Handling Data Security in the Hybrid Cloud

Handling Data Security in the Hybrid Cloud

The prices and services offered by cloud infrastructure change so often. However, security should be a big priority in any scenario. Strategies for hybrid cloud platforms must be such that it takes into account continuous movement of data between private and public clouds. Explore here, the six important factors with which your data security strategy will get flexible across all service providers.

Hybrid Cloud

1. Service Level Agreement
Clarify from the cloud provider the level of security that you require once you move your assets into the public cloud. You can also inform the provider if you need any restrictions concerning the data, such as storage, encryption or backup. When you sign an agreement make sure you include data flow, data encryption, data privacy etc. Generally, different cloud providers use different standards and tools in each of these areas. It’s better to focus on the outcome rather than the technology.

2. Better data governance
Before finalizing a cloud provider, classify your data into two: that can be kept in the public cloud, and the other that can be moved to the public cloud. This will help you in controlling the most critical data. Always be on the safer side. Keep a backup of your data from the cloud to a third party , whom you trust or to yourself. This can help minimize data loss.

3. Secure communication network
Cloud service providers, usually use public internet to transfer data. This kind of data transmission is insecure. Maintain the security of your data using virtual private network (VPN). There might be additional costs that you might have to spend if the cloud provider uses a specific encryption strategy.

4. Infallible authentication
While working with sensitive data, simple password protection is not sufficient. Other alternatives like one time passwords, bio-metric authentication can be used instead.

5. Application Program Interfaces
APIs allow data administrators to specify which data is available and under what condition and time. Cloud computing has given rise to numerous APIs that enable exchange of data in a secure manner. Using APIs, makes your applications more secure and portable. Prior to signing a contract, specify the APIs you want the cloud provider to support.

6. Encryption
It is essential that sensitive data be encrypted at all times. Enquire whether the cloud provider supports the encryption protocol, which you prefer. Let the keys of encryption be kept in your hands and not in the service provider’s.

Hybrid Cloud

Why is There Diminishing Faith in Cloud Security?
All major enterprises refuse to stand by the hybrid clouds, even though it offers agility and cost efficiency. Businesses do not have full faith on the security measures employed by the hybrid cloud, and prefer existing internal security over it. They fear that by moving their data onto hybrid cloud, they might lose its confidentiality.

Cloud Security and Open Virtual Private Network
Faith in cloud data security can be restored with the help of an Open Virtual Private network. Open VPN is meant to confer secure and safe data exchange between networks. It uses SSL based encryption for exchanging data between the cloud and the enterprise’s infrastructure. This also supports various ways of authenticating the enterprise and cloud, prior to establishing a safe connection. These include username/password, verifying credentials, smart cards and firewall access restriction policies.

Hybrid Cloud

Why is Encryption of data important?
The only solution to protecting your data against eavesdropping, tampering and hacking is via encryption. If the same has to be done on the cloud, then it requires much expenses in terms of configuration and management. Encrypting all the data in the cloud will need a decryption key from the company/enterprise. Intruders will get easy access to the sensitive data, if there is poor configuration of encryption and decryption.

At Breeze Telecom we have a solution to all your cloud requirements, be it hybrid, private or public. Based in California, we cater to both medium and small sized enterprises. We strive to add ease to implementation and management of IT services. Breeze Telecom has acquired a strong base in the IT services market place. From AWS/Azure, WAN/ to mobility data solutions, we cater to the technological needs of all enterprises.

Reasons Why Your Organization Should Move to Private Cloud Computing

Reasons Why Your Organization Should Move to Private Cloud Computing

When your organization plans to adopt cloud computing, you generally think of public cloud. It is offered by many big companies these days. But if you opt for public cloud then you will have to share your infrastructure or applications through the internet with millions of users across the world. Some organizations cannot move directly to public cloud due to various security and other reasons. Thus, they have the option of private cloud. A Private Cloud Computing allows any organization to build the infrastructure on their own by using their personal servers or they can also involve a third party to build the server for them.

