Maintaining Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance can be complicated, but such compliance is non-negotiable for any business that stores, processes or transfers cardholder data. This places heavy responsibilities on IT teams to ensure their enterprise follows all 12 PCI DSS requirements and related security controls. Likewise, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) stipulates that enterprises must protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information closely. Again, the burden falls to IT departments to design and maintain compliant infrastructure and processes to remain in alignment with business objectives.
Enterprises involved in the health care industry or taking part in banking, retail sales, and e-commerce have similarly demanding requirements for their IT infrastructure. PCI and HIPPA standards can be difficult to meet, and have multilevel implications from infrastructure to operating systems to networking. Due to the nature of distributed-layer architectures in cloud environments, extensive complexity is added to the exercise. Additionally, different enterprises view these compliance standards differently — some see it as a necessary and constant facet of operations, whereas others only are concerned when transactions fail or threats present themselves. In either case, cnterprises found out of compliance often face heavy fines, penalties and sanctions, in addition to a potential loss of business and customer relationships.
Cloud computing is a powerful tool for any IT strategy. Since public cloud environments are intended to allow access into the environment from anywhere on the Internet, additional controls must be implemented to protect the environment from threats, making compliance a challenge. This is where Dedicated Cloud Compute offers a clear advantage. By providing best-in-breed solutions for dedicated system design, secure account access, file integrity and secure data transmission, Dedicated Cloud Compute ensures customer physical and virtual isolation. This means your applications and data are locked down and safe-guarded, to meet even the most stringent of compliance demands.
Most companies have a variety of needs when it comes to network, compute, and storage. One business unit may need a highly-secure, single-tenant infrastructure option for sensitive data. Another operations group in the same organization may require a hybrid-cloud option that's highly-scalable to handle varying demands on the system at peak times. Both situations may require the flexibility and scalability of the cloud, and the ability to integrate with managed services such as managed operating systems, load balancers, security, and network services.
Dedicated Cloud Compute offers a customizable, high-performance engine for enterprises of all sizes requiring production-grade application deployments and workloads. It's a highly-scalable and flexible managed cloud-based hosting service that's built on commercial-grade virtualization (based on VMware Infrastructure Enterprise), HP ProLiant servers, and fault-tolerant SAN-based storage and comes with 24/7/365 support.
The Dedicated Cloud Compute platform also includes redundancy that's built into the data center, network, and storage infrastructure. And VM instance failover and dedicated load balancing can be added to create an even more fault-tolerant environment. The flexibility of the system allows a single physical server to be partitioned into multiple (self-contained) VMs that each support their own operating system and applications. This reduces the number of physical dedicated servers needed by running more VMs on fewer servers. The number of VMs can also be easily scaled up and down within the self-service portal, which also provides a view of each resource and vital statistics on usage spikes and percentages.
All of these capabilities were purpose-built into Dedicated Cloud Compute expressly to deliver a truly enterprise-ready private cloud solution enabling mission-critical application deployment.
Organizations have a number of options to choose from, when designing IT infrastructure. Some businesses prefer to rely on dedicated servers, enabling them to ensure they meet both their own security policies as well as industry best practices. But as enterprises expand to various Hybrid IT permutations, this all becomes a bit more complex.
Evaluating an IT asset means asking critical questions related to security to better assess the confidentiality, integrity, and availability requirements while understanding how those are affected if all or part of the asset is handled in the cloud. Security measures such as Secure Transport Layer Security (TLS), the encryption of data in transit and at rest, secure Access Control Lists (ACLs), audit logging, audit trails, asset management and logging all require dedicated, private cloud infrastructure deployed behind the firewall and need to customizable to individual security guidelines.
Dedicated Cloud Compute addresses all of these considerations and more. It offers the security and versatility to deal with geographical stipulations in metering, billing, and data transmission. IT resources can be segregated across the infrastructure and dedicated to single customers across landscapes and timezones.
Security is only as reliable as the weakest link, so Dedicated Cloud Compute delivers a secure, single tenant private cloud environment. Moreover, it enables top-level monitoring and logging to ensure internal regulations meet specific security standards defined by the customer and governed by the industry.
Building out an ideal IT platform for your business needs can be a daunting — if not seemingly impossibe — task. This is especially true if you see the benefits of single-tenancy but also need the flexibility and scalability of public cloud. You might require a traditional managed hosting environment with private cloud servers for security reasons, but you also need to be able to scale your resources on-the-fly, something a public cloud can be much more adept at doing. So what's the answer?
Dedicated Cloud Compute offers the best of both public and private cloud, with dedicated and managed private servers that function like scalable and flexible public cloud resources. It relies on the virtualization technology of VMware to partition one dedicated physical server into multiple virtual machines (VMs) running different operating systems and applications. Each dedicated physical server can function at a higher level of operation, as each VM can easily be spun up or down through the self-service portal. This provides a flexible, secure, and scalable environment for your Hybrid IT needs.
On top of providing hybrid public and private cloud compute, Dedicated Cloud Compute can also be leveraged and integrated with other CenturyLink Cloud services. CenturyLink Image Management Storage is available for instance templates and can be viewed alongside the Dedicated Cloud Compute instances in the portal for easy access. Utility and Unified Storage can also be added to provide more storage for Dedicated Cloud Compute instances. Some URL, TCP, and ICMP monitoring is provided with each Dedicated Cloud Compute node, which customers can use to create automatic notification monitors in the portal. Advanced Monitoring features can be added to Dedicated Cloud Compute nodes and instances through CenturyLink Intelligent Monitoring or CenturyLink Managed Application Services. The CenturyLink Hosting Area Network (HAN) can also be incorporated and provides a number of add-on services, including: load balancing and SSL acceleration, HAN ports, the Customer Access Extension Service, Internet bandwidth, and virtual local area networks (vLANS). This Hybrid IT environment allows both managed and cloud services to work together to provide uniquely customized solutions for your business needs.