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Cloud security – why private’s better

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At the recent Cloud Circle forum I joined other presenters for a question and answer session in which participants from a wide variety of organisations were able to discuss their Cloud experiences and concerns.

It became apparent that while there are several issues hampering wholescale adoption of the Cloud, one of the main problems is the confusion between the business-grade private Cloud and the inflexibility and insecurity of the consumer-grade public Cloud.

Deficiencies of the public Cloud
The concerns expressed by participants about the Cloud in general can be laid largely at the door of the public Cloud:

• Inability to be tailored to specific requirements
• Inflexibility of services delivered
• Lack of, or flimsy, service level agreements (SLAs) on performance
• Lack of transparency in terms of storage and network traffic
• Insecurity of data in the face of evolving online threats.

Benefits of a private Cloud
I don’t want to suggest that none of the issues of the public Cloud apply to the private Cloud. Of course that’s not true. For example, the issue of security is huge –in fact so significant that the Cloud Circle is running a series of specialist Cloud security conferences.

But the truth is that services delivered over a private Cloud can be tailored, there is far greater flexibility, you can demand robust and detailed SLAs and you can ask to see the data centres and systems housing and delivering your data. And, as one of our customers, Cullum Capital Ventures has said, “The security issues around the private Cloud are much easier to control than those of a consumer-grade public Cloud.”

As the Cloud continues to develop, no doubt the waters will become more muddied, the issues more complex, and the discussions more important… I’ll see you at the next Cloud Circle forum!

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