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Savvis homes in on cloud security

John Yung, vice president of cloud computing business solutions at Savvis, has the unenviable task of bolstering the company's compute as a service offering with enough security and scale to appeal to enterprise IT departments. It's a tall order.

Cloud security issues are high on the list of turn offs among enterprise IT pros checking out cloud services. According to TechTarget's Cloud Computing 2009 Readership Survey conducted in March, a third of respondents said the lack of data privacy and ability to audit cloud providers was a major obstacle to adoption among the 500 companies that took the survey. @63573

What is Savvis doing to address these security concerns?
Our next generation service will offer highly secure, highly scalable compute and storage end-to-end. We are evolving out existing multi-tenant, utility service to provide virtual private data centers as a service with entirely automated provisioning and more security functions. Can you be more specific on the additional security measures?
We will offer VM-level and network level security and will go a lot deeper than the competition; it's a brand new build. How long have you been working on this and when will it be available?
It's been in the works since mid-2008, we have the development environment running in the lab and it's in beta with customers right now. We will launch two grades of service initially, 'essential' which is basic and right now something that's being called 'balance' in Q4 [2009].There will be an enterprise service launched later. What virtualization technology are you using?
We are primarily working with VMware right now, but this might not always be the case. Can you expand on that?
Well, right now VMware is the main provider but we are looking at what Microsoft is doing and others and watching the adoption there. What kinds of customers do you expect to adopt these more advanced cloud services?
We are looking at methods to migrate existing customers from our current services and bringing on new customers. We've got a good beta pipeline; there are a small number of really large environments that want more scalability, but there are no limitations on the size of the environments these services will support. Can you tell us more about what these 'class of service definitions' mean?
It's about being able to reserve resources so that you will never run into a situation where you will be competing with other users in the environment for bandwidth, same on the capacity side. If you subscribe to a higher level of service, we will be able to guarantee network bandwidth, compute capacity and storage, the end-to-end IT infrastructure. What apps or projects do you see moving to the cloud today?
Test and development is becoming one of the most popular projects to try out in the cloud. It traditionally requires CAPEX to setup the infrastructure and often causes lots of headaches to manage, which all away when moved to the cloud. Any web-centric apps are good candidates for the cloud. How soon do you think enterprise IT departments will start using cloud services?
We're anticipating fast adoption. It's already proven to be the right approach by SMBs. It's been difficult for IT decision makers to put services into existing cloud offerings because they have not been reliable enough. The challenge has been to create a high quality enterprise service. It's really security and quality that enterprises care about, not cost.

We're looking at services being available the end of 2009 and then adoption in 2010. What advice do you have for IT shops looking to get started?
There's a learning curve. Set up a small environment, see how it works and build some success.

MR. YUNG'S BIO:   
John Yung is Vice President of Cloud Computing Business Solutions at Savvis. John leads Next Generation Cloud business and technology development. Prior to leading the Enterprise Cloud initiative, he was Vice President of Hosting Operations.

Before joining Savvis, John held various executive positions in technology development and operations. He spent four years at Equinix as Vice President of Technology. At Equinix, John led product engineering, technical operations and M&A integrations. Additionally, John was Vice President of Engineering at Nonstopnet and Vice President of Network Operations at Engage Technology and PointCast.

John holds an M.B.A. for Executives at University of San Francisco and a BS in Computer Science.

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