Standards key to removing cloud risk

It's a fair question: when can businesses expect the risks of cloud services to give way to reliable enterprise-class offerings where more critical parