2012 Will Be All About the Data, and How We Manage It: Creating Trusted Data Networks Part 2

2012 Will Be All About the Data, and How We Manage It

… Just as Julie Andrews taught us in Sound of Music (yes geeks can still like musicals), let’s start at the very beginning, which in this case is the data. We have all seen the stats about the astronomical data growth. IDC says we will be in the Zettabytes by the year 2020, and other experts think that will happen more quickly. Even if you are not dealing with “big data,” everyone in the coming year will face a cascading rise of digital data across a wide range of device types, networks and users… Continuation from Part 1

Creating Trusted Data Networks Part 2

This reminds me of conversations I used to have in the network security field regarding secure mobile access. At that time, IT managers were faced with a growing mobile workforce, which demanded access to the network from anywhere, anytime and from any number of mobile devices. Network administrators quickly realized that the old “castle and moat” security model wasn’t working, because there truly was no way to lock down the network and prevent holes in the firewall, while still enabling the business. This was the start of the new world of business technology where IT had to demonstrate how it was enabling the business and helping it succeed, beyond just keeping the business running.

With the so-called “deperimeterization” of the network, the focus was on access to and protection of the data. So, the perimeter moved inward and security was designed to protect applications and information those employees and others needed to access easily. The same is true for the cloud and our overall data management strategy: see the cloud as an extension of your on-premise infrastructure and holistically architect your model to ensure data security and secure access to that information.

In creating trusted data networks, you’ll need to answer these questions, and obviously there can be many steps and processes involved in answering these questions and getting control, so please forgive the oversimplification:

  • What is my mission critical and business critical data?
  • Where is that data today?
  • How am I protecting that data?
  • Who needs access to the data?
  • How do I “trust” those accessing the data are authorized and authenticated?
  • How do I ensure a single source of “truth” for my data?

As we move forward, the idea of networks of trust can be applied across clouds and on-premise infrastructure. The vision is to have the ability to move information and business processes seamlessly across areas of your environment that encompasses both on-premise and the cloud. Think of this as taking the concept of SOA to the cloud, where you have a federated layer of information that is accessible by everyone in your “community”, whether internal or external.

With trusted cloud networks, you gain the ability to:

  • Connect and share information across clouds and users
  • Create or leverage cloud connectivity brokers
  • Create areas of federated services with controlled access
  • Establish SOA in the cloud for inter-enterprise information exchange
  • Ensure backup disaster recovery for all your data in case of an outage (of either your on-premise or cloud environment)

In 2012, the hype around the cloud will continue, but it will be more mature as we take an overall view of our infrastructure and focus more on creating networks of trust rather than viewing our on-premise and cloud environments as separate entities. This will not be accomplished overnight and requires centralized policies, management, analytics and integration. However, each step we take in this direction will prepare us for what appears to be a never-ending flood of data.

By Margaret Dawson /Vice President of Marketing at Symform 

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