Cloud Computing: Bringing a New level of efficiency to delivering on-demand IT Resources

Kirtikar Ojha, Business Head for Data Centre & Cloud Services, Sify Technologies

The US is a comparatively mature market when compared to India so there is a lag factor involved. Indians are adopting and finding ways to cut their costs and have a more flexible IT landscape as the cloud market in India is small as compared to the population and businesses from cost and security perspective. As a technology, Cloud is finding logical end with the CIOs because people are looking for acces­sible and cost-effective solutions.

The biggest challenge in the Cloud industry is the reluctance of CIOs and organizations to go for Cloud, as there is a lot of concern surrounding the security part. That feel good factor is not present in the cloud environ­ment. The other challenge is around core applications. It’s important to protect the data for banking and healthcare as the records there are con­fidential. The confidential information goes into Private Cloud whereas on core like HRMS, back end activities, mailing can go into Public Cloud.

Root Cause of Malware Attacks

Security is very complex and ad­vanced. Security starts from the in­ternet. Knowledge sharing, malware attacks, all the hacking activities hap­pen through internet. What if the security breach is happening on the routers of service providers and cus­tomers? Some times the customer’s premises firewall and routers are being compromised and the attacks happen from there. Hackers are smarter than the guys who are protecting the data. Somewhere we have to think like a hacker and deploy things which can make the entire of­fice foolproof. These are some of the policies practices, which start from network and go into LAN & WAN. This is the vulnerability of the attack or malware which is going around. The entire Iranian nuclear activity was jeopardized by Mussad of Israel by remotely send­ing some bugs and the entire nuclear program got shut down. The Iranian government’s whole nuclear program and sites got shut down because of bugs being floating around which were initiated by some mail ids. Once you open the impersonated mail, the entire system gets con­nected and generates self evolving, moving bugs.

Among intranet and internet, the intranet may be secure which gives you a better control of working in office environment. A secure way which you cannot access from outside, if you're sit­ting at home and you want to access your HRMS portal you have to go through a VPN, to an intranet portal which is protect­ed by a firewall. While access­ing this from home you might generate some malware as it’s a LAN.

Difference between Captive and Cloud

In a cloud setup the service pro­viders are giving you a single window view in the landscape you've deployed which can be cus­tomized according to your require­ments. It will work like a server in the active environment be it a vir­tual machine or firewall or router. Along with being scalable and cost-effective, it is transparent and flex­ible. It doesn’t have a fixed cost and it helps you upgrade or downgrade your setup, this is what we call pay per use. But in the Captive environ­ment, you don't have any control as you have already invested money.

When an established bank needs analytics and big data deployment, they can afford to go for the Cap­tive scenario but a budding compa­ny might go for analytics and data in a Cloud environment. A start-up business would go for analytics and cloud which is provided as a service model by the service provider.

When we do everything on your own the data centre costs are the maximum.

Digitization is the Future

Deprivation of things creates hu­mongous opportunities. Depriva­tion of cash is resulting in digitiza­tion networks. It is for the first time that a political leadership has done disruption in the country by ban­ning old denominations. Digital transformation will happen in this country. The rapid growth of digi­tized platform will change the way we have been transacting in the economy. That gives rise to startups and applications.

A lot of real time applications would come in along with enter­tainment and content which will be residing on cloud. There will be a lot of action on creating app-driven cloud environment. Lots of appli­cations along with of e-commerce would be coming on cloud. This will need a trigger in the security aspect. Security would see a lot of transfor­mation in the cloud deployment be­cause that’s where the success of the entire platform lies.

In urban areas we'll continue to see conflict of thoughts between Pub­lic and Private Cloud or Captive and Outsourced. Hybrid cloud is the way forward. The core applications that we want to protect will reside in a Pri­vate cloud. Other applications would reside in Public cloud.

Five years down the line, there'll be a lot of action on content and en­tertainment with real time applica­tions, payment gateways, all going into cloud environment.