Cloud computing

Secure cloud computing architecture and IBM Power Systems

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When I first heard about cloud computing almost a decade ago, I wanted to put it into context with the things I already understood.

Cloud computing is obviously not a weather phenomenon. It’s the description of a new technology and a new approach to computing. It was and still is an amazing idea to make use of CPUs, operating systems, storage and networks when you need it on a virtual machine, based on a self-service and pay-as-you-go model. Today we call this cloud service model Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). There are other cloud service models (also called cloud adoption patterns) such as platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service and business process as a service (BPaaS).

Because of my professional background and focus on security, I was immediately asking security and compliance-related questions: How is cloud being secured? How is regulatory compliance accomplished? How can IBM Power Systems fit into the current and developing secure cloud computing landscape?

Cloud computing reference architecture (CCRA)

power systems security cloud

For me, the best approach to find answers to those questions was to seek a cloud reference framework or architecture. This is similar to looking at the blueprint of a house. What was I specifically hoping to find within that cloud framework or architecture? Seven things came to mind:

1. It should be open in design and built on open standards.
Like with a house, the architecture should contain elements which are replaceable and can be integrated with other elements.

2. It should offer robust security, compliance, and data privacy capabilities.
The house you are in should provide protection, privacy and safety.

3. It should offer automation and ease of management.
Hopefully you can manage many things sitting relaxed on your couch in your house, with different devices interconnected.

4. It should offer various usage possibilities.
You can cook, work from home, take a bath, or use the cellar or garage for working on your hobbies.

5. It should offer free space for extension or reduction when needed.
You may use some rooms in your house for certain purposes for some time and then stop using them afterwards.

6. The house’s surroundings should be attractive.
Is your house integrated into a nice area with trees, a garden, a lake, or even an ocean?

7. It should be based on expertise and best practices.
Hopefully, your house was built taking advantage of many proven architectures.

Looking back over recent years, I have seen various cloud architectures capable of addressing aspects of public, private and hybrid clouds. Sometimes I felt my seven expectations were met by a given cloud computing reference architecture, and sometimes a component or two was missing.

What I’ve learned is that architectures change over time as cloud consumer demands change. Currently, IBM Power Systems-based hybrid-cloud offerings are on the rise, making use of the best of what is in each of the solutions and architectures.

Cloud computing reference architectures evolve over the time. It’s similar to my own house and garden, where changes happen all the time. Are you using IBM Power Systems in hybrid cloud solutions? Please share your thoughts with me below or find me on LinkedIn!

ibm power systems cloud security

ibm power systems cloud security

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