IT Brief Australia - Cloud technologies: issues remain, says CenturyLink

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Cloud technologies: issues remain, says CenturyLink

Businesses still need to consider a number of issues that come about when running mission-critical applications in a public cloud environment, according to CenturyLink.

The company says the distrust from organisations is fading as confidence in cloud technology grows, but there are still questions that need to be answered.

“While private or hybrid cloud environments often present the most palatable cloud option for mission-critical apps due to the level of control IT teams can maintain over infrastructure, public cloud has a lot to offer,” explains Stuart Mills, regional director, ANZ, CenturyLink.

“The flexibility of public cloud, for example, gives companies the ability to freely scale as business needs change,” he says.

“Questions of security and reliability around public cloud deployments of mission-critical applications are well-founded,” says Mills.

“The potential for service outages still exists, although the risk is diminishing. Security and compliance issues are also reasonable concerns, even though they can be alleviated with the right approach and a bit of forethought.”

Mills says there are four considerations that will help companies successfully run mission-critical applications in a public cloud:

Security

Security is rightly one of the top concerns for businesses running mission-critical apps in a public cloud environment, Mills says.

“It is essential that the organisation’s public cloud provider is provisioned with proper security policies to meet specific compliance requirements.”

Compliance

According to Mills, regulatory compliance is a core element in information management.

“If companies are found to be non-compliant, they can be subject to hefty fines, not to mention the data breach risks,” he says. “Cloud providers need to have the right controls in place to ensure mission-critical information is managed properly.”

Availability

In some public cloud scenarios, the burden of availability is placed on the customer, meaning the company may need to redesign applications to be resilient on the cloud platform.

“To avoid this responsibility, the public cloud provider’s platform should ensure high availability with tools such as automated replication and monitoring,” says Mills.

Flexibility

When an application is moved to a cloud environment, it often requires manual network configuration changes, which can introduce errors, Mills says.

“A public cloud platform that gives IT teams the ability to configure their network topology as they would in their own data centre can alleviate this burden.”

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