Private vs Public Cloud Considerations for Organizations

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Exclusivity is wonderful, especially when it comes to access to the resources that mean productivity and profitability for your organization. The cost of having that exclusive access is often what tempers the level of enthusiasm and willingness to jump all over opportunities to have it. Emphasizing all the advantages that yours may gain from cloud computing by laying sole claim to resources in the cloud that make that possible will be beneficial for obvious reasons, but can you afford it?

That is always going to be the most basic but foremost question when it comes to weighing public cloud computing versus private. Public cloud computing is decidedly affordable, and it will meet the functional needs of the majority of organizations or businesses based on the related needs created by what it is that they do. Ask people where they think the biggest shortcoming will be and they’ll think that it will be with speed and in particular with server requests around data.

Not so though, and here at 4GoodHosting we having something of an intermediary interest in this. As a good Canadian web hosting provider we know the direct interest business web hosting customers will have as they may well be weighing their options with cloud computing nowadays too. So this will be the subject for our interest this week – standard considerations for decision makers when it comes to public vs private cloud.

Mass Migrations

The industry’s expectation is that a minimum of 80% of organizations are expected to migrate to the cloud by the year 2025. But easy access and management of all your data isn’t guaranteed, and so organizational leaders will need to be very judicious about how they make their move. Different types of cloud services are there to choose from, but the vast majority will be option for some variant of either the public and private cloud.

There are pros and cons to each, so let’s get right to evaluating all of them.

The public cloud provides cloud computing services to the public over the internet, with off-site hosting and managed by a service provider the whole time to have control over infrastructure, back-end architecture, software, and other essential function all provided at a very reasonable cost. This option always appeals to single users and businesses who are drawn to ‘pay-as-you-go’ billing model given the limitations of the scope of their business operations.

The private cloud will also be referred to as the ‘enterprise cloud’ and both terms fit for the arrangement where cloud services are provided over a private IT infrastructure made available to a single organization. All management is handled internally and with a popular VPC setup (virtual private cloud) over a 3rd-party cloud provider’s infrastructure you pretty much have the best cloud computing arrangement when it comes to autonomy, reliability, and the ability to have infrastructure challenges addressed in a timely manner. Plus Services are hidden behind a firewall and only accessible to a single organization.

Pros for Each

The biggest difference is definitely with growth rates, and those rates are to some extent a reflection of adoption preferences for people / companies and why one or the other is a better fit for greater numbers of them. Public cloud spending continues to steam ahead at a rate around 25% over the past couple of years, while it’s just around 10% for private cloud adoption for that time. That second number is continuing to go down though.

The pros for Public Clouds are that they offer a large array of services and the pay-as-you-go system without maintenance costs appeals to decision makers for a lot of reasons. Most public cloud hosting providers will be able to offer enterprise-level security and support, and you’ll also benefit from faster upgrades and speedier integrations that make for better scalability.

The pro for Private Clouds is singular and not plural, and it is simply in the fact that you have such a massively greater level of accessibility and control over your data and the infrastructure you choose to have in place for it.

Cons for Each

Drawbacks for public cloud solutions are that your options with customization and improving infrastructure are always limited, and this is even more of a shortcoming if you’re looking to integrate legacy platforms. And some may find that the affordability of the pay-as-you-go system is countered by difficulties working that into an operating budget, not sure about what is required for payment until the end of the month.

The public cloud will also require businesses to rely on their cloud hosting company for security, configuration, and more. Being unable to see beyond front-end interfaces will be a problem for some, and others won’t be entirely okay with legal and industry rules that make sticking to compliance regulations a bit of a headache sometimes. Security is always going to weaker with the public cloud too, although that won’t come as a surprise to anyone. You’re also likely to have less service reliability.

Private cloud drawbacks are not as extensive, despite the increased complexity. As we touched on at the beginning here, a quality private clod setup is definitely going to cost you considerably more and there are higher start-up and maintenance costs too. One that will be less talked about but still very relevant for many will be way that gaps in knowledge found with IT staff can put data at risk, and for larger businesses this is even more of one.

The extent to which you have remote access may also be compromised. Slower technology integration and upgrades take away from scalability too, but for many the security and reliability of a private cloud make them willing to look through these shortcoming and make adaptations on their end to work with them.

Need for Attack Surface Management for Businesses Online

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Look back across history and you’ll see there has been plenty of empires, but even the longest-lasting of them still eventually came to an end. When we talk about larger businesses operating online and taking advantage of new web-based business technologies no one is going to compare any of them to empires, perhaps with the exception of Google. But to continue on that tangent briefly, there is not better example of an empire failing because it ended being spread to thin quite like the Mongol empire.

The reason we mention it as our segue here to this week’s blog topic is because nowadays as businesses expand in the digital space they naturally assume more of a surface, or what you might call the ‘expanse’ of their business in Cyberspace to the extent they’ve wanted / needed to move it there. With all that expansion comes greater risk of cyber-attacks, and that leads us right into discussing attack surface management. So what is that exactly? Let us explain.

