Selecting the right cloud architecture

Any application that requires that a massive amount of data be readily available is suitable for the cloud, according to Jean-Luc Chatelain, executive vice president in the Office of Strategy and Technology at DataDirect Networks (DDN), the world's largest, privately held, data storage infrastructure provider.

But there is not one single cloud. Cloud architectures can be public, totally private or hybrids.

Applications in public clouds would focus on public-facing workloads, such as collaboration among agencies and the public or their vendors. Agencies could publish data once and have hundreds subscribe to it. Logistics applications are one example where an agency could communicate information by having its suppliers subscribe to it.

Private clouds can ensure that stringent security requirements are met for critical applications. They could host collaborative applications such as e-mail between soldiers and members of the defense community, Chatelain said. Applications that enable the intelligence community to accesses data billions of times daily would use private clouds. “As the defense industry increases communication to the theater, data obtained from sensors could be sent through a network transmission to private clouds for processing, rather than waiting,” Chatelain said.

Hybrid clouds could host sensitive but unclassified data, such as financial information, human resources, procurement, and other application services involving personally identifiable information). Chatelain explains that they are flexible infrastructures that optimize resources by allowing multiple-tenant access at the same time, and are considered semi-public. These are “not public in the sense that the public could access the data, but I foresee scenarios where different agencies may share the same data,” he said.

Chatelain said that cloud applications are multi-tenant and inherently have increased risk. Some applications have very little security designed into them; many times it was included as an afterthought. The entire industry is spending massive efforts addressing security.

About the Author

Debbie Sniderman is a contributing writer for Defense Systems.

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