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Why Moving to the Cloud isn’t a Binary Decision

Written By: Aaron Turransky, Sales Executive

To most people, the cloud is the vague digital being up in the sky that houses all their photos and videos; but to many corporations in the life science arena, it is something much more.  To these enterprises, the cloud represents a shift in technology, where they store their data and how they will handle their day to day operations.  What most companies realize is that it is not a simple matter of flipping a light switch. There are many factors that go into deciding what is the best option.

Hybrid Clouds & Multiple Cloud Servers

As cloud technology developed, many life science companies found themselves wanting a private cloud because they offered the most security and it was perceived it was the least likely to have your private data shared accidentally.  However, this security comes with a cost.  Private cloud servers are much more expensive than their public shared cloud counterparts.

A private cloud server is like owning your own house.  You have control over who comes in and sees your possessions.  A public cloud server would be like owning an apartment.  You would share foundations and structural supports with your neighbors, but you would still maintain your own identity and your neighbors would not have access to come into your place as they wish.  Just as in this example, having a private cloud server does not make you immune to attacks, just as you are not immune to people breaking into your home.

With the battle ranging between cost and effectiveness, a third option rose into existence.  Hybrid clouds utilize a mix of both private and public clouds and a solution that allows them to communicate.  In a hybrid cloud solution, an enterprise would operate on multiple clouds.  They would utilize a public cloud for most of their storage needs, and a private cloud for their most sensitive materials.  The benefit of doing this is the size of the private cloud shrinks dramatically, which also effectively shrinks the cost.

Cloud Security

Whether owning your own house or owning an apartment in a shared building, you always want to prevent outsiders from gaining access to the inside of your home. Although it can vary among server providers, many cloud environments operate on a shared security model.  The server provider typically offers protection from outside threats, but the individual enterprise is responsible for ensuring security within their own cloud.  This might mean that the server provider posts a doorman at the entrance to the apartment building.  Their job is to make sure that all who go in are supposed to be there.  Once past the doorman, it is your own responsibility to lock your doors, install an alarm system, etc.

Another aspect enterprises must examine is data transfer to and from the cloud.  With physical servers, this stored data is kept on site and is connected via physical connections such as wires and routers, but with cloud servers that information is accessible from remote locations.  While this opens new opportunities, it also opens a new threat for data integrity and privacy.  As data is transmitted to the server from the network (and vice versa), this data must have protections in place to prevent hackers and cyber-terrorists from being able to access, view, or modify it.

“I’m ready to make the move to the cloud, now what?”

Arbour Group is here to help! We can leverage our expertise to help you in a wide variety of arenas. Whether you need assistance with cloud compliance, data integrity or vendor quality, we have the skill set to help make your transition to the cloud as secure and smooth as it can be.  For more information, fill out the form below and a representation will reach out to you shortly.