Strategic Plan To Move The Company’s Data To The Cloud While Still Ensuring Data Security

Performance and Reliability

The emergence of cloud computing phenomenon represent an important change in the manner in which IT services are developed, maintained, invented, updated, deployed, paid for and scaled. Today, there is an increasing companies’ interest to deploy their IT systems in the cloud. This is because the provider of cloud computing service will offer computer resources that include software and hardware, over the network on-demand. Cloud computing is said to permit firms to access potent computing resources, without demanding huge IT investments from these firms. This paper focuses on establishing the performance and reliability of cloud computing, to establish whether they are good enough to attract new medium scale companies into operating with cloud.

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Data Provenance vs Process Provenance

Provenance can either be data provenance or process provenance. Data provenance refers to an individual who creates, deletes, or modifies the cloud stored data.  It highly determines if external entities can take part in modifying the data. Process provenance refers to what happens to the data once the data is inside the cloud. It refers to internal entities that change the data. Cloud provenance is required to provide a record of those who accessed cloud data at varying times. In addition auditors should be in a position to track back an entry, as well as any other related modification to its creator (Imran & Hlavacs, 2013).

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Provenance refers to an essential factor in the verification, reliability, audit trials, trust, reproducibility, security and privacy in distributed computing. Provenance in distributed properties refers to a set of various properties regarding the manipulated data, input, time and process. It is employed to answer a number of basic questions regarding when the object was developed, why it was developed, and its origin. The data product provenance is mainly created by two parts that include the ancestral data product where in there is derivation of data product, and the transformation process of the ancestors who derived the data product. Provenance can be used for various purposes which include security by monitoring how a virus spreads out in a computer or network system (Imran & Hlavacs, 2013).

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In cloud computing, provenance is specifically vital because it allow extensive and anonymous sharing of data in the cloud where provenance is needed for verification of data identity and data authenticity. Clouds contain own provenance application such as detection of security violations and faults origins. It is also helpful to the providers of cloud storage either by increasing the data value or offering valuable hints regarding the data. Provenance is also used in data auditability or confidentiality which is listed among the main obstacles for effective cloud computing adoption.  Cloud users experience security threats from both inside and outside the cloud, probably even from the providers of cloud service. If provenance can be offered in cloud, uses are offered more data control, particularly, being in a position to verify that all things have been done correctly, or otherwise, detect what went wrong (Zhang et al., 2012).  In this regard the shift from the current form of computing to cloud computing in the company will have to consider both data provenance and process provenance. The cloud will have to indicate the data creator and keep record of who modified the data at all times. Modified data should also be recorded to enhance effective management of the cloud data.

Three Challenges of Managing Data in Cloud

The three main challenges experienced in managing data in cloud include consistency, scalability, and security. The challenge of developing scalable, security, and consistent data management systems with ability to serve data petabytes for millions are among the major cloud data management challenges. Security is one of the major challenges in the public cloud. Data is allowed to be altered by different people from different sources. To do this one just requires passing the authentication test. The authentication key can be obtained through many means that include hacking, or even through shoulder surfing among others. In this regard, the cloud data face security threat that can undermine data availability, integrity, and confidentiality (Sanka et al., 2010).

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Data consistency is another major challenge. Typically, cloud applications use data which is dispersed across stores of data. Maintaining and managing data consistency in this setting can turn to be a critical system aspect, specifically with regard to the availability and concurrently issues which can arise. To ensure strong consistency, the cloud must be set to ensure that all application instances are presented with the same data set values always. A strong consistency all modifications are atomic. In this case, a transaction is only completed completely when all possible modification are employed. Another major data management issue in the cloud computing is data scalability. This involves the cloud ability to continue operating effectively even after the change of volume or size. Normally, scaling involves enlarging the volume or size. Effective cloud must have a high scalability (Agrawal et al., n.d.).

Problems with Data Access in Cloud and Ownership

Data access security is the main problem in the cloud. A company does not have a direct control of data placed in the cloud. In addition, a company may lose its ability to enhance total security of the data when placed in the cloud. The data may be used by the cloud owner for their own purposes or it may be availed to a third party. The data owner is therefore required to clearly codify the ownership and data access right and also on how the data will be treated after the termination of the contract.

Recommendation on Ability to Remain Anonymous in the Cloud

By use of secure provenance, users can authenticate themselves anonymously as authorized groups/users part to the provider of the cloud. Users can also modify and access resources anonymously. Users in the same group can decrypt data stored and encrypted by another user. If suitable the system model can assist in tracing data item to the user who developed it.

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Exploration and Recommendation on the Company’s Policy

The use of cloud computing will help the company to manage its data at a much cheaper cost since the cloud provider will be responsible of hardware, software, and data management. The company will be saved from the cost of employing IT personnel and also in other related space, security, and utility related cost among others. Nevertheless, the company will be risking the data security and limited control of their data. The data will be fully controlled by the cloud provider and when poorly chosen, the provider may breach the security agreement and allow the data access to a third party or use the data for own purpose. Nevertheless, when the best available provider is identified, cloud migration would be highly convenient for the company. The most credible organization policy would be: choosing the most reliable cloud provider and making a contract that demand for maximum data security where data access will only be provided only to those who are authenticated. The company policy should also set limit to the data ownership in the cloud to enhance maximum data security.

Cloud Provider Performance and Reliability

There are so many cloud services providers in the world. Among the most famous cloud providers include Google, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft among others. The selected cloud provider in this case will be IBM.  IBM cloud is highly effective in its operation. It has short response time, which is the time for atomic or composite service. The elapsed time which is the time needed to complete a background or batch task is measured in time units. The throughput which is the number of requests or transactions processed at a particular time unit is measured on the request or transaction count. This implies that the cloud operate at a measurable. The IBM services are highly reliable, the company’s probability that the system or the services is working flawlessly over 90% and thus the system will be highly available and its security is highly assured. The company enhances cloud high scalability and data consistency and thus, it would serve the company best (IBM, 2016).

Ways to Optimize Cloud Performance and Reliability

Cloud performance and reliability can optimized by developing an advanced and well facilitated WAN. This should be followed by wise planning of the cloud architecture. This will enhance effective organization of the cloud which will eventually enhance operation speed and ensure effective security measures are employed. This will also enhance maximum performance speed among other things.

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