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Data security and WAN capacity are holding customers back from cloud computing.
Channel experts will advise partners on how to ease those concerns at Channel Partners Evolution in Austin, Texas.
The Sept. 26 panel, “Security, Speed, Spend: Knocking Down Cloud Objections,” will feature Bill Wohnoutka of Level 3 Communications, Sanjay Srinivasan of Vonage, and Domenic Cutry of Broadview Networks, now a Windstream company.
Wohnoutka and Cutry spoke to Channel Partners, previewing the session. We have edited the transcript for clarity.
Channel Partners: What is a significant factor that is preventing customers from demanding cloud services?
Domenic Cutry: One of the more pervasive factors I observe (particularly in the SMB space) is the lack of understanding regarding roles and responsibilities; some customers really haven’t fully grasped the business-operations implications of a true cloud adoption. They perceive “the cloud” to be a magic remote data center without fully understanding the management and maintenance of their applications/services related to their internal staff. More important, they miss the concept of truly moving the organization into the cloud (vs. moving “data” or “apps”). And using the cloud as a tool to transform how they do business. Many customers simply don’t see the overall value because they compare costs using a model that applies to how they do business today. They don’t comprehend the potential value of what’s possible when you really embrace the cloud.
Bill Wohnoutka: Businesses are still uncertain how cloud service providers will handle security for their data at rest. How will the cloud provider control administrative access to the customer data? How will the cloud provider treat data that is to be permanently removed from storage? How will the provider offer visibility to the customer? Perhaps most importantly: Businesses face uncertainty with regard to how they can extend their existing network-based security controls into a virtual environment where the perimeter has been eroded or no longer exists.
CP: How should partners address the concern you mentioned?
BW: First, partners should work closely with their cloud suppliers to ensure they can articulate vendor policies and controls that are part of the services provided.
Second, partners should be in a position to articulate and demonstrate data access policies for administrative employees, APIs and interfaces for monitoring — in addition to most policies regarding the physical and system-level removal and deletion of customer data. Partners should be familiar with their customers’ network security framework and understand the key options for extending that framework into the virtual environment. They should be able to augment cloud providers’ security features with third-party tools, such as replicating controls inherent in the customers’ segmented network architecture into their virtual environment using …