Virtualization Featured Article

It's Time for a Hybrid Cloud That's in the Clouds

December 08, 2016
By Special Guest
Scott Sobhani, CEO and co-founder, Cloud Constellation's SpaceBelt -

Data storage has come a long way since the early days of computing, when room-sized mainframes ruled the roost. The PC boom of the 1980s downsized computers and storage considerably. Single-room computers turned into rooms full of servers, and the data center was born. From there, the advent of the Internet and innovations in software delivery led to the cloud as the need to easily share software and services not only with remote offices, but also with a growing mobile user base, grew by epic proportions. This worked for a few years, until hackers became smarter and the protection of private and customer data became a board-level concern.  

Within the last few years, the latest innovation to overcome these challenges has been hybrid cloud offerings, with the promise of protecting and managing critical data on private, on-premises infrastructure and providing organizations with the ability to host customer-facing applications in the cloud. Unfortunately, hacks to the application layer, IoT and DDoS attacks continue to plague today’s corporate networks.

Such a rapid and sophisticated profusion of attack vectors has led to the multi-billion dollar cybersecurity industry, which has become so big that there seems to be a new security solution added to the network stack every day.

The Internet Quagmire

Both personal and enterprise-level concerns over data safety and privacy have led to worldwide jurisdictional restrictions and stringent laws regarding how data is moved between countries. What’s worse is that nations have the legal right to monitor, copy, save and try to decrypt any data as it passes through their jurisdictional boundaries.

The fact is that data sent across the Internet is much less secure than most people know.

Any data that passes across Internet lines, whether public or private, requires a public address header for routing encrypted packets to the proper network. This provides ample opportunity for surreptitious targeting and decryption of sensitive data. It seems that no matter what new restrictions are enforced, data remains unsafe.

“Leaky” Internet and leased lines are also an issue. Today’s cloud environments run across hybrid public and private networks using IT controls that are not protective enough to stay ahead of real-time cybersecurity threats. Sensitive data can be exposed to acts of industrial or political espionage through unauthorized access to enterprise computers, passwords and cloud storage on public and private networks.

It’s extremely unfortunate that an interconnected system conceived to enable free, global communication is being surreptitiously exploited in a way that prevents exactly that. The Internet was intended as a sustainable tool for bringing the world closer together, but it has rapidly become divided by a quagmire of protectionism – the reverse of promoting global information sharing. Clearly, a change is in order.

Expanding the Carbon Footprint

To keep up with the demand for storage created by the current digital transformation, the number of data centers in the United States continues

Image via BigStock

to increase. According to the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the total server installed base is projected to increase by 40 percent from 2010 to 2020. And though they are becoming much more energy efficient, they still account for almost 2 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption.

This situation is not isolated to America. In fact, data centers of all sizes are multiplying across the globe at an alarming rate, consuming a disproportionate amount of energy that results in a huge carbon footprint. The negative impact on the planet is significant. Ian Bitterlin, Britain’s foremost data center expert and a visiting professor at the University of Leeds, recently commented, “If we carry on the way we have been, it would become unsustainable – this level of data center growth is not sustainable beyond the next 10 to 15 years. The question is, what are we going to do about it?”

For Data Storage, the Sky’s the Limit

It’s time to think outside the “box” of Earth and consider what the sky has to offer in terms of storing and moving our data. Imagine a world without borders, where data flows freely without limitation. Where there are no jurisdictional barriers interfering with the exchange of information or ideas. A world where the sharing of information can travel across the globe in less than a second. This is a world where information is secure, safely traveling above and beyond the Internet and all leased lines. This is a new way of conceptualizing data transport and storage – and it is possible. 

An independent, space-based network infrastructure is now possible thanks to technologies that have been recently conceived. This infrastructure would enable cloud service providers and their enterprise and government customers to experience secure storage and provisioning of sensitive data around the world. By placing data on satellites that are accessible from everywhere via ultra-secure dedicated terminals, many of today’s data transport challenges will be solved. This will provide a safe haven for mission-critical sensitive data, a place without interruption or exposure to any surreptitious elements or unintended network jurisdictions.

This novel method for storing and transporting data would be a boon to providers, large enterprises and government entities. This model saves money as well as carbon emissions. As a result, cloud service providers will be able to offer better services at a third of the cost of doing business today because they will not have to add CapEx and OpEx for expansion. Major corporations who deal with mission-critical data, whether in healthcare or pharmaceutical, military or financial, will achieve major market differentiation while reducing their carbon footprint globally. CSPs and their customers don’t have to keep investing in more infrastructure and paying huge electricity bills.

Restoring Communication

The goal of the Internet was to facilitate communications worldwide, but that dream has been hampered by cybercriminals. It can be restored, though, with the advent of new technologies that bypass earthly limitations. Jurisdictional, security and latency concerns will be put to rest as organizations make the move to sky-based storage. Seamless, fast and safe global communication lies on the horizon.

             Scott Sobhani 

About the author: Scott Sobhani, CEO and cofounder of Cloud Constellation Corporation and the SpaceBelt Information Ultra-Highway, is an experienced telecom executive with over 25 years in executive management positions, most recent as VP for business development and commercial affairs at International Telecom Advisory Group (ITAG). Previous positions include CEO of TalkBox, VP & GM at Lockheed Martin (News - Alert), and VP, GM & senior economist at Hughes Electronics Corporation. Mr. Sobhani was responsible for closing over $2.3 billion in competitive new business orders for satellite spacecraft systems, mobile network equipment and rocket launch vehicles. He co-authored “Sky Cloud Autonomous Electronic Data Storage and Information Delivery Network System,” “Space-Based Electronic Data Storage and Network System” and “Intermediary Satellite Network for Cross-Strapping and Local Network Decongestion” (each of which are patent pending). He has an MBA from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Edited by Alicia Young

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