Building A Future in the Cloud

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013

Enterprise IT is headed for the cloud. Companies in a wide range of sectors have flocked to cloud computing for cost-savings, big data analytics, and convenient storage solutions. But some major enterprises have still been slow to adopt the new technology out of security concerns. With a private cloud service, enterprises can leverage the cloud without worrying about hacking, leaks, or even NSA snooping. According to the April Congressional Research Service report, half of federal agencies already use cloud computing to some capacity, echoing the private sector’s rapid adoption. And an IDC report predicts that enterprise cloud revenues will jump up to $67.3 billion in 2016, from $22.9 billion in 2011. Enterprises that look forward to long-term growth should capitalize on the private cloud as early as possible, to avoid being left behind in a drastically shifting market. Options for enterprises range from re-architecting data onsite to cloud-sourcing data to third party providers. With deployment flexibility for private, public, and hybrid solutions, there’s a way for all enterprises to tap the cloud for their unique needs.

Cloud Infrastructure for Long-Term Growth

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Smaller businesses have been quick to adopt the cloud as it allows them to compete with larger competitors around the world. But some enterprises have remained reluctant to make the switch. According to Steve Smith, CEO at Equinix, “We continue to make headway with CIOs as they begin to adopt cloud services and understand the strategic implications [of] their data center strategy. However, broad public cloud adoption outside of small-to-medium business is still in the early days.” But while growth may be slow, it is still inevitable according to Pacific Crest Securities analyst, Michael Bowen. “CIOs of large enterprises are migrating legacy IT requirements and workloads more slowly to the cloud than originally anticipated,” said Bowen. Instead of full on adoption, some have opted for the flexibility and security of a hybrid cloud infrastructure. According to Rackspace, over half of cloud purchasers plan future hybrid deployments at their companies. And Tim Aranki at Pariveda Solutions believes the hybrid model has staying power for enterprises not wanting to fully commit to the cloud. Aranki said, “I believe the hybrid cloud is a natural evolution of the managed datacenter. The private datacenter is not going away anytime soon, but the ability, and need, to grow IT assets every year without continual infrastructure investments is critical. Beyond infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings continue to grow at many cloud providers.”

The Hybrid Cloud

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Cloud adoption is the new technological standard, but deployment will have to meet the unique needs of different enterprises. For some CEOs and CIOs, the hybrid cloud is a way to use the cloud without handing over security. CEO Larry Lang of Quorum says, “It truly delivers the best of both worlds: the elasticity, scalability and agility that the public cloud brings, but also the control, visibility and security that the private cloud offers. In addition, it offers the ability for enterprises to pay only for what they need, adding to its cache. Flexibility is the mark of a technology that will prevail in the years to come, and it defines the hybrid cloud. Its ‘best of both worlds’ draw makes it attractive to enterprises that don’t want to or can’t commit to the expense, complexity or security concerns presented by the public and private clouds.” While hybrid cloud remain popular with cautious enterprises, private cloud services can offer a real solution to security concerns, provided that encryption keys are exclusively stored on user devices.

Managing IT in the Cloud

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Protect Yourself With the Private Cloud

Trusting a third party cloud service to offer real protections can be a challenge as many “secure” services on the market have security gaps that leave private corporate and consumer data wide open to third party attacks and even governmental spying, in the light of the ongoing NSA PRISM program. One cloud storage and sync service that sets itself apart from the rest of the market is SpiderOak Blue. This service provides enterprises with fully private cloud storage and sync, featuring all of the benefits of the cloud along with 100% data privacy. SpiderOak Blue is available with onsite deployment and private servers or outsourced deployment through a private and secured public cloud server.

With 256-bit AES encryption, SpiderOak shields sensitive corporate data 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 and brands can gain diehard customer loyalty by publically securing consumer information. SpiderOak Blue’s cross-platform private cloud services are available for enterprises on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, along with Android and iOS mobile devices.

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