With its cost and efficiency benefits, the cloud is here to stay. But overcoming nosey neighbours and security risks are still top of mind concerns for CIOs, says Networks Unlimited.
By Anton Jacobsz, Managing Director of F5 distributor Networks Unlimited
Most enterprises are already using cloud based solutions, even if they don’t see them as such. We see enterprises readily using Salesforce and Webex, yet still voicing concerns about a move to enterprise cloud computing. Their biggest concerns, they say, are data security, control and management of data in the cloud, and the ‘nosey neighbour’ phenomenon, where other cloud customers monopolise all the available resources and so degrade performance.
The fact is, the cloud is here to stay. It is estimated that over the next two years, around 70% of businesses will have a cloud environment of some kind. These cloud environments will help organisations improve service, streamline their IT, as well as offer faster build and deployment times, a quicker ROI and flexible payment terms. But unfortunately, early cloud deployments with poor management or inadequate service level agreements may have given cloud computing a bad name.
To allay fears around security, control and nosey neighbours, cloud service providers must be in a position to give their customers the assurance that their network traffic cannot be seen or manipulated by customers hosted on the same physical device. They need a solution where they are able to create virtual instances for completely isolated environments, with dedicated system resources to be able to meet different needs to different budgets. They also need to be in a position to guarantee that no nosey neighbour will be able to pull customers’ resources and availability.
Clustering technology needs to be so advanced that they do not lose half of their infrastructure in a high availability environment where they have a warm/cold standby. The solution must give the luxury of growing the customer’s environment in real time, allowing the service provider to shift a customer’s load and experience between hardware when it is necessary to cycle gear in and out of routine maintenance. In addition, with DDos attacks having become such a common reality, it is imperative that service providers have a DDos solution that allows them to take on more traffic loads confidently.
Networks Unlimited’s F5 ScaleN virtual Clustering Multiprocessing (vCMP) technology, part of F5’s market leading BIG-IP application delivery platform, allows service providers to create their Virtual BIG- IP instances on either the BIG-IP Appliances or VIPRION blades, with options of SSL offload, compression and DDos Protection. This gives cloud service providers a virtualisation strategy for application delivery and securing multi-tenant environments, and sets the scene for building local enterprise confidence in cloud computing.
In South Africa, the top cloud service providers are already harnessing the power and versatility of F5 solutions to deliver enhanced cloud services to their customers, renewing local confidence in the cloud.