Cloud & GovIT
Multi Community Cloud Services - Moving Beyond the Community Cloud
I have a new term for the cloud that combines multiple communities together, "Multi community cloud"
By: Ajay Budhraja
May. 8, 2012 09:00 AM
Community cloud services are services that are shared by multiple members of a community. They centralize the functions and can provide specific mission requirements. The mission requirements can be related to specific policies and compliance. Community clouds leverage the benefits of a public cloud but can satisfy specific requirements. These are perfect for communities with specific focus areas such as performance, auditing or policies that need to be applied across the community.
A major benefit of community clouds is that many organizations can come together and pitch in for the cost of the cloud. This sharing results in significant savings compared to each organization setting up and supporting their own services. Community cloud is a term that is discussed a lot, but I have a new term for the cloud that combines multiple communities together, "Multi community cloud". Multi Community cloud services span across communities with similar functions and interests. For example, payment cloud services can be used by multiple communities (such as banking, finance, insurance etc) to make payments to individuals and companies, this would fall under multi community cloud services. These services have to be broad enough to encompass the functions of the multiple communities. With the rapid growth of the community cloud, multi community clouds will evolve to a higher level as communities identify and realize the benefits of leveraging many similar capabilities, even though some policies may be different.
Community clouds are a safer way for Government agencies to take the plunge into the Cloud arena compared to a private cloud environment. The assurance of having another agency co-located, rather than unknown or hacker applications as tenants is extremely important from a security perspective. Specific compliance and policy requirements can be addressed very effectively in a community cloud environment. Community clouds can foster secure reuse due to sharing of applications and data for the tenants. Government agencies can leverage common applications that offer functionality for common access, business functions and reporting for specific lines of business.
The flip side of the coin is that downtime for the common applications accessed by the community or service outages can adversely affect all involved parties. Access to the cloud should be closely monitored and data privacy, security should be addressed. Data should be protected from leakage and security controls assessed. Disaster recovery and business continuity plans should be in place. Vendor lock in should be avoided and identity, security standards should be followed.
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