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Can’t Decide Between Public Or Private? Go Hybrid!

Posted by on Sep 4, 2013

Small and medium-sized businesses have leveraged public and private cloud services in order to compete on a global scale. But technology managers have issues with both deployment options as public options are less secure and private clouds can be expensive. To help bridge the gap, hybrid clouds have become the latest IT craze as they offer SMBs greater flexibility in infrastructure, storing, and syncing to the cloud. Regardless of which deployment option you choose, be sure that your cloud service offers encryption for data privacy and that it doesn’t host any encryption keys or plaintext.

Hybrid Cloud

For most SMBs, the hybrid cloud offers all of the cloud’s benefits with added security, lower costs, and more user control. Mike Maples, founder of the Floodgate Fund, notes that many businesses still aren’t capitalizing on the cloud. According to Maples, “On one hand, it seems like the cloud is ready for prime time. But there’s another way to look at this. You’ve got a lot of people in IT who would say that they’re never going to use the cloud. I think there was some study that came out recently that said something like 61 percent of files will never go to the cloud, because of security concerns.” But with a private or secure hybrid cloud, businesses can enjoy security, privacy controls, and convenience.

What Is the Hybrid Cloud?

In a recent Rackspace survey, 52% of respondents said they moved from the public cloud to the hybrid of private cloud primarily out of security concerns. About 40% claimed that private and hybrid clouds provided increased control over data and privacy, while 37% made the move primarily out of performance issues. Overall, public cloud use has dropped by about 8% from last year. According to Rackspace CTO John Engates, these figures indicate the general turn towards hybrid clouds as a solution. Engates said, “We had looked at hybrid as a bridge to the past. Now we’re seeing it as a bridge to the future. Young companies that don’t have legacy applications are turning to private clouds to do things they couldn’t do in the public cloud. That’s been a real eye-opener for us. It’s not just big companies that have a bunch of old stuff; it’s small companies that have a bunch of new stuff.”

Businesses are flocking to hybrid solutions for the relative low cost and added security measures, especially in the wake of the PRISM leaks. Another survey of U.S. and U.K. IT managers shows that 60% are moving away from the public cloud toward more secure options like hybrid services. John Engates claims that businesses “turn to the hybrid cloud because it can combine the best of public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers, delivering a common architecture that can be tailored to create the best fit for their specific needs. For example, instead of trying to run a big database in the public cloud on its own, which can be very problematic, businesses can leverage the hybrid cloud to run that database much more efficiently on a dedicated server that can burst into the public cloud when needed.” But if hybrid cloud providers wish to be successful, they must be able to show users that their data is truly protected and that their identities are kept anonymous, particularly after the blowback felt in the U.S. cloud industry after news broke on the NSA’s surveillance scandal.

Hybrid Clouds for SMBs

For most SMBs, finding a truly protected third party cloud service can be a challenge as many “secure” services on the market have security gaps that leave company data wide open to third party attacks, leaks, or hacking. One cloud storage and sync service that sets itself apart from the rest of the market is SpiderOak. This service provides SMBs with fully private cloud storage and syncing, featuring all of the benefits of the cloud along with 100% data privacy. SpiderOak is available with onsite deployment and private servers or outsourced deployment through a hybrid cloud, so that businesses of all sorts and sizes can tailor the service to fit their needs.

SpiderOak protects sensitive user data with 256-bit AES encryption so that files and passwords stay private. Authorized accounts and network devices can store and sync sensitive data with complete privacy, because this cloud service has absolutely “zero-knowledge” of user passwords or data. And all plaintext encryption keys are exclusively stored on approved devices because SpiderOak never hosts any plaintext data. This way, even if programs like NSA’s PRISM continue to stand unchallenged, consumers can rest easy knowing that their data is truly protected. SpiderOak’s cross-platform private cloud services are available for users on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, along with Android and iOS mobile devices, allowing for full flexibility and mobile access.

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