The SIX elements of cloud computing | Part 2: ARCHITECTURE and SECURITY

Posted by: Schepisi - Friday, May 29, 2015

Welcome to part two of our comprehensive guide to the six elements of cloud computing!

Before you go on, catch up on part one here:

The SIX elements of cloud computing | Part 1: STRATEGY and FINANCE

We have updated this blog post so that you can follow up with part three here:

The SIX elements of cloud computing | Part 3: PROCESS and PEOPLE 

All caught up? OK – let’s move on to part two. This week we want to look at the architecture and security cloud computing offers Australian business.

What is the architecture and security of cloud computing, and how does it align to your business’s processes?

Element #3: Architecture

There are several parts that make up the architecture of cloud computing. The easiest way to understand is to split it into two sections, the back-and and the front-end, accompanied in between by the tool that connects these two sections: the network.

Cloud computing architecture

Once it’s broken down and then segmented, as we have done below, you can better understand the cloud-computing path (and the tools used) from the server to the end user.

First, we begin with a back-end platform

In this case, we are referring to the cloud server. Cloud servers are normally located off-site, at a designated area that a cloud computing company monitors and manages itself. This means a business can move data to the cloud, rather than keep it on-site.

This ‘back-end platform’, in essence, is the nub of cloud computing.

Schepisi’s Telstra cloud servers are located right here. This enhances security, speed and reliability of cloud computing in Australia.

Next comes the cloud computing network

The cloud-computing network refers to the way in which an end-user accesses data stored on servers. In simple terms, this is the internet.

Telstra is Australia’s fastest network, so you can rely on great speeds, little downtime, and reliable service to access the business data that’s stored in Schepisi’s Telstra Cloud. As mentioned above, servers located right here in Australia only help to enhance the super speed we have come to expect from Telstra.

Finally, we have the front-end platform

This commonly refers to not only the end-user who is accessing data, but also the way in which he or she does so (their computer) and which cloud application is being used to access cloud information.

Element #4: Security

Ah, the word security. It seems to always instil fear in us, doesn’t it? Images of a masked bandit breaking into your computer and stealing all your data spring to mind when we’re fed hyperbolic stories of internet thieves.

The cloud is a bigger part of our lives – both professionally and personally – than we might even realise. Today, we seldom send photos via email and use USBs to transmit documents. The cloud has become the spot where we store, share and edit photos, documents, data, and more.

Even your favourite social networks act as a cloud. When you upload a photo to Facebook or Instagram, you are uploading it to the cloud; an external server that hosts it for you.

So how does the cloud keep our data, particularly sensitive business data, safe?

Cloud computing security

Have you fallen for these common cloud computing myths?

Theories abound, there seem to be too many cloud myths floating around the internet. Common myths include:

Your data is not safe in the cloud

There are more breaches in the cloud (than there are out of it)

Cloud security is too difficult to maintain

The cloud is too new and therefore too risky

Another big myth that needs to be dispelled is that the cloud takes care of all the security for you. To the contrary, there are a few things in your control that will add an extra layer of protection to your cloud system, including strong passwords (see below).

The front line of cloud computing defence is encryption

You’ve probably heard the term before, even if you’re not completely sure of its definition. Put simply, encryption is the process of converting a document or piece of data into another form, ciphertext, which “cannot be easily understood by anyone except authorised parties”.

This means you cannot decrypt – and therefore access – information unless you have the right encryption key to decode it.

Encryption is an extra layer of defence enhances the security of your data.

Finally, strong passwords

Groan. Aren’t there enough passwords to remember, without adding another to the mix? I’ve got all my social networks, my emails, banking, and all those other programs.

Sure, it can be frustrating, but surely you’ve heard the stats? Did you know that 90 per cent of passwords can be cracked within minutes? The days of using password1234 are long gone. You’ve got to choose strong passwords that are unique and use upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Additionally, avoid using the same password across multiple online accounts.

So now we conclude part two. Remember, you can find part one here, and we’ll be updating links once part three is published, too.

What now?