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Security: Article

The Accessibility of the Cloud

An exclusive Q&A with Scott Morrison, CTO at Layer 7 Technologies

"Cloud made Big Data what it is today," stated Scott Morrison, CTO at Layer 7 Technologies, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "Cloud gave us the massively scalable infrastructure necessary to practically do Big Data," Morrison continued, "as well as the engineering mindset that made it a front-of-mind solution for organizations that may not have considered it before."

Cloud Computing Journal: The move to cloud isn't about saving money, it is about saving time. - Agree or disagree?

Scott Morrison: It's about both, but one or the other may be the driving motivator depending on the organization.

Cloud Computing Journal: How should organizations tackle their regulatory and compliance concerns in the cloud? Who should they be asking/trusting for advice?

Morrison: Definitely look to the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) for independent advice and guidance. Also consider engaging a specialist services firm that can provide advice from a technical, legal and organizational level.

Cloud Computing Journal: What does the emergence of Open Source clouds mean for the cloud ecosystem? How does the existence of OpenStack, CloudStack, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus and so on affect your own company?

Morrison: It makes it practical to build small private clouds with low risk and low cost. These have a tendency to take hold and grow fast, so organizations must be careful about choosing the right one early that will be able to scale effectively in their organization.

Cloud Computing Journal: With SMBs, the two primary challenges they face moving to the cloud are always stated as being cost and trust: where is the industry on satisfying SMBs on both points simultaneously - further along than in 2011-12, or...?

Morrison: Definitely further along than before. Amazon remains the benchmark for cheap and accessible public cloud infrastructure, and they've made tremendous strides in making a secure and trustworthy environment available that meets the needs of many SMBs and even the large enterprise.

Cloud infrastructure is also becoming ubiquitous enough that niche players are emerging offering highly secure and trustworthy environments. These often come at greater cost than Amazon, but the tradeoff may be in achieving a higher level of compliance to an organization's needs.

Cloud Computing Journal: 2013 seems to be turning into a breakthrough year for Big Data. How much does the success of cloud computing have to do with that?

Morrison: Cloud made Big Data what it is today. Cloud gave us the massively scalable infrastructure necessary to practically do Big Data, as well as the engineering mindset that made it a front-of-mind solution for organizations that may not have considered it before.

Cloud Computing Journal: What about the role of social: aside from the acronym itself SMAC (for Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) are you seeing and/or anticipating major traction in this area?

Morrison: The big challenge around cloud remains identity, and social identity is an important piece of this puzzle. The technology exists for effective identity integration across SMAC, but in practice it remains hard to do because of complexity.

Cloud Computing Journal: To finish, just as real estate is always said to be about "location, location, location", what one word, repeated three times, would you say cloud computing is all about?

Morrison: Accessibility, Accessibility, Accessibility. Cloud is about getting the resources you need, when you need them, with little or no friction.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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