Cloud computing is an emerging, smart IT delivery model that can enable your business to significantly reduce IT costs and complexities while sharpening your competitive edge. Cloud is the centralised hub for many ecommerce websites and applications.
Your business and workload will be in your control and always scalable. Through Virtualization, Standardisation and Automation, the Cloud is the one solution to cut down your costs and staff. In fact Cloud answers many of today’s problems.
However Cloud Computing doesn’t answer one main concern yet, — Security.
Security in the Cloud has been a big drawback that is preventing many organisations to stay away from Cloud Computing.
Why is Cloud Computing not completely secure?
The Cloud is a pool of resources controlled by major corporations who own the base hardware, virtualisation and automation software. The protection of these Clouds are more in case of Private Clouds than in Public Clouds.
In public Clouds the end user does not have control on what equipment and hardware the company provides him with. The user doesn’t have control over what part of his application or website insecure. Even at times of attacks, securing the data is not possible.
Private Clouds on the other hand have more security and management. However the problem is that there are less no of nodes to balance the data in case of Private Clouds. The data if corrupted cannot be recovered easily.
So in practice both Public and Private Clouds can be insecure. This is where Hybrid Cloud Computing is coming into existence. In Hybrid Clouds, a cluster of Public and Private Clouds can be used.
However in most cases a Hybrid Cloud consists of one Public Cloud and one Private Cloud.
The most important data can always be under good security in Private Cloud’s part and the data that is used on a general routine can be placed in Public Clouds.
Is a Hybrid Cloud based Cloud Computing secure?
Hybrid Cloud infrastructures are also not completely secure and redundant. If you thought a Hybrid Cloud can bring you peace, then you’re wrong. Let us look at the security drawbacks of Hybrid Clouds.
Lack of data redundancy:
Public Clouds are always advantageous as Clouds Service providers always dedicate significant resources to ensure the infrastructure is available and accessible when end users need it. This is the main reason they put up an SLA. The infrastructure can never go wrong.
Private clouds don’t have many resources, hence the SLA’s for Private and Hybrid Clouds are not available in general. Hybrid Clouds being one part public and one part private have multiple security loop holes.
Hybrid cloud is a complex system that is difficult to manage and configure, this leads to security risk.
The lack of redundant data centres can cost your uptime as well as your money. Your data in the Private Clouds is not distributed across multiple data centers, which causes data redundancy problems as well.
In order to obtain data redundancy, the Cloud must be implemented across multiple data centers of the same or different provider. From the same provider, the time taken to configure and configuration will be reduced. The provider will already have an option to integrate the clouds with one another. This in turn reduces time and money you invest.
In order to cut down costs, multiple data centers from the same provider can be efficient for data redundancy and node balancing.
Compliance between Public and Private Clouds:
Hybrid Clouds are basically Public and Private Clouds that are combined and well configured. The compliance between these two is not always possible. The coordination between the security, data and uptime of these two are completely different. In order to achieve interoperability, the Public and Private Clouds must be configured very carefully without possibility of a security breach.
Let’s take an e-commerce website for an example.
When a product is published on your site, all its relevant data and product brochure are displayed on you public cloud. When it comes to purchase and data encryption such as credit card details, the private clouds comes into action. The compliance between the public framework and backend secure coding must be compliance in all aspects and at maximum uptime.
Through the time of purchase the front end public cloud must send data to and fro to the private cloud and this has to be done securely.
Good security practices and SSL’s help prevent misuse of your resources and reduce the chances of a security breach in your cloud.
Risk hindrance in Hybrid Clouds:
Data encryption is a tough task, especially in Hybrid Clouds. The Public and Private Clouds are interoperable through an API. API’s are an effective way to communicate data but are insecure at times.
Creating highly secure API calls and configuring them between the Private and Public Clouds is a nightmare for the admins. This is where security is often breached.
SLA’s for Hybrid Clouds:
Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) are available for Public Clouds, but what about Hybrid and private clouds?
Maintaining SLA’s in Private and Hybrid Clouds is no possible, while private clouds can’t be guaranteed data redundancy, hybrid clouds can’t promise security to the end user. Interoperability between the two cannot be a onetime configuration. They need to be configured and modified as per the needs. In this regards there won’t be SLA’s but the choice of selection of the provider is upon the end user.
Last but not least Security in the Cloud:
Security must be well configured in all aspects. API’s, authentication, commerce, identity management are all a part of this. It is better to maintain the security protocols under both the public and private clouds rather than just on the private cloud.
But the admins must be aware that the public cloud data must be well secured as it is a non-secure environment.
A quick round up of keeping your Hybrid Cloud secure:
- Monitor everything in the public and private clouds
- Make sure the availability is spread across multiple data centers.
- Find a provider that can ensure maximum uptime if there is no good SLA.
- Make sure the Public and Private clouds in the Hybrid are well compliant and secure.
- Make use of extensive firewall applications and lock down unnecessary ports.
Hybrid Clouds yield more efficiency and uptime than public and private clouds, provided they are well configured, well maintained and secured from all vulnerabilities. They have good uptime and data redundancy.
The best part is that you have both Public and Private clouds at your hands. This leaves more space for future projects, cutting down costs and unnecessary staff working on dedicated servers and automating them.
If you have any suggestion or feedback on this, let us know in the comments. We would love to hear your thoughts on Cloud Computing and Hybrid Clouds.