There is no looking back, cloud computing is here to stay for a very long time. Whether it’s private companies or the Federal Government, cloud computing provides decision makers a viable alternative to traditional on-premise data center facilities to buy and deliver massively scalable Information Technology (IT) services to meet changing customer demand. The global adoption of cloud computing will accelerate applications modernization and transformation to the cloud to make the organization more advanced, more innovative and lower life-cycle costs by benefiting from one or more of its capabilities: on-demand self-service, rapid elasticity, resource pooling, Internet accessibility and measured service. Along with hosting or developing applications in the cloud, companies that traditionally provide software licenses are providing these as a service directly in the cloud.
With all the potential cost savings and technical benefits of the cloud, why haven’t we seen more organizations aggressively moving to the cloud? Cloud computing is not perfect as there are risks that must be considered. Unlike traditional on-premise data centers that are owned and managed by the same entity providing services to their customers, the cloud is most likely a shared infrastructure that is owned by a commercial provider(s) and services are provided to many different customers, some of whom may not have relationships at all. Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) address the cybersecurity issue in a shared cloud infrastructure by employing industry standard cloud specific cybersecurity protection tools and offering cloud security monitoring to protect customers’ data. Of course, there is the option for a private cloud that is physically isolated and built just for one tenant, but it will not be nearly as scalable as a shared cloud that has an economy of scale. The security concern over how the cloud protects data is one of the main reason for the slow adoption. The benefits and cost savings achieved via a cloud infrastructure will drive Cloud Solution Providers to provide stronger cybersecurity protections than we see in traditional on-premise data centers. Because Cloud Solution Providers are providing a “service” they can adjust cybersecurity protections dynamically as the threat environment changes.
As CSPs mature their technologies and the Federal Government introduces regulations and policies such as Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), Department of Defense (DoD) Instructions, Joint Chiefs Instructions and United States Cyber Command Communication Tasking Orders (USCC CTOs), cloud security is less daunting and decision makers are more confident their data will be secure in the cloud. CSPs such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, two of the largest, are competing aggressively to increase their cloud security posture, lower costs and offer new value add services.
TechTrend offers AWS and Azure cloud services to our commercial and federal clients. We also provide IT professional services to help our clients modernize, transform and migrate their applications to the cloud. This white paper touches on our understanding and experience with key AWS and Azure architecture differences to help decision makers determine which CSP is a best value option for an application based on many key factors such as: design of the application, deployment strategy, maintenance, and the concept of operations to support end-users needs.