When enterprises look to adopt the private cloud, they are often faced with a difficult choice between security or elasticity. These two features present challenges to enterprise-class cloud computing if the right solutions are not put into place. However, new technologies and tools offered by cloud service providers can balance security and elasticity so businesses can enjoy the benefits of both important cloud requirements.
According to Craig Sheridan with Celar, the definition of the cloud – through an infrastructure-as-a-service cloud perspective – is the ability to pay for computing resources only when needed, including instant scalability based on a business's current demand.
Elasticity and security in the private cloud
As for elasticity in IaaS clouds, it enables an application to automatically modify the infrastructure resources it utilizes to allow for diverse workloads and priorities, all while maintaining availability and performance in a context-aware environment, explained Sheridan. Through scaling resources up or down depending on demand, businesses are able to grasp a better understanding of the cost-saving benefits since they only pay for what they use.
For many enterprises, the elasticity of the cloud contradicts their current capabilities, especially since enterprise architectures are not inherently designed to integrate elasticity benefits due to various constraints, including existing legacy technology and security barriers.
"These enterprises cannot, therefore, maximize return on investment by achieving quality of service in performance, high availability and automation of requirements by instead provisioning manual storage, network and server resources based on best guess peak usage," said Sheridan.
Security is the main hurdle to instant elasticity, and implementing security in an enterprise data center is very different from that in the cloud.
"Utilizing scalable resources usually means utilizing the public cloud, which means shared resources, according to Logicworks. "This concept is inherently opposed to the traditional IT concept of dedicated, private infrastructure that many enterprises have relied on for decades."
However, with maturing technology, cloud service providers have figured out ways around this impasse by deploying various solutions including split-key encryption. Vendors are able to assist enterprise by determining which workloads are best suited for particular cloud platforms, including syncing infrastructure strategy with development strategy to enable scalability in an application itself.
Working with managed service providers that specialize in IaaS cloud solutions, such as Peak, which allows company to white-label their existing private cloud service, enterprise can quickly achieve elasticity requirements without compromising security.