An attack surface is every asset that an organization has facing the Internet that may be exploited as entry points in a cyber-attack. They could be anything from websites, subdomains, hardware, applications, to clod resources or IP addresses. Social media accounts or even vendor infrastructures can also be a part of the ‘vulnerabilities’ based on the size of your surface.

All of which will be of interest to us here at 4GoodHosting as quality Canadian web hosting providers given how web hosting is very much an abutment for these businesses with the way it’s a part of the foundation for their online presence. So let’s dig further into this topic as it relates to cloud security for businesses.

Rapid Expansions

We only touched on the possibility for an attack surface above. They are rapidly expanding and can now include any IT asset connected to the internet, so we can add IoT devices, Kubernetes clusters, and cloud platforms to the list of potential spots where threat actors could infiltrate and initiate an attack. Having external network vulnerabilities creating an environment that can prompt a potential breach is an issue too.

It’s for these reasons that attack surface management is a bit of a new buzzword in cyber security circles, and those tasked with keeping businesses’ digital assets secure likely have already become very familiar with it. The key is in first identifying all external assets with the aim to discover vulnerabilities or exposures before threats do. There is also a priority on vulnerabilities based on risk so that remediation efforts can focus on the most critical exposures.

Logically then, attack surface managements needs to be based on continuous, ongoing reviews of potential vulnerabilities as new, more sophisticated threats emerge and attack surfaces expand. It’s interesting that term was being bandied about early as 2014, but it is only recent developments and trends that have made it put more at the forefront for cyber security than before.

6 Primaries

Here are the trends in business nowadays that are enhancing the risk posed by having expanded attack surfaces.

  1. Hybrid Work – Facilitating remote work inherently creates an environment where companies are more dependent on technology while less affected by an limitations based on location. But the benefits are accompanied by an expanded attack surface and the potential for increased exposures.
  2. Cloud Computing – The speed and enthusiasm with which businesses have adopted cloud computing has also spread out the attack surface at a speed that cyber security platforms haven’t been able to keep up with. This frequently results in technical debt or insecure configurations.
  3. Shadow IT – It is quite common now for employees now to be using their own devices and services to work with company data as needed, and how ‘shadow IT’ expands attack surface risks is fairly self-explanatory.
  4. Connected Devices – Internet-connected devices have exploded in numbers over recent years, and their related implementation in business environments has created a new variance with attack surfaces at high risk. One that’s directly connected to the insecurity of many IoT devices.
  5. Digital Transformation – The way companies are digitizing as broadly, deeply, and quickly as possible to stay competitive means they’re at the same time creating new attack surface while layers, plus altering the layers that already exist.
  6. Development Expectations – Always launching new features and products is an expectation for many businesses, and this has factored into how quickly technologies will go to market. There is pressure to meet these demands, and that pressure may lead to new lines of code being hastily written. Again, fairly self-explanatory with relation to growing attack surfaces.

The attack surface has become significantly more widespread and more difficult to keep contained as organizations grow their IT infrastructure. Plus this growth will often occur despite resource shortages that come at an unideal time with a record-breaking 146 billion cyber threats reported for 2022 and likely much of the same when this year is tallied up.

It’s for all these reasons that attack surface management is even more of a priority for organizations as they take on key challenges with the frontline of cybersecurity.

New Optical Data Transmission World Record of 1.8 Petabit per Second Established

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Speed has been and always will be the name of the game when it comes to data transmission as part of utilizing web-based technologies. That is true for the smallest of them in the same way it is for the biggest, and it’s not going to come as a surprise that with the advances in those technologies comes a need to handle much more data, and handle the increased volume of it faster at the same time. Add the fact that global network use continues to grow explosively all the time and there’s a lot of gain – both functional and financial – to be had for those who can introduce means of moving data faster.

And that’s just what’s happened courtesy of Danish and Swedish researchers who have succeeded in setting a new benchmark fastest speed for optical data transmission. Many of you will be aware of what a Tbps (Terabits-per-second) speed score would indicate with regards to fastness in this context, but if you’ve heard of a Petabit in the same one then consider us impressed. It’s been nearly 3 years since the previous data transmission speed record was set, and you’re entirely excused if you’d only heard of a Terabit back then.

The score 178 Tbps set in August 2020 was quite remarkable for the time, but not anymore. And it certainly would have been for us here at 4GoodHosting in the same way it would have been for any good Canadian web hosting provider based on the fact that we have a roundabout way of associating with this based on the parameters of what people do with the sites we may be hosting for them. But enough about that for now, let’s get right to discussing the new data transmission world speed record and what I may mean for all of us.

Doubling Current Global Internet Traffic Speeds

This mammoth jump in speed capacity is made possible by a novel technique that leverages a single laser and a single, custom-designed optical chip that makes throughputs of 1.8Pbps (Petabits per second) possible. That works out to double today’s global internet traffic, and that highlights just how much of a game changer this has the potential to be.

