Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Derek Weeks, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, Government Cloud

Cloud Security: Interview

Exclusive Q&A with Rich Marcello - Unisys President, Systems & Technology

Security is a big concern as well as privacy of the data once it leaves a client's data centers

Unisys announced in September a four-part cloud computing strategy that will enable clients to move their enterprise application workloads securely to tailored cloud environments and give them confidence in maintaining the integrity of their critical information.

In this Exclusive Q&A with Cloud Computing Journal in the run-up to SYS-CON's 4th International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo (November 2-4, 2009) - Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan speaks with Rich Marcello - Unisys President, Systems & Technology - about the Unisys Secure Cloud and sets the scene for the upcoming Unisys Cloud-in-a-box.

Cloud Computing Journal: Starting at 35,000 feet, what overall relationships does Unisys see between cloud computing and the increasingly real-time needs of today's enterprise?

Rich Marcello: I believe that  cloud computing will revolutionize the way enterprises obtain IT and business services because of a number of converging factors - 1) the economy has forced enterprises to rethink their traditional cost models and minimize their capital expenditures in favor of pay-as-you-go models, 2) the need for anywhere, anytime IT since data sets continue to grow exponentially, and 3) the  shift in the way IT works with,  for example,  virtualization and automation,  which enable cloud computing.

Cloud Computing Journal: So cloud computing isn't just a buzzword, it's actually a glimpse of the future of enterprise IT so far as you are concerned?

Rich Marcello: Absolutely.  When you think about "IT as a service", ease of delivery, access from anywhere at anytime, the ability to have a totally flexible IT infrastructure, and the cost benefits of a subscription or pay as you go model, you realize very quickly cloud computing, in any of its forms (internal, external, hybrid) is here to stay.

Cloud Computing Journal: I understand, though, there are some concerns with moving to the Cloud.

Marcello: That's right. Security is a big concern as well as privacy of the data once it leaves a client's data centers and the ability of a cloud provider to meet the client's compliance requirements.  Additionally, there's concern about whether or not a client's applications can be moved to the cloud without rewriting them.  Unisys addresses each of these concerns with Unisys Cloud Computing Strategy and solutions portfolio announced June 30, 2009.

Cloud Computing Journal: Tell me more about this new Strategy and what it means to your clients.

Marcello: We announced a four-part cloud computing strategy that will enable clients to move their enterprise application workloads securely to tailored cloud environments and give them confidence in maintaining the integrity of their critical information.  We're delivering on the first two parts this year beginning with our June 30 announcement and the availability of our Cloud Transformation Services, followed by our Unisys Secure Cloud Solution available on July 31.  Our "Cloud-in-a-box" solution planned for later this year is a comprehensive IT infrastructure package that will enable quick and cost-effective implementation of a private cloud.  We also plan to deliver hybrid cloud technologies early next year that will provide the best of managed and dedicated services by combining public and private cloud capabilities.
Our comprehensive Cloud Transformation Services include Advisory and Assessment services that can provide our clients with strategic guidance on how best to move to the cloud.

Cloud Computing Journal: How are you leveraging your breadth of Enterprise IT experience?

Marcello: We believe our strong heritage in Data Center Transformation and Outsourcing is foundational to cloud computing - you can't begin to offer a cloud computing solution unless you understand the data center and are true experts.  We've been helping clients transform their data centers and make the right IT sourcing decisions for a long time by leveraging our services, technology, and outsourcing capabilities so they can achieve maximum return from capital expenditures, reduce operating expenses, and increase business performance.  Our heritage of experience and innovation combined with our independent thinking, innovative infrastructure and sourcing capabilities deliver data center solutions that are secure, productive and reliable.  We see all of this as a key advantage over other cloud providers who are just entering this market.

Cloud Computing Journal: How big an issue is security for enterprises who wish to migrate toward this kind of an infrastructure wholly or in part?

Marcello: As I mentioned earlier, security is the biggest barrier to cloud adoption as cited by organizations and industry analysts, as well as our own clients in a recent survey we conducted.

When it comes to security in a cloud it's really about the workloads and how clients can confidently move them to the cloud.  A lot of vendors talk security in the cloud but we've tackled this issue head-on and believe we have an advantage.  Security is inherent in all Unisys operations and offerings and, like Data Center Transformation and Outsourcing, is one of Unisys four key areas of strength.

We address security by ensuring operational excellence.   Unisys Secure Cloud services teams operate ISO 20000-certified delivery processes that are ITIL V3-compliant.  All of this protection is delivered in independently audited and ISO 270001-certified delivery centers. We utilize security best practices - a layered multi-vendor approach to security with Intrusion Detection and Prevention Services (IDPS), firewall management, 24x7 security monitoring, advanced correlation and analytics, auditable logs, and so forth.

