March / April 2011

##### Hello and welcome to the first edition of TD News for 2011

###### Trends in the Cloud

*“Cloud, Cloud, Cloud”*, they cried.

In a market where Cloud Computing is the new buzz word on the website of every storage and server vendor, there is some reluctance on the part of many customers to take on this type of computing, where there is a perceived lack of control, reduction in security and increased headache around data compliance.

However, with the attractive commercial models – pay-per-use and a move from Operating Expense to Capital Expenditure, the adoption curve for cloud computing was greatly helped by the global financial crisis.

It is clear that cloud computing can bring enormous benefits for IT users and experts such as the pay-per-use deployment of servers and swift deployment of new applications to new users. Cloud will ultimately transform today’s computing landscape, yet the elephant in the room is security.
Once the security issues have been resolved and offer guarantees around service integrity and reliability, cloud computing services will enable companies to expand their infrastructure, add capacity on demand and result in significant cost savings, delivering the benefits promised by so much of the hype.

Nick Jones from Gartner told the audience at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Sydney that *“for the next year or so, many enterprises will feel safer with private clouds than with the relatively uncontrolled public cloud because they’ll be safer, more manageable, easier to enforce things like compliance related to the location of data.”*

Those who have considered adoption of cloud may have experienced a degree of confusion as not all cloud offerings are the same. When companies consider moving to the cloud, they need to be mindful of which cloud option would work best for them. Each offering has different benefits and each impacts differently on a business.

The ‘Public’ cloud is most often a shared virtual infrastructure that allows customers to rent computing infrastructure at an off-site location, for a predictable monthly fee. The main attraction to this model is the potential cost savings and flexibility i.e. if users are not using a service, then it can be shut down and costs reduced. There is less of an upfront financial risk as this option does not require capital expenditure to purchase the hardware and software – really at the core of the promise of Cloud Computing.

However, as you are renting a shared infrastructure, the shared facility can expose the business to potential risk of data contamination. As data storage is off-site, there is a lack of service control that leaves your entire business at risk. Your company also relies heavily on the connection between your office and the provider location – effectively exposing your business at risk from multiple single points of failure. If this link fails, then your business is off-line until that link is restored.

After switching to cloud, your existing software licensing agreements may be invalidated and unable to be used legally on the shared virtual infrastructure, which would further increase the cost of using a service of this kind.

If you are considering a public cloud adoption, please take the time to:

– Consider what services and assets you want to move to cloud
– Ask where the data is kept and inquire as to the details of data protection
– Be vigilant around updates
– Seek an independent security audit of the host
– Find out which third parties the company deals with and whether they are able to access your data
– Be careful to develop good policies around passwords; how they are created, protected and changed
– Look into availability guarantees and penalties
– Find out whether the cloud provider will accommodate your own security policies

It seems that the three main concerns for adopting a public cloud infrastructure is security, control and data compliance. A ‘private’ cloud such as Cloudium is the solution to resolving such issues. A ‘Private’ Cloud Infrastructure is a secure, on-site cloud service that delivers the economic benefits associated with Public Cloud computing combined with the security associated with an in-house controlled hardware. The elephant is no longer the issue as data is kept secured and under your control. Cloud computing is a better way to run your business. Whether your company adopts tomorrow or in five years, the cloud is not going to evaporate.

[divider_top] ###### Thomas Duryea doubles up in EMC awards

Multi-award winning IT infrastructure solutions provider, Thomas Duryea, was announced the winner of the 2010 EMC Top Achiever – VIC/TAS and the 2010 EMC Specialist Partner of the Year – Unified Storage, at EMC’s Partner Summit.