Cloud is the Conservative Choice


How Migrating your Infrastructure to the Cloud Improves Security, Productivity and Business Continuity

Existing infrastructures today are hugely varied, due to (where applicable) on-going acquisition efforts but certainly the complexities of the business. Infrastructures today require substantial resources to maintain, secure and monitor. Unless you are an IT company, IT infrastructure is not your primary business – but for instance legal or financial services are. Moving to Cloud-based infrastructure represents the most conservative, risk-adverse approach to providing the services required for your company to effectively serve its partners, employees and customers.

The Cloud is Not All New

The moniker “cloud computing” is a recent invention, but the bulk of what is today called cloud is not actually new – it is a rebranding of ISPs and hosting services. There are new products that are part of the cloud movement that are new, primarily elastic computing – technology that dynamically scales computing according to need. These new technologies should be evaluated but are not required in the current effort to secure the infrastructure of your company.

The Cloud Is Not “All or Nothing”

With a variety of services available under the cloud moniker, customers are able to pick-and-choose what services they wish to use. This opens the door to hybrid cloud models where part of the service lives in the cloud, part in hosted services and part in servers owned by the organization.

Hybrid Cloud Supports Jurisdictional Compliance

The hybrid cloud model represents the most effective solution to dealing with jurisdictional compliance challenges in certain countries. Current generation cloud offerings do not offer sufficient control to support jurisdictional compliance. In these scenarios, services hosted in the country in question support jurisdictional compliance while still providing interoperability with cloud services as well as on-premise servers.

Building a Conservative Infrastructure

Within any distributed infrastructure, each and every server represents a liability: physical security, content security, maintenance and monitoring. Often these servers are on-premise.

A conservative and risk-adverse infrastructure for your company minimizes the number of servers it owns utilizing the hybrid-cloud model. Services that do not have jurisdictional compliance issues in particular countries should operate in the cloud. Services with country-specific jurisdictional compliance issues should be operating on a hosted server in the country in question. Where these hosting services do not exist, your company should place a server in a co-location facility in the country. Only when none of these options are available should the server actually be hosted on the office premises.

When applied to email, this hybrid cloud design requires Office 365. Office 365 is SAS70 and ISO27001 compliant. Office 365 is Exchange 2010, so where Office 365 is not an option due to jurisdictional compliance, Exchange 2010 can be utilized as a hosted service or on your own server.

A conversation with Ron Markezich, Corporate Vice President of Online Services at Microsoft offers this:

“Office 365 is in beta today, but it will be generally available this year. Exchange Online in Office 365 has 50M users from educational institutions provisioned today – we brought to market early for educational institutions under Live@edu.

Office 365 is the next version of BPOS. BPOS runs on Exchange 2007 and SharePoint 2007. Office 365 runs on Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010 and Lync. We also add MS Office to Office 365 which did not exist in BPOS. The support processes, platform is the same – just the core server technology is being upgraded. We wanted to get a better name than BPOS and locked on Office 365.”

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