June 30, 2009, 12:16 PM — Unisys is announcing Tuesday a new set of services in the area of secure cloud computing aimed at addressing customers' security concerns about moving their applications and data to an external cloud.
In a poll of customers conducted in June by the company, 72 percent said security was their biggest concern about moving workloads to the cloud.
Customers want to ensure, for example, that their data is sent and stored outside their firewall in compliance with various data security regulations, Sam Gross, vice president of Unisys Global IT Outsourcing Solutions, said on Friday.
On account of these concerns, users are generally moving only application development and collaboration and messaging applications to the cloud, Gross said. They are not moving their conventional workloads and key technologies to the cloud, he added.
Starting with the Unisys Secure Cloud Solution which is a managed cloud service on shared IT infrastructure that is hosted by Unisys, the company also plans to offer a prepackaged product in December, called Cloud-in-a-box, that will help companies set up and run their own internal clouds, said Rich Marcello, president of Unisys Systems and Technology.
The managed cloud service will be offered from this week, Marcello said. The service will support .Net, Java, and later IBM software platforms, so that customers can move their applications, that were developed on these software stacks, unchanged to the cloud, he added.
A third service, which will be introduced in March next year, is a hybrid cloud that combines private and public cloud capabilities. Customers will be able to act as if they have one giant virtual data center that includes their own internal cloud or data center and an external cloud managed by Unisys, Marcello said.
The hybrid cloud is expected to be the more popular of the three options as customers are likely to move only some of their applications to the cloud, Gross said. The technology for the hybrid cloud was developed at Unisys' center in Bangalore.
Unisys is also introducing Tuesday cloud transformation services, which will help clients assess, from both a technical and financial standpoint, whether cloud computing is right for their business, and whether an internal cloud, a Unisys managed secure cloud, or a hybrid of the two is the best implementation.
Unisys plans to address the security concerns of its customers by its Stealth technology that cloaks data through multiple levels of authentication, encryption, and bit-splitting into multiple packets, Gross said.
The Stealth technology for networks creates invisible tunnels in the network, enabling encrypted "data in motion" to remain invisible as it traverses the infrastructure until it is reassembled upon delivery to authorized users, Unisys said.
Unisys also plans to equip the Secure Cloud Solution with Stealth technology that secures data on storage area networks (SAN)by encrypting and dispersing it across multiple disks in various locations, according to Gross.
"The authority to read or write Stealth data is granted by the client through their existing authentication and authorization mechanisms," Gross said.