September 16, 2009

Confronting Cloud Computing Security Concerns

Nicole Hemsoth

Are security concerns putting a damper on the enthusiastic acceptance of cloud computing?

Hopefully not – it appears that cloud computing is a solution that has arrived on the scene just in time.  IT infrastructures, whether in the government, academia or the enterprise, are beginning to fray badly. A few warning signs: In distributed computing environments, up to 85% of computing capacity sits idle. Also, IT is spending about 70% of its operating funds maintaining current infrastructures as opposed to adding new capabilities.

Cloud computing offers a new, more efficient, and economically attractive model – it’s undoubtedly the next step in the evolution of the data center.

Here’s just a few of the reasons why:

  • It provides access to computing and data resources from a cloud of on-line resources on a utility, pay-for usage basis
  • You have a wide range of choices – ranging from augmenting your existing IT infrastructure when you need excess capacity to meeting all your computational and storage requirements in the cloud
  • Users get their work done faster and only pay for the computing and storage resources they use
  • Avoid over-capacity/under utilization and associated long term fixed cost lock-in with potential technology obsolescence
  • Avoid or delay commitment to permanent infrastructure or data center upgrades

 Despite the cloud’s advantages, concerns about security are not going away.  And this could effectively blunt the widespread adoption of cloud computing.

To learn more about cloud computing and security, attend the free IBM Webinar:
 Confronting HPC Cloud Computing Security Concerns
 October 1, 11:00am ET.
Click here for more information or to register for the event.




Cloud Security – Not an Easy Task

IT mangers and security professionals who participated in a new study by the Ponemon Institute indicated that cybercrime and outsourcing were their top security concerns.  The survey found that 50% of the IT operations professionals viewed outsourcing as a major risk.  More than 75% of the security professionals identified cybercrime as a leading concern. 

Consumer technology, along with Web 2.0 and social networking, are moving into the workplace. This makes IT environments increasingly susceptible to security breaches from both within and without.  Cloud computing adds another layer of complexity to the mix.

The problem is that administering cloud security is not easy.  For example, it is difficult to physically locate where data is being processed and stored given virtualization, dynamic resource sharing, and the distributed nature of the compute assets. In addition, security processes are usually hidden behind layers of abstraction. 

Cloud computational processes are dynamic and transient. This means you have to continually optimize performance and load balance while meeting QoS and service level agreements.  And this increases the potential for misconfiguration and security breaches. 

Virtualization means that users from a variety of locations, both inside and outside the enterprise, share the same computing resources that you do, despite a broad range of trust levels.  You have to hope that your neighbors on the server don’t have larceny on their minds – or, if they do, that you’re safe and secure behind impenetrable firewalls and VPNs.

The Promise of Computing on Demand
IBM Computing on Demand (CoD) directly addresses your security concerns.

It offers flexible access to a highly responsive, cost effective, security-rich, high performance computing environment that you can rely on to augment your in-house capacity. 

Consider these advantages:

  • Security is a primary concern.  IBM puts all the safeguards in place to give you the protection you need while leveraging cloud computing to the maximum.
  • You use this environment like on-site hardware, but without the associated capital commitment and maintenance costs.
  • The hardware and software is hosted, maintained, and supported by IBM, allowing you to dynamically evolve your IT infrastructure to meet constantly changing business needs.
  • Computing time is available on an hourly, weekly, or yearly basis – you simply pay for the cycles and compute or storage resources you need for a specified period of time.
  • Servers are isolated into private VLANs with a choice of running secure virtualized server instances, or on bare metal for optimal high performance and predictability.

You may access IBM HPC optimized clusters in one or more of the IBM global CoD cloud centers located throughout the world – New York, London and Tokyo.   Compute resources are available on a secure IBM public cloud – flexible offerings and pricing models in a secure environment allows you to tailor your CoD solution to obtain maximum return at the lowest possible cost.


Find out how IBM CoD can help meet your IT requirements in a secure environment, attend the free IBM Webinar:
 Confronting HPC Cloud Computing Security Concerns
 October 1, 11:00am ET.
Click here for more information or to register for the event.






You and IBM CoD – the Best of Both Worlds
You can enjoy the same benefits that IBM CoD’s many clients are experiencing.  For example, these enterprises have reduced IT labor costs by an average of 50% in configuration, operations, management, and monitoring.  Capital utilization has improved by 75%, significantly reducing license costs. 

Both IT and end users are happier because data center personnel have been able to reduce provision cycle times from weeks to minutes.  At the same time, IT has been able to cut end user support costs by up to 40%. Quality is up, too – 30% of software defects have been eliminated.  

Overall IBM CoD provides you with access to a highly responsive, security-rich computing environment that can handle your excess workloads when computing demands exceed in-house capability. You can offer your internal customers a virtually limitless, on-demand compute capability because CoD allows you to scale your infrastructure far beyond normal in-house limits.

When you become a CoD member, you are engaged with a world-class, secure data center hardware environment – an environment that is hosted, maintained and supported by IBM to bring you cost effective capacity, allowing you to focus on business operations rather than infrastructure.

Contact IBM CoD


Don’t miss this free IBM Webinar that will answer your questions and address your concerns about cloud computing and security:
 Confronting HPC Cloud Computing Security Concerns
 October 1, 11:00am ET.
Click here for more information or to register for the event.




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