  1. Private cloud computing saves your time and money: Private cloud not only offers you complete security and many virtualization benefits. But, it is also cheap and is a stress-free process as compared to buying dedicated servers or buying your own servers. Your company can very easily benefit from virtualization if it has two servers, and from providing cloud with various host servers if it has more than 10 servers.
  2. More reliability: Private cloud offers that reliability level, which public or shared cloud often lacks. The Private cloud offers improved services that are supported by more reliable and acceptable network backbones.
  3. More security: As the private cloud belongs to a single organization, so the infrastructure and system are capable of providing the high level of security.
  4. Virtual servers joint with a SAN allow for better safety against disasters: When SAN is connected to your private cloud then it can do wonders for your organization. Apart from balancing servers for you, it can also help you to shut down one server. In case you own more than one and that too without any interruption. You can also perform other activities without any interruption like replacing a hard drive, updating software etc.
  5. Improves performance: Usually private cloud is arranged inside the firewall of the company’s intranet, so you experience effective and improved network performance.
  6. Improves resource management by fully utilizing your hardware: Virtualization uplifts the value of your physical server software. In spite of owning many servers that average 10% CPU utilization with virtualization, you can virtualize all these servers on a single physical server. This way it becomes easier for you to manage and also power usage gets reduced. If you have an organized and proper resource management tools available on your server then you can very easily a lot the suitable resources to a server when it is required. You may also turn off idle servers at the time of low usage.
  7. Easy customization: Under the private cloud, the hardware and all other resources can be customized easily by the company as per its needs and changes in technology.
  8. Better flexibility: Private cloud computing helps you to transfer resources in few seconds without worrying about finding a physical server, which will have the accurate resources for your new server requirement.

Apart from offering virtualized and combined computer resources benefits, private cloud also helps an organization in maintaining the reliability and security of a dedicated server. If managed properly, private cloud computing can prove to be very economical and beneficial process.

If you have any query related to private cloud services or adoption of private cloud then you can contact us at breeze-telecom.

Private Cloud: Data Center vs. Hosted Cloud

Private Cloud: Data Center vs. Hosted Cloud

hosted cloudIn this era of limited finances, business enterprises are focusing on a more operational approach to managing their hosting needs in a way that is cost-effective and scalable. Hosted Cloud is becoming one such trendsetter in the digitalized world. We’ve seen a transition from a pay-as-you-go pricing model to a streamlined process that includes disaster recovery. On the other hand, there are scenarios where purchasing infrastructure and using a private Data Center has its advantages: performance, control, long-term ROI, is just a few of them.  We are going to attempt to provide a high level blog to help address some of the differences between Hosted Cloud and Data Center, so that you can decide which direction may be best for your organization.

Understanding the Basic Difference

Some companies don’t fully understand the basic difference between Data Centers and Hosted Clouds.

On-premise Data Center offerings are in-house solutions that are deployed in the traditional manner where there are servers, installed operating systems and other hardware present at the Data Center itself. These on-premise solutions can be touched as these are tangible, physical assets. Although the clients own the physical infrastructure in the Data Center, the actual physical security and electricity costs may have to be managed by the Data Center Provider.

Coresite, a reliable colocation provider continues to expand direct access to Amazon Web Services with new deployments at its Santa Clara campus. CoreSite data centers take a seat at the intersection of cloud providers, telecommunications, and healthcare industry.

Equinix– The global carrier-neutral data centers and Internet exchange provider, frequently talks about how one can make the enterprise more agile and cloud-connected!

QTS, which has built some of the world’s robust and redundant data centers, continues to be driven by its core business model of delivering a unique integrated services platform.  In fact, its integration with Carpathia helped QTS to overcome the gap that existed between traditional data center needs and cloud providers.

Ten years ago, the $300B data center industry was considered the best option for all enterprises and any outsourcing option were rejected out-of-hand. However, Amazon Web Service (AWS) transformed how computers worked in the enterprise with the introduction of a cloud-based platform. In a recent survey, Gartner estimated that AWS customers deploy ten times more infrastructure on AWS than the combined adoption of the next 14 providers.

