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Bringing the cloud to data that cannot be moved

Jul. 18, 2014 - 03:03PM   |  
By JANE SNOWDON   |   Comments

Many regulations, laws, and industry guidelines govern how sensitive personal information and regulated data are managed in the healthcare, banking, and financial industries. Improper release of regulated or sensitive information can result in significant consequences and damage, making compliance with government regulatory acts and industry guidelines paramount.

Micro-Cloud: Cloud moving into the network

Cloud computing has many benefits but cases exist where some data cannot be moved to the cloud for of a variety of reasons. For example, security concerns or regulatory compliance requirements might limit the use of the cloud. In some cases, data may be generated at rates that are too big to move or at rates that exceed transfer capacity, for example in surveillance, operations in remote areas, and telemetry applications.

Micro-Cloud technology is a new model for cloud computing especially suited for organizations that are unable to move data onto the cloud due to insufficient bandwidth, latency, location-specific processing needs, Big Data, security, or compliance reasons. Micro-Cloud allows organizations to realize the benefits of cloud computing as they create new insights from their premises by moving computations and analytics to where the data resides, dynamically and intelligently.

The challenge of not always being able to move data to the cloud is faced by many industries. In the banking and financial industry, huge amounts of data are generated in each of their locations and data centers, where regulatory restrictions apply on how and where data can be moved across global locations. In retail, data is generated at numerous branches and outlets, but the amount of network connectivity many have in remote branches can be fairly limiting.

In education, almost all universities are globalizing, but as they globalize, hosting and delivering the IT infrastructure that is needed for many of the overseas campuses is not as good because overseas link capacity affects performance. The government and travel and transportation industry have ships, airplanes, and tanks moving into areas where the only connectivity is by satellite. In those cases, the satellite connectivity has both high latency and limited bandwidth compared to most other IT applications. Itís clear that managing regulated and sensitive data and handling big data is a cross-industry challenge.

Micro-Cloud: Moving computation to data

Micro-Cloud technology allows solutions developed in a cloud environment to be brought seamlessly to on-premise systems for execution, allowing the benefits of cloud computing to be realized for data that cannot be moved to cloud for processing. A Micro-Cloud has three components: a self-managing, on-premise appliance; a traditional cloud for software-as-a-service (SaaS); and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to move SaaS to the appliance. Micro-Cloud hosts a suite of existing applications in either a public or private cloud environment and enables SaaS components to be downloaded and configured to run on an on-premise appliance, which could be either virtual or physical. Computations and analytics are executed in a safe and controlled environment within the appliance. Micro-Cloud allows a user from a single location to move computations and analytics to on-premise data in multiple different locations and essentially enables regulatory compliance or regulation as a client service.

On the federal horizon

In our discussions with government and industry leaders, true IT transformation within federal agencies and enterprises will involve the use of Micro-Cloud that is customized to their unique needs and interests. Several Federal agencies operate in a loose conglomeration and are unable to share data freely with other agencies due to legislative and separation of duty concerns. Federal agencies often are required to provide services in remote areas where network connectivity may not be suitable for exploitation of traditional cloud computing models. Agencies considering Micro-Cloud can realize benefits when dealing with instances of high data generation rates, low bandwidth or low latency requirements, location specific processing needs, compliance and security.

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