Bringing clarity to the cloud: Cloud computing technologies for IT outsourcing -part 1

Announced today, itelligence is Global Re-certificated as “SAP-Certified in Application Management Services” and “SAP-Certified in Hosting Services”. Additionally itelligence has been first time certificated as SAP-Certified Provider of Cloud Services. Together with the global value added reseller and could certification itelligence is the only SAP partner worldwide to hold this extensive certification.

We would like to take this opportunity and farther discuss the latest Buzz word in technology trends:  Cloud computing. For a majority of companies, IT is a mission-critical resource and is frequently outsourced to professional service providers. This outsourcing is designed to save money but many billing models for IT services are non-transparent and difficult to assess. Help is at hand in the form of the latest IT buzzword: Cloud Computing. Its proponents are promising lower cost levels, greater flexibility, increased scalability of use and transparency.

However: is company data actually secure in the cloud? Oliver Schreiber, responsible for the global SAP outsourcing business at itelligence AG, will answer this and other questions in a series of posts

What are the benefits of this technology?

One important aspect is the ability of infrastructure clouds to deploy centralized computing capacities more flexibly and efficiently. Computing resources are scaled according to demand and are billed on the basis of performance. The technological driver and the basis of cloud computing are state-of-the-art virtualization technologies which enable multiple systems and applications to be run “virtually” on a single physical server. This results in significantly improved hardware utilization of servers and storage facilities. And the end result? Substantially lower costs. In addition, it streamlines the management of data centers and guarantees high availability.

Despite the enthusiasm for the new technology, it is also the subject of increasingly vocal criticism. This relates primarily to security aspects.

Indeed there are risks associated with outsourcing mission-critical data to a common infrastructure shared with large numbers of other unknown users. For this reason, we see enormous potential in “Private Clouds”, that is, infrastructure clouds that are operated either within a company’s data center or by a service provider as a “Provider Cloud” for multiple customers. Privacy guidelines worldwide vary to a considerable degree and can nowadays be guaranteed at most at national level. For this reason, many of our customers want their data to be kept in Germany, the EU or, if necessary, in the US. This is why we provide a guarantee regarding the location of the data center, data security and data access.

Companies that rely on public clouds, that is, infrastructures in which it is unclear where the individual components are physically operated, could certainly end up in “un-secure” countries. They may then run the risk of failing to comply with regulations specified by authorities or auditors.

In our next post we will talk about other critical aspects of cloud technology and how to avoid the risks of cloud computing.

Do you have any concerns or questions about using cloud technologies? Ask us

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