The 2020 record speed we talked about earlier is only around 10% of today’s maximum throughput announcement. This equates to improving the technology tenfold in less than 3 years. A proprietary optical chip is playing a big part in this too. The workings of it are having an input from a single infrared laser creating a spectrum of many colors, and each color representing a frequency that resembles the teeth of a comb.

Each is perfectly and equally distinguishable from one another and mimics the human process with which we distinguish colors, detecting the different frequencies of light materials as they are reflected in our direction. But because there is a set separate distance between each it makes it so that information can be transmitted across each of these frequencies. Greater varieties of colors, frequencies, and channels means that ever greater volumes of data can be sent.

High Optical Power / Broad Bandwidth

The current optical technology we have now would need around 1,000 different lasers to produce the same amount of wavelengths capable of transmitting all of this information. The issue with that is that each additional laser adds to the amount of energy required. Further, it also means multiplying the number of failure points and making the setup more difficult to manage.

That is one of the final research hurdles that needs to be overcome before this data transmission technology can be considered more ideal. But the combination of high optical power and being designed to cover a broad bandwidth within the spectral region is immediately a huge accomplishment and one that couldn’t arrive sooner given the way big data is increasingly a reality in our world.

For now let’s just look forward to seeing all that may become possible with Petabit speeds like this that are capable of handling about 100x the flow of traffic currently accommodated as a maximum by today’s internet.

Extensive Inter-Device Trading by 2030 with Burgeoning Economy of Things

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Anyone who’s a keener with the all the workings of the digital world will be familiar with the acronym IoT and the fact it stands for the Internet of Things. We’ll go ahead and assume you’re one of them if you’re a regular here and reading our blog entries with any degree of regularity. It never takes long for major technological infrastructure developments to branch off into subsets of the original, and that’s exactly with the newfound EoT – Economy of Things – and the way this new level of interconnectivity is set to revolutionize the online business world is quite something.

Much of what makes this practical and appealing at the same time is that people will always want to have straightest distance between two points available to them when it comes to completing transactions for services / goods obtained. The IoT certainly has much more of a relation to services than goods, but when you think about all of the services we take advantage of on a regular basis it makes sense that implementing web-based tech to simplify transaction processes is going to be to most people’s liking.

And this makes sense to us here at 4GoodHosting in the way it would for any good Canadian web hosting provider too. We are likely to see a lot of inroads made in between the EoT and SaaS and PaaS services / products as well, and we are certainly just seeing the tip of the iceberg with where this is going to go and how far-reaching this is going to be. So we’re going to look at how much inter-device trading is expected over the course of the remainder of this decade here with this blog entry.

Intersections for Data and Money

The expectation is that by the end of the 2020s, around 3.3 billion Internet-connected devices (IoT devices) will be taking money and data and trading directly between them. The same calculations that came to that are saying that for 2024 the number will be 88 million devices participating in EoT and so it puts into perspective how much this is going to grow explosively over the next 6 years.

It actually trends to be something in the vicinity of a 3700+% increase over that time, and how it relates to people who have their business online is that many will need to be evaluating their digital frameworks themselves to see if they’re positioned to be able to accommodate the change. Real-time global digital markets will need to be available for indexing, searching, and trading and set up to be as accommodating as possible for EoT transactions.

EoT as a subset of IoT will likely dictate that more than 10% of the overall IoT market will experience a compound annual growth rate that is well above 50%, and some economists are saying this has the potential to be the ‘liquefaction of the physical world’. IoT devices will be able to share their digital assets autonomously via IoT marketplaces.

A good example of this can be seen in the growth of electric vehicles that are rightly being promoted by governments in the face of manmade climate change. Vehicles will need charging, and the EoT will be a means of fast-tracking those transactions between smart vehicles and the charging stations. Further, data connected by vehicles will be valuable for others in the ecosystem. Connected vehicles could communicate and coordinate with charging points, parking space sensors, and traffic lights, and do so directly via EoT.

Huge Jump in Smart Grid Devices

These same industry experts are also foreseeing more than 1.2 billion EoT-enabled smart grid devices to be in place and in operation by 2030, which makes up around 40% of the total opportunity forecast. Some 700 million supply chain devices will be located alongside the smart grid devices. AI-powered tools will be able to analyze IoT-generated data and use the data to anticipate surges in demand for energy, plus selling spare capacity back to the grid when the opposite situation is the case.

Notably here Vodafone built an EoT platform last year called Digital Asset Broker in anticipation in the huge growth of EoT-connected devices over the next 6 years. Other companies also have an eye on the rising EoT sector include banks and financial organizations. There are so many opportunities with EoT and anticipating it to progress fast in its first stages means that being as well prepared in advance with relation to infrastructure makes a lot of sense.