Hosted Cloud Solutions, on the other hand, are solutions offered by third-party cloud providers. Contracted for a set time interval, these solutions are built for the enterprises specifically. From providing physical security, computer, to support configuration, everything is provided by the host platform. The cloud providers are solely responsible for ongoing maintenance. Most often, these cloud vendors own infrastructure in multiple data centers in remote locations to secure the data during outages and other Data Center failures.

Datapipe – a secured compliant global leader in managed hybrid IT solutions for AWS, mentioned in one of his blogs regarding how hosted multi-cloud solutions can reduce IT expenses.

As per a study conducted by Rackspace– the open cloud hosting company, about 88 percent of cloud users point to cost savings and 56 percent of the respondents agreed that cloud computing has helped them boost profits.

Is Cloud Hosting Better in Terms of Data Security?

Security is a complex and expensive parameter. It has to be maintained 24×7. The most important thing to understand here is that Data Centers Solutions are accountable for their own security. Since these Data Centers are physically connected to local networks, only authorized equipment can store information in them. Therefore, security is one of the main comforts of a colocation Data Center.

hosted cloud data securityHosted Cloud-based platforms, on the other hand, are also secure as they have the ability to leverage the economies of scale in multiple off-site Data Centers where they house their own infrastructure, thus being able to contribute towards even higher levels of data security where applicable. Research has found that anything that can be accessed from within the enterprise has a higher chance of being attacked than penetrating an off-site location whether it’s with a Hosted Cloud Provider or with a Data Center Provider.

At a high level, the security breaching parameter is fairly equal for both the platforms.

Is Hosted Cloud a more Cost-effective Solution than On-premise Deployments?

Most buyers believe that Data Center Infrastructure deployments involve hefty investments, whereas cloud computing migrations and implementations have a cheaper startup cost. What many forget to consider is the total cost of ownership.  Even though this task of cost comparison can be overwhelming, these few listed points make the decision relatively simple.

  • The Installation Cost

The initial setting up of on-premise servers even without customization requires huge capital. Cloud vendors on the other hand just charge a setup fee.

  • The Maintenance Cost

Cloud servers require less maintenance than that of physical servers because they are owned by the cloud service providers. Many cloud vendors today can also provide a lower bandwidth cost because their bandwidth investment can be distributed among all of their customers. In a Data Center environment, make sure to list all of the equipment with a conservative cost of time to maintain every asset.

  • The Hardware Cost

In-house or Data Center systems require upgraded hardware to properly run the system.  Create a spreadsheet of the cost to upgrade and any licensing upgrades that will be coming in the future.  With cloud vendors, there is absolutely no need for server hardware since they host the software.

After this comparison, Enterprises only need to pay subscription fees for Cloud services, and in-house Data Centers not only are they more up-front capital friendly  to install but also easier to maintain.

Internap – the cloud hosting expert mentions that by deploying an appropriate cloud-hosting model becomes easy to lower the operating costs as well as increase business flexibility.

Is Cloud-hosting more Scalable than On-premise Data Centers?

Hosted cloud data center

The advantage of cloud computing is that it includes resource pooling, which involves multiple clients, customers or “tenants” with provisional and scalable services. They can afford to offer a scale of services you could not provision yourself at any cost.

Even though business enterprises enjoy the cost-savings opportunity and efficiency improvements through cloud-hosting, but they simultaneously trade-off face to face relationships and 24*7 data security check. Thus, it can be concluded that both data centers, as well as cloud computing, have their own set of benefits and organizations built on traditional IT paradigm may or may not adapt well in the digitalized world.

Breeze-Telecom – A San Francisco-based Technology Agency, offers technology and telecom services to help you choose the most ROI-beneficial solution.

