Friday, October 25, 2013

Public Cloud IaaS : A Price/Performance vs. Security Analysis

Industry's transition from custom made, one-of-a-kind IT infrastructures to the standardize, commodity based cloud paradigm is well on it's way. IBM's recent "Under Cloud Cover" study highlights the rapidly of this global transformation:

"According to our global study of more than 800 cloud decision makers and 
users, business leaders of all stripes – Finance, Sales & Marketing, Product 
Development and more – are becoming increasingly focused on the business value 
cloud provides. Over the next three years, cloud’s strategic importance to business 
users is expected to double from 34 percent to 72 percent, even surpassing their IT 
counterparts at 58 percent."

From IBM "Under Cloud Cover": Competitive advantages from 
cloud computing help leading organizations deliver stand-out
 financial performance . (Click to enlarge)

What seems surprising, however, is that this shift is happening even in the face of repeated cautions and warnings about the security of public clouds.  The key challenge for decision makers is how to balance the business need to quickly transition to cloud with the equally important business need of maintaining information security and privacy.

Lucky for us, two recent public cloud reports from Gartner and Cloud Spectator have gone a long way toward addressing this critical question. Gartner's "Toolkit: Comparison Matrix for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service Providers, 2013" provides a comparative scoring of the security and compliance capabilities of the Gartner Public IaaS Magic Quadrant companies while Cloud Spectator has recently provided a price/performance  scoring for the same group of companies. I've used this data to produce the Price/Performance vs Security chart below.

Click to enlarge

While this marketplace snapshot is definitely not definitive, this data should certainly help us all who are charged with managing this important transition.

( The Price-Performance score is a blend of technical performance obtained from Cloud Spectator and use case performance obtained from Gartner. In the chart, the higher the value on the vertical axis, the better. Security score was obtained from Gartner. The further to the right on the horizontal axis, the better. Since CSC was not included in Cloud Spectator's performance analysis they are also not included in the chart provided above.)

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