From a cloud perspective, our commitment is to provide a security framework that is as good as or better than any clients could establish for themselves.  We do all of this and more with the addition of our patent-pending Stealth technology that allows private communities of interest based on FIPS 140-2, 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption and cloaks the data with proprietary "bit splitting".   Unlike other approaches to security, Unisys Stealth is very simple to deploy and does not require rewriting applications.  We believe this is a key differentiator as Stealth technology allows different groups in a multi-tenant client environment to share the same IT infrastructure without fear of exposing one client's data to another, and there's no need for the client to rewrite the applications it chooses to move to the cloud.

Cloud Computing Journal: What kinds of applications need security that your cloud offers?

Marcello: Clients who have workloads that require application, database or user security will have exposure if they put such workloads onto an unsecured cloud service.  Consequently, today companies are primarily using unsecured cloud services for workloads that have few security needs, such as Application Development and Testing or basic Web services, along with some less secure email workloads.

With Unisys Secure Cloud, you can move conventional business applications that contain patient data, employee, financial, or customer information, or document management or disaster recovery applications to the cloud environment.  In addition to security, most of these applications tend to require quite a bit of IT infrastructure and staff time to manage even though they tend to run in spurts and are quite cyclical or the workloads can dramatically vary in size from one period to the next.  For example, they may only run at the end of day, end of week, month, or year.  Some good examples are: Budgeting and planning; or HR systems like employee self-service, or time reporting.  Retailers have massive swings in system demand from one season to the next and need flexible capacity.  IT also has workloads that are cyclical in nature, including back-up, disaster recovery, and quality assurance, each of which has very high security requirements.   And, most of the time they are not using all of the hardware dedicated to them. This is why the average enterprise server utilization is only 5-10%. Think of the savings in capital and IT operations if these applications could be moved to a cloud service where you only pay for what you use.

Lastly, large OLTP-based workloads, or ERP systems or web store fronts are the most critical applications for your business.  If you are a manufacturer, it could be your order, inventory and supply chain systems; for banks, it's core systems like deposits, transfers, etc;  for airlines it would be the reservation systems. When these go down, the business is all but dead. Therefore, these are the kinds of systems that make sense to continue to invest in traditional, in-house IT infrastructures. Because these kinds of workloads tend to run nearly all the time, it makes good economic sense to buy the infrastructures to support them.

Cloud Computing Journal: How would someone decide if cloud computing is right for their business and which workloads to move?

Marcello: It's really about understanding what makes the most business sense for the client and what they are trying to accomplish.  As part of the June 30th announcement, we have Unisys Cloud Transformation Services, available now, which allow clients to plan and migrate to the type of cloud environment that best meets their business goals.  These services help clients assess what application workloads can be moved to the cloud, how that can be done, and the technology, financial and security implications of their choices.

Cloud Computing Journal: How about virtualization and automation, where do they fit in the big picture?

Marcello: These are fundamental to cloud computing and for Unisys, our Real-Time Infrastructure technology powers our cloud.  Virtualization is an enabler that helps us supply only the needed amount of IT resources based on the workload demand of the business at any given time.  Automation adds elasticity to the environment, reduces the time needed for changes, and eliminates or at least simplifies the manual intervention in a potentially rapidly changing environment.

Cloud Computing Journal: And what kinds of governance and service management tools does the enterprise need?

Marcello: From a service management perspective, many vendors operate as siloed mechanisms.  Unisys, on the other hand, has built into our secure cloudware stack an integration layer that enables us to interface with our clients' service management framework as well.  The virtual data center, regardless of the location of the resources, is managed seamlessly.  Unisys makes it look like one holistic environment. A key point to keep in mind is how hard it is for any IT organization to develop world class governance and service management.  With Unisys Secure Cloud Solution and "Cloud in a Box" we have developed a broad set of ITIL best practices, which are fully automated, and which allow us and our clients to run a very efficient IT infrastructure. With this, a lot of automation occurs, and this can save money by minimizing manual tasks, reducing errors, and getting much higher utilization rates.

Cloud Computing Journal: What verticals among your customers are leading the adoption of the Cloud?

Marcello: We're getting a number of inquiries from a broad range of Unisys clients in telco's, financial institutions, transportation, and the public sector as well as partners who are interested in Unisys hosting their solutions within our Secure Cloud.

Cloud Computing Journal: What does Cloud Computing have to offer to mid-tier enterprises?

Marcello: Cloud computing is compelling for mid-tier enterprises since it minimizes the need for capital expenditures as well as lowers the need for on-going operational support.  They will be interested in our Secure Cloud Solution, especially secure Software as a Service (SaaS).

Additionally for those clients who want to build an internal cloud, the Unisys Cloud-in-a-box that we'll deliver later this year will be a cost-effective, simplified cloud deployment alternative.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
“Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online busine...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...
OnProcess Technology has announced it will be a featured speaker at @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1 - 3, 2016, in Santa Clara, California. Dan Gettens, OnProcess’ Chief Analytics Officer, will discuss how Internet of Things (IoT) data can be leveraged to predict product failures, improve uptime and slash costly inventory stock. @ThingsExpo is an annual gathering of IoT and cloud developers, practitioners and thought-leaders who exchange ideas and insights on topics ranging from Big Data in...