Ensure Safety of Cloud Computing Solutions on Choosing SaaS

Ensure Safety of Cloud Computing Solutions on Choosing SaaS

With the ever-increasing pace of businesses, organizations are rapidly moving to the Cloud to stay at par with their competitors. This has led to many companies adopting Software as a Service. Although this move comes with a bundle of benefits, you need to be doubly sure that your service provider is meeting the security needs as well. The major apprehensions regarding SaaS model are related to lack of visibility about the manner in which the data is going to be stored and secured. While architecting SaaS applications, the following security considerations need to be kept in mind to ensure complete safety of sensitive data:

Get the Basics Right- Start by Choosing the correct SaaS provider

SaaS

Since a huge share of cloud-based software, security is handed over to the SaaS provider, it becomes imperative to choose one wisely. It is always better to opt for services that ensure password-protection and limited access to sensitive data. Any sort of data encryption facility is an add-on. Before signing the contract, enquire about where the data is going to be stored and what are the backup & recovery provisions. Ask for references and get in touch with the customers that your vendor has served previously to get a thorough reality check. You can also investigate the vendor’s responses to security-related incidents in the past for greater clarity.

Draft an Unambiguous Cloud Computing Policy

This policy is intended to specify who all are authorized to access the software and for what purposes. You can manage the way employees access the software and pre-define the circumstances under which this can be done. For instance, you can specify it in the Cloud Computing Policy that whether you wish to allow users to access the system using their personal laptops or mobile devices.

Refrain from Putting Highly Sensitive Data onto the System

Most of the organizations opt for cloud-based SaaS to allow integration of applications and ensuring a centralized user experience for different functions. Still, it is not recommended to put highly sensitive data, including personal or proprietary, to be shifted entirely onto the system. It is always better to store ultra-sensitive data on your local server.

SaaS- Secured Cloud Computing Service

Security Controls Should be Monitored Regularly

It is crucial to audit the security controls from time to time, in order to prevent security breaches. SaaS audits can be performed according to different standards according to the type of application you are using. You can ask the vendor to hire a trustworthy third party to perform the audit and provide you with the results. In addition, you can have a small internal audit team to monitor software implementations on a regular basis.

Take Ample Internet Security Measures

SaaS - Cloyd Security

The SaaS provider has the primary responsibility of providing data security but you still need to be cautious at your end. Standard internet security measures like deploying an antivirus software and sufficiently strong passwords are a bare minimum requirement from your side. Apart from this, you can ask the vendor to take ample measures for protection against system virus and cyber attacks. A good measure is ensuring that a tested copy of your systems is held in isolation from your live systems to prevent potential virus infection. This can be done through a third party provider who can guarantee complete isolation of your live systems.

Also, in the case of a cyber attack, your SaaS provider’s bandwidth might get restricted, rendering your IT systems unavailable for months too. You can ensure that this does not happen with your firm by having a secondary means of running your system on an independent platform.

To leverage the many benefits offered by SaaS providers you need to be a bit diligent on your part for adequate protection of the ‘cloud’ and preventing any unplanned interruptions to the business.

A Complete Guide to Cloud Data Management Technology

A Complete Guide to Cloud Data Management Technology

The traditional on-premises software is being rapidly replaced by cloud-based applications and other cloud computing services. Right from the database level, where Database as a Service (DaaS) has emerged as the more viable option for augmenting the efficacy of in-house databases to Business Intelligence and analytics which is heavily relying on cloud-based data warehousing, Cloud Data Management is becoming indispensable for enterprises of all scales. Moreover, the data integration vendors are even offering cloud-based versions of their tools and taking all the necessary steps for supporting the installation of SaaS and in-house in combination.

All these advantages seem lucrative enough but the IT managers have to use their discretion for establishing whether data management in the cloud is actually a prudent choice for their organization in particular. Cloud data management can speed up technology deployments and reduce CapEx costs along with cutting system maintenance costs. An increased level of flexibility is warranted to deal with the emerging business challenges. But you also need to keep in mind the potential downsides and challenges that might arise while switching to cloud computing. Data security is probably the biggest of these concerns since you are sending crucial business data outside your corporate firewall for storage.

