Cloud in Crisis: Learning from the Entertainment Giants

June 8, 2011 by Jon Corwin

TechPoint New Economy New RulesAmazon Cloud Player, Google Music Beta, and Apple iCloud. The stage is set for a new battle over dominance in the entertainment world. Music and content management in the cloud is all the buzz. In the race to build the best cloud-based services and devices, however, all parties should take heed the cautionary tales about hacker attacks that compromised personal data (including credit and identity information) for millions of customers. As fiduciaries of customer information, companies offering cloud services have a moral and legal obligation to protect that data.

With great reward comes great risk. The cloud is here to stay; the efficiencies, flexibility, and convenience of storing data on remote servers will be embraced further on both a B2B and consumer level. The relentless attacks against Sony, howeve stress the importance of clearly defined data policie. “The time to think about what you’d do is beforehand” stated Roy Hadley Jr., a partner in Barnes & Thornburg’s Atlanta office.
Cloud security will remain at the tip of IT’s tongue. Panelists at the TechPoint discussion session June 3 provided an inside look into how Google secures and protects customer information. Three main components ensure the reliability of security process; people, process, and technology. Over $8 billion dollars spent on building a secure Google infrastructure, it’s no wonder why 3 million businesses have made the leap to Google infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
Bluelock’s CTO, Pat O’Day, offered a guide to the four primary categories of cloud; software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and managed services (MS). SaaS is typically an application shared with other users, where a provider hosts and runs the software on its servers. IaaS, allows companies to rapidly expand (or contract) their datacenter operation capacity by supplying hardware, network, and services. PaaS providers create and manage all of the technology tools, including operating system, architechture, and other needs, to run platforms. Managed services use the internet to deliver unique services directly to customers. O’Day urged companies to analyze closely the SLA guarantees issues by cloud vendors.

TechPoint’s monthly breakfast series held the first Friday of every month is open to the public and seeks to introduce revolutionary thinking about how business is done today and how it will be done tomorrow. A question and answer session follows short presentations by our subject matter experts and VIP panelists. New Economy New Rules is held at the downtown Indianapolis offices of the law firm Barnes & Thornburg and is broadcast via a live, interactive video feed to many locations throughout Indiana.