principle applies to clouds; the option needs to be there that allows the entire cloud to be migrated to another cloud or cloud provider with ease. Many have contemplated that clouds will allow the enterprise to move their compute power to whichever data center or location offers the cheapest power, most energy-efficient data center or most attractive renewable energy used. It is kind of like today’s location-aware applications for your smartphone—workloads must be location-aware to move to a preferred location or data center.

There are also a number of benefits for disaster recovery and business continuity. If you know that a particular location is expecting or experiencing problems, you should be able to dynamically set a rule in your cloud management software that excludes those particular resources from being used.

Today, it is a colocation arrangement that lets companies not worry about ever-changing data center infrastructure, security and overhead. Equipment at a single colocation site is still a single point of failure though. Wouldn’t it be better to have a provider that has several data centers spread throughout the country (or world), and because of this is then able to offer you a colocation package that gives you compute power across their cloud? If your needs are big enough, maybe they offer you a container at multiple data centers and a reserved parking spot for disaster recovery purposes at another one or two locations. With cloud computing, the focus really changes to the employees and how they access the Internet, where your infrastructure (in the cloud) is safe.

A nice aspect of cloud computing is that it is something companies can ease into. Keep using existing resources and configure them such that, if the applications require additional resources, they can seamlessly use the cloud infrastructure. As time goes by and the shift will happen that the cloud is being used more than the legacy, company-owned equipment. Let’s not forget the network either. Moving all of this data around in the cloud would not be feasible without the advances made in DWDM, Wide Area Network Optimization tools and many other technologies. These same things that carriers use in their networks can also be applied to an enterprise cloud to connect all of the nodes together.

Although cloud computing has received a lot of attention and marketing hype this last year, I believe the fundamentals of the concept are very promising and should allow IT to mature their infrastructure and computing needs into the cloud, and reap the benefits it has to offer.

John Rath is an independent consultant and blogger at He can be reached at

Related Search Term(s): backup & recovery, cloud computing, security

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