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

Addressing a key cloud computing question facing IT decision makers

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.

( 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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Kevin Jackson, founder of the GovCloud Network, is an independent technology and business consultant specializing in mission critical solutions. He has served in various senior management positions including VP & GM Cloud Services NJVC, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and VP Program Management Office at JP Morgan Chase. His formal education includes MSEE (Computer Engineering), MA National Security & Strategic Studies and a BS Aerospace Engineering. Jackson graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1979 and retired from the US Navy earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Airborne Logistics and Airborne Command and Control. He also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide. Kevin is the founder and author of “Cloud Musings”, a widely followed blog that focuses on the use of cloud computing by the Federal government. He is also the editor and founder of “Government Cloud Computing” electronic magazine, published at To set up an appointment CLICK HERE