Despite all the benefits of cloud computing, there are some barriers to adoption. A recent panel on cloud computing at Interop 08 in Las Vegas, highlighted security and interoperability with in-house systems as key concerns for enterprises considering cloud computing.
This is a real issue for many enterprises with a large number of existing in-house systems which are not going away and must integrate with their cloud computing services. Many of these systems include proprietary software and sensitive data which organizations are reluctant to move into the cloud.
I would encourage customers evaluating cloud computing vendors to assess their security policies and architecture as well as their support for integration with in-house systems. On the security front, does the vendor’s data center implement comprehensive physical security policies? Has the application been architected from the ground-up as a secure multi-tenant solution? On the integration front, does the vendor provide an API to facilitate integration with your systems and processes? Does the vendor support secure mechanisms for connecting with your in-house systems?
At Skytap, we have recognize this need for some time and architected a highly secure multi-tenant solution supporting a ‘hybrid’ model where some applications run in our ‘public cloud’ but securely integrate and interoperate with in-house systems behind an organizations firewall. This allows organizations to selectively move some of their lab environments and applications to the cloud where it makes sense. For example, some companies may leverage Skytap as their sole QA and Training environment while others they may continue using an in-house QA & Training lab resources and augment with additional lab capacity from Skytap when required. Moreover, highly sensitive applications and data or systems that don’t run in the Skytap environment (e.g. mainframe) can remain behind the firewall yet fully integrate and interoperate with applications running in the Skytap virtual lab via a secure VPN connection.
Tell us your thoughts on barriers to adoption. What can cloud computing companies like Skytap do to better overcome these concerns?