How did Ericsson benefit from Amazon Web Services (AWS)?
According to Amazon’s Web Service website, it gives users the option to run just about everything using their service applications. By incorporating cloud computing, users are able to cut variable costs to a more attractive scale for the business by eliminating costly administrative and hardware fees. Due to remote access, Ericsson was able to immediately take advantage of AWS’s benefits since the infrastructure was already up and running. Demands change quickly and it’s important for a company to be able to adjust accordingly. By using the cloud system, Ericsson was able to employ software updates and new applications quickly and more effectively. AWS services hundreds of thousands of customers in more than 190 countries, making their global infrastructure far more expansive than competitors; this allowed Ericsson to have data centers in various parts of the world. According to information provided in the case study, Ericsson chose AWS because they felt it was “the most integrated public cloud provider in the Rightscale Cloud Management Platform (Rightscale)”.
Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, and RightScale
The AWS website describes Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) as a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud, making web-scale computing easier for developers. It also allows you to quickly scale capacity up and down if and when your computing requirements change. Because this system works on a “pay-as-you-go” method, you only pay for the capacity you use which is a great option from an economic stand point.
Amazon S3 is described quite simply on the AWS website—storage for the Internet. It makes a developer’s job easier by providing for more convenient Web-scale computing. It gives them access to the same high quality infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its global network. With Amazon S3, one can store any amount data, anywhere, and have total access to it at any time via the web. The main purpose of this service is to “maximize benefits of scale and pass them on to developers” (AWS Website, 2012).
RightScale is your bridge between applications and your cloud infrastructure. It allows for easy deployment and management of apps across not only public clouds, but private and hybrid ones as well. RightScale configures efficiently and also provides organizations with better overall command of the cloud computing infrastructure and applications. Server management is an important aspect of using the cloud, and with this service, the company can scale and monitor more effectively, enhancing control. Organizations view the portability of RightScale as a huge incentive because it provides for greater flexibility and less restriction in a sense of provider options.
Security Concerns & How to Cope With Them
Naturally, with any cloud-based service, there are lots of security concerns, including but not limited to, recovery issues, who has access to sensitive information, and data location. Recovery Issues
In the event that the organization loses information or experiences a tragic situation, the vendor who is sponsoring the cloud-based service should have a detailed and easily executable plan in place to resolve the issue and make the process of recovery as painless as possible. It’s also important that both parties agree to the terms beforehand to avoid any unnecessary disagreements and issues.
When an organization opts to use cloud-based computing, they release a level of control, to a certain degree. The vendor controls the cloud and their employees may have access to the client’s information. It’s vital that the client organization seek clarity on exactly who has that access and their credentials—level of expertise, exact job title and company responsibility, etc.
The client organization wants to make sure they at least know what country the cloud system they are using is located in. There are some cases where the organization has no clue where the cloud they are utilizing is based and that could potentially be a problem. One way to ease concern would be for the client to suggest specific locations and ensure that company privacy will not be breached. One suggestion to cope with the afore mentioned security concerns would be a method called the “layered approach”. The good thing about this option is it not only offers protection for not only the organization, but the vendor as well. The multi-level technique makes for a layered defense model that keeps the company from totally relying on one option. Level one—physical security—would focus on monitoring the actual facility that houses servers and other sensitive equipment.
Level two—network security—would ensure around-the-clock monitoring of the network by well trained personnel. Level three—intrusion detection—would control the traffic that enters and leaves the network, making sure that any possible intrusion would be detected immediately and handled accordingly. Level four—firewall management—these should be custom fitted for the organization. These are commonly used with organizations and provide that added cushion in the level of security. And finally, Level five—data encryption—should be maintained inside and outside the cloud. Because the information that is transmitted over the cloud is so sensitive, maintain a high level of security is extremely important. This is mainly the vendor’s responsibility; however, the client organization can absolutely make suggestions and requirements that personally cater to their needs.
Scalability, Reliability, and Cost Issues Associated with Cloud Computing Organizations can easily capitalize on economies of scale and majorly cut costs because virtualization is the main vehicle for cloud-based computing. The need to purchase and maintain hardware and spend funds on administrative costs is basically eliminated. The mobility of the cloud network allows for total access of large amounts of data anywhere, anytime and companies find that to be a very attractive incentive.
The only issue that may arise is network reliability—yes, the problem with data storage is limited and inexpensive; however, the probability of outages is unavoidable with this option. Cloud computing can become very expensive to install and get running; however, the fact that companies only pay for services they use is great! Eliminating the need to maintain subscriptions and licenses saves the company tons of money and makes running the infrastructure considerably more convenient. It is clear that the benefits outweigh the possible issues that may arise.
Ericsson Case Study. 2011. http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/ericsson/
Security Techniques for Protecting Data in Cloud Computing. 2012. http://www.kaspersky.com/images/european_cup_2012_march5_Venkata%20Sravan%20Kumar%20Maddineni-10-141650.pdf
Understanding Layered Security and Defense in Depth. 2008. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/understanding-layered-security-and-defense-in-depth/703