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Data Storage in Saas, Paas and IaaS Cloud Hosting

Wed, 29 Aug 2012

cloud hosting

A recent Gartner server reveals that companies are 30% less likely to have operational restrictions in place with PaaS and IaaS clouds than with SaaS, meaning they feel PaaS and IaaS are significantly more secure hosting platforms.

The January 2012 survey of 425 IT risk management respondents from the UK, USA, Germany and Canada, showed that companies trust PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) more than SaaS (Software as a Service) for storing both sensitive and mission critical data.

A summary of the survey, available on the Gartner website, draws our attention to significant changes in attitudes between a similar survey from 2009.

The most dramatic change over the past three years is the increased willingness to use IaaS and PaaS for sensitive processes.

In many ways, this is understandable; The advantages offered by cloud “out of the box” include increased resilience, high-availability and portability and dynamic fast provisioning, all surely preferable to deploying and maintaining physical servers.

The article makes it clear that PaaS is the preferred model over fully outsourced data processing and handling, presumably gaining support from senior managers who can deliver services to clients and partners knowing their own teams, not the remote staff of a 3rd party, have clear visibility, ownership and control over all the data.

Unlike SaaS, with PaaS and IaaS hosting, clients have full control over data encryption and security. Further support for these lower level services over SaaS will no doubt come from the majority of IT workers who appreciate the potential perils of relying wholly on others.

The Gartner research tells us that 20% of companies have a policy against placing sensitive data in a PaaS or IaaS environemt, and 26% have the same policy agaist using SaaS, which means:

Compared with PaaS/IaaS, organizations are about 30 percent more likely to have a policy against putting sensitive data into SaaS

In other words, companies are 30% less likely to have restrictions in place with IaaS/PaaS than SaaS.

ConnetU experience reflects this repositioning of sensitive and mission critical services into an IaaS or PaaS environment. Some of our clients tell us how, without careful planning and due diligence, SaaS products have a tendency to encourage “vendor lock-in”; those same clients have been stung by SaaS products having been abandoned, acquired or suddenly raised pricing, causing difficult and painful data migrations.

Having cloud levels of flexibility and resilience without these pitfalls, and with the added levels of ownership provided by a PaaS environment, is increasingly becoming the happy medium for many astute SMEs and SMBs.