By Donna Hemmert
AIS Network, VP Strategy
One thing we have noticed change over the last 3 years is that we no longer have to sell people on cloud computing. A few years ago, the vast majority of our clients were using managed servers, but that has certainly shifted. And this is, of course, a part of a much larger trend. The IT community as a whole has accepted cloud for all its many benefits.
But where we now notice our clients seek advice is not WHETHER to adopt the cloud but which cloud to adopt – public, community, hybrid or private. And private cloud is by far seeing the most growth at AISN. Given much of our customer base consider our compliances (including HIPAA, PCI, SOX, FISMA, ISO 27002) key, we are not surprised by this. There is more on compliances below and how it relates to private cloud, but first let’s define private cloud and how it differs.
Private Cloud is a cloud that is operated solely by, or on behalf of, an organization. And, recently, with many public attacks on shared cloud environments (aka public or community cloud), the clamor for private cloud has heightened. Let’s face it; the alternatives like public clouds are popular. In fact, by 2016, it’s expected to account for more than $207 billion in revenue. But public clouds come with risks…. Whether security is breached with a web crawler to “scrape” data or a hacker spreading malware by breaking an encryption key, public clouds are just at increased risk over private cloud.
Private cloud is more secure than public or community clouds for a few reasons. Most notably, private cloud offers more control over security processes, including firewalls. By allowing customers to work directly with providers like us to control the security process, it provides greater security and customer confidence.
So when do you want to have private cloud? We find that organizations that require compliances like HIPAA or FISMA often prefer private cloud. In the case of HIPAA compliance, IT professionals have the burden of patient privacy being maintained. In fact, private cloud is often preferential for other professionals such as lawyers who are bound by oath for client privileges.
Think you might be interested in Private Cloud? Here are a few questions to be sure to ask us or another considered provider:
- What are the costs associated with private cloud?
- How quickly can I be up and running?
- How will you meet my company’s specific security requirements?
- If your require compliance with a specific security framework, be sure to ask about these. You can find many of AISN’s compliances listed here.
- Can I move all my current systems to this private cloud implementation (including legacy systems)?
- Do you back up? What are your Disaster Recovery offerings for private cloud?
- How private is it? Do you require logical isolation, or do you also require physical isolation?
- Does the provider offer additional IT managed services? Remember, your projects might grow over time and require other services.