Entries in Cloud Data (2)


Issues Guiding the Cloud in 3 Years Time

David Linthicum writes a bit of 'future history of cloud', identifying three key issues that hold sway in three years.  I buy into two of them.  

I completely agree with his first point: Governance and management, particularly the governance and management of cloud-resident data, will be a driving force, and what cloud promises is the possibility of 'continuous compliance', for at least 80% of the compliance 'debt'.

I agree, for the most part with his third point: Tiered data will be a major focus, though we might think of data and data management to be more about tiered distribution and the optimal placement of authoritative reference data as close to the locus of processing as possible… or the cost-effective use of derivative (meta-data) at the optimal point of processing.  "Tiers" give way to latency zones and the costs (time and money) of reconstituting 'archived' data from object storage built on technologies like erasure encoding.  'It's data tiering, Jim. But not as we know it.'

Where I find it more difficult to agree is with his second point: "Security will be better and more baked in."  David notes in his first sentence that Security will continue to be a concern, despite significant strides. (Check.) Large cloud provides will provide their own features (check.), but third-party security providers will be the 'best' (check.)  Then he states: "Centralized trust" will be the new buzz phrase, and hopefully the standards will be in place to allow for interoperability."  Centralized trust as opposed to distributed and federated trust? Nope.  If I understand his point correctly -- and I'm not positive that I DO -- I would have to go with a different model of trust, individual user or organizational control of access and entitlements to data, and one that relies heavily on an ecosystem of trusted third parties ... identity brokers, security brokers and entitlement brokerages. 


What the cloud will look like in 3 years | Cloud Computing - InfoWorld:

If you could jump forward three years, I believe the changes would be more obvious. Here are the key issues a time traveler from today would notice that those who live through it might not see as clearly.
1. Governance and management will be major focuses
The use of the cloud creates the need to manage hundreds, perhaps thousands of services and APIs. …
2. Security will be better and more baked in
Security will continue to be a concern three years from now, even though there will be significant strides made to improve cloud security. Large cloud providers will provide security features right in their cloud, although in many cases third-party providers will offer the best solution, including those dealing with distributed and federated identity management. "Centralized trust" will be the new buzz phrase, and hopefully the standards will be in place to allow for interoperability.
3. Tiered data will be a major focus
In the tiered-data approach, some data will be on premise, such as those where performance or legal concerns require it be local. …



AWS re:Invents Workflow and Hybrid Storage

While the news about AWS RedShift had the 'drama' and novelty, it implies an attention to enterprise customer requirements that is ALSO found in an important, but less heralded, service and a ground-breaking partnership. 

Data Pipeline: The workflow services with which users can create a variety of reasonably straightforward data processing workflows, with all of the major AWS services and their 'manageable' objects, are now capable of being included in a work flow.  While it won't be the tool of choice for the expert DBA, it will be appropriate for the work-group user that signs up to use AWS rather than the Corporate IT resource.  Over time, this will become more sophisticated.

NetApp Private Storage for AWS: This 'joint infrastructure' offering allows customers to utilize both private and public cloud resources, and is one of the only services I have seen that builds on the AWS Direct Connect capabilities announced last year.  This starts to address a set of requirements that have been called out by enterprise IT related to safe and performant data storage (and data transport) from on-premise data center to managed data center to AWS.  It begins to take into account the data residency and data privacy issues about which enterprise IT has been most vocal.

That said, as important as the AWS private storage services is the way in which AWS must now address the issues of contractual responsibility and liability of AWS data 'stewardship.' Similarly, AWS owes 'the enterprise' some clarity about the respective contractual responsibilities of AWS and its enterprise customers when using AWS' multi-tenant resources.   When these issues are addressed to the satisfaction of enterprise IT hard-cases, the compliance auditors, and PII regulators, the resulting explosion of cloud usage in hybrid environments by enterprise customers will dwarf the last two years' growth of AWS… and that's saying something.