For those considering investment in cloud data management, keeping a tab on the latest trends in cloud data warehousing, cloud database software and cloud data integration technology is very crucial. Precisely, cloud computing will play a pivotal role in the following fields in the future:

  • Cloud computing technology along with the prominent social networks is likely to play a huge role in Master Data Management (MDM).
  • The newest and upcoming database technologies like DaaS, NoSQL databases, and column-based database software will hit DBMS mainstream and make their presence felt in the IT market.
  • Even the data services experts see cloud services as a potent tool for data management, given their deployment in the first place is proper.
  • Integration demand of SaaS is likely to become more strong in the future, thus preventing business users from ignoring the cloud. Data quality and integration tools based on SaaS will gain more momentum.
  • Cloud will facilitate both Business Intelligence (BI) and on-demand data warehousing.

Cloud Data Management

Database as a Service- More Viable than On-premises Databases?

Due to the growing allure of the cloud with SaaS and other such services, businesses are not shying away from moving the most critical functions such as storage, emails, and CRMs into the cloud. This has paved the way for newer database services as well. Earlier, service providers were offering hosted databases as a part of a bigger cloud computing platform but now the concept of cloud database  management has moved a few paces ahead with Database as a Service. DaaS allows for reduced maintenance and eliminates the need for installing transactional databases locally. Companies can achieve cost-efficiency as the need for disaster recovery and high availability tools are lessened, reducing staffing costs as well. However, compliance and security remain major concerns regarding DaaS.

Apart from this, Cloud data integration software accelerates the process of data transfer to the cloud but it is still not the ideal fit for all organizations. This kind of software is not a likely choice for either large organizations with complex on-premise IT infrastructures or midsized organizations that are already using SaaS applications.

Watch this section for more updates on the latest cloud management trends. . .

Business Applications are the Best Pitch for Selling Cloud Services to SMBs

Business Applications are the Best Pitch for Selling Cloud Services to SMBs

Business man use tablet pc with colorful application icons

Most traditional telecom agents with Small & Medium Businesses (SMBs) as their primary clients find it hard to streamline their cloud offerings in a manner that appears lucrative to the patrons. Many of the service provider start with a service that lies within their comfort zone, for instance, hosted voice, when they sell cloud services to SMBs. But when it comes to expanding their cloud services portfolio, most of them struggle with finding the right service to begin with.

A majority of them consider infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) as the right choice but fail to realize that the complexities in this case are greater. Since, virtual server technology has a language of its own, you might find it hard to cope up with the immediate challenges of IaaS. Now, most of the SMBs along with other companies are running business applications in the cloud based on either a per-user subscription fee or per-seat model. Cloud-based applications such as Microsoft Sharepoint, virtual desktops, hosted voice and email are most commonly used services of business users. Clients can benefit tremendously by moving existing licenses — Microsoft SharePoint, SAP HANA One, Microsoft SQLServer, PeopleSoft, Microsoft Exchange and IBM DB2 to the cloud, provided their MSP can offer adequate support for this.

Businessman drawing cloud computing, technology connectivity concept

Along with this there are a few more reasons that make business applications a good choice for starting selling cloud services to MSPs:

  • Business applications are currently being offered by several data service providers and telecos, making them a convenient add-on.
  • You can open your door to broader cloud communications by offering business apps.
  • MSPs can increase their wallet share by adding business applications to their offerings.
  • You can easily figure out the cost for your client as the monthly price is decided on per-user basis and includes everything.
  • Transform your image from that of a ‘circuit provider’ to a ‘solution provider’ by offering this service.
  • Your client is the IT buyer who can act as the initial data gathering point as well as a technical resource for your project.
  • You can obtain visibility into which areas of the organization or lines of business are consuming cloud services. This may include HR, finance or marketing department.

As complete IT solution providers we would like to suggest that business applications are a prudent choice for telecos to expand their cloud-based offerings, especially when dealing with SMBs as this will create a win-win situation for all.