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Is India Public Cloud Ready?

By: Anshuman Singh, Senior Director Product Management, Application Security, Barracuda Networks

Organizations in India are going through a transitional phase and Indian businesses today are embracing cloud. Most organizations are trying to determine how their traditional on-premises infrastructure will work when they start leveraging cloud resources. In fact, Indians are more accepting towards cloud than they were 5 years back. In a Barracuda commissioned research, we found out that 85% of Indian respondents reported that they trust public cloud more than they did five years ago. 77% of those surveyed in India also felt confident that their organization’s move to the public cloud was secure. But, is India really ready for cloud?

Security in the Cloud

Despite growing cloud adoption rates in India, companies are still reluctant to completely move their workloads and applications to the cloud. This is due to data security, and security remains one of the biggest concerns, both when moving applications to the cloud as well as when selecting the right cloud provider. In fact, 78% of Indian respondents said that security concerns restrict their organization’s migration to public cloud and over half (53%) of Indian respondents’ organizations have been targeted by a cyber-attack. In this context, one major aspect that organizations tend to forget is that they also have partial responsibility for their own security. Some aspects of the security are provided by the cloud vendors such as the data center security but the rest must be taken care of on-premises.

Whose Responsibility?

The root cause of many public cloud concerns is a lack of clarity over the shared responsibility model. Many IT buyers assume that because they’re effectively outsourcing the running of their infrastructure to a trusted third party, the provider will take care of everything. This simply isn’t the case. Amazon Web Services is very clear, stating that it will address security “of” the cloud – compute, storage, database, networking, and global infrastructure including edge location and availability zones. But the customer is 100% responsible for security “in” the cloud – data, apps, identity management, OS, network and firewall configuration, network traffic, server-side encryption, and client-side data.

The Growing Cloud Market

The public cloud services market in India is projected to grow 38 percent in 2017 to total $1.81 bn, according to Gartner, Inc. In fact, most cloud vendors see India as a key market. Till early last year, most key cloud vendors did not have data centers in India. However, today for both Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, the story has changed. Even though Google Cloud Platform does not have a data center in India, they still provide very competitive prices for their products in accordance to the India market.

When it comes to moving to the public cloud, start-ups are most keen to adopt due to its efficiency and low costs. Enterprises are also in fact adopting cloud, but are they moving all their applications/data on the cloud? The answer is no.

Multiple Vendors, Stronger Security?

According to the Barracuda research, most Indian organizations use more than one public cloud service providers. This is primarily because people often believe that cloud providers have different strengths and by doing so, their security is strengthened. This shows that customers are growing more comfortable living in hybrid environments— specifically, multi-cloud hybrid environments.

Hurdles to Cloud

One of the biggest challenges to public cloud is the reachability factor. If the server or the internet is not working, public cloud cannot be accessed.  In public cloud, companies can save money on hardware but they will have to spend on internet bandwidth. This can be a lower cost for smaller applications but can be significantly higher for data intensive applications.  As a company transfers, more and more business functions to the cloud this will place more strain on the company’s internet speed and bandwidth.

Additionally, even though the infrastructure is improving in the public cloud, there is still a lot to be achieved. This makes some of the most important things while adopting public cloud to be infrastructure availability and infrastructure capacity.

A Promising Future

In contrast, the benefits a company gets from the cloud are extensive. With private cloud, your organization still must build and maintain all kinds of servers to meet spikes in demand across various divisions or functions. Public cloud offers the same spare demand on a pay-as-you-need-it basis.

Public cloud facilitates rapid deployment, provisioning, and scaling of IT resources at a low cost. This helps users in entering new markets more quickly, shortening development times and reducing waste. In the coming days, we can only foresee, that the overall environment for public cloud in India will improve, and it will be accepted and adopted at an exponential speed.

As the infrastructure to reach the cloud improves and the awareness about roles of cloud providers and cloud users grow, we are optimistic that India is truly ready for cloud.

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