In the rise of the cloud, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is a key integral part and means that developers are able to create, and test, new applications on a hosted platform without the need to consider the need for an infrastructure. There are public PaaS providers, including Heroku – not well-trusted by many due to a lack of security; and for this reason, there has been an increased in the availability of private PaaS providers, such as Qubell, that provide a hosted platform without having to share your company’s resources with outsiders.
European companies are lapping up the private PaaS model, traditionally more cautious when it comes to the cloud, and CloudControl, a PaaS provider based in Berlin, has launched a their public PaaS solution as a private PaaS service. Application Lifecycle Engine is based on OpenStack and delivers all the benefits of the cloud yet deals with data protection and security as well.
There is an inherent fear, in Europe particularly, that if you use a public cloud service – PRISM is a big culprit – ‘Big Brother’ – government agencies or the NSA – are watching! So, enterprises are turning to private clouds… But that presents its own problems. Sebastian-Hendrik Picklum at CloudControl suggests whilst businesses think they are more secure using a private PaaS, should they go mobile – something which is also very much on the rise! – data, or content, that goes between the user and the server travels across the public network… There goes the ‘Big Brother’ theory!
Secondly, whether it’s a private or public PaaS service, there are plenty of security benefits. Any temporary ‘virtual’ situation usually gets discarded once the user has finished with it… And should any information get past those security measures, it’s unlikely to last long enough for any harm to be done.
However, this information is not getting through to enterprises… Picklum says: “They don’t see that the cloud technology is even more secure because resources are temporarily assigned to applications.”
In comparison to the US, are European data centres more secure? Do private PaaS services really give security levels over and above that provided by public PaaS services? Difficult questions to answer, until further information is available as to the level of Big Brother activity in Europe – let’s hope that more will be revealed at the forthcoming Structure: Europe conference taking place in London, 18th – 19th September 2013, and hosted by GigaOM.
What is very apparent is that many businesses in Europe are worried, and this uncertainty fuels negative perceptions, thereby significantly affecting the making of decisions.