Cloud computing gives organizations the ability to run workloads and manage data anywhere without significant computing...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
resources residing in the business. Cloud providers use multi-tenant infrastructures to maximize cost-effectiveness, so businesses must address data separation and geolocation issues within an increasingly complex international legal and political landscape.
Businesses need to consider two major factors for data separation in the public cloud: tenancy and geolocation. Cloud computing is based on underlying virtualization technology that shares computing resources.
Cloud environments are always multi-tenant. And while multi-tenancy isn't a concern for private cloud users, executives shudder at the thought of countless businesses or users sharing memory space, disk space and processor cycles on the same physical infrastructure.
But full data separation between cloud users is impossible. Cloud users must accept that their data and virtual machines (VMs) share space with other users. Despite virtualization's reputation for containing workloads and preventing interference, IT pros should use the highest level of data encryption possible to protect data from any chance of unauthorized access. Certain cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers GovCloud, a fully walled-over region of the AWS cloud that hosts sensitive workloads for federal agencies. Highly regulated industries or those with strict security requirements may want to explore this option.
The second aspect of data separation is geolocation, the physical location of an organization's data.
Geolocation addresses data separation in two ways. First, enterprises must choose to do business with a cloud provider that can manage workload and data storage locations for you with trusted geolocation or other management tools. Enterprises with geolocation concerns should ask cloud vendors how they guarantee platform security and geographically separate workloads. Ensure these location and security commitments through the associated service-level agreements.
To keep data and VMs operating under U.S. laws and regulations, U.S. companies can choose cloud providers with U.S. data centers. Highly regulated businesses require this assurance before using public cloud resources in order to remain compliant. The second option is to rely on strong cloud data encryption for security purposes.
Stephen J. Bigelow is the senior technology editor of the Data Center and Virtualization Media Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IT pros take data security control with HP cloud encryption
Breaking down cloud data encryption controls
Best practices for cloud encryption key management
Dig Deeper on Data security in the cloud
Related Q&A from Stephen J. Bigelow
One size does not fit all when administrators develop a protection policy for specific applications. Learn about the configuration options in System ...continue reading
Set up and operate a VM network using proven strategies to ensure security and performance. With a little planning, virtualization admins can avoid ...continue reading
Virtual switch security is achieved through a number of features. Virtualization admins can create and enforce policies, lock down MAC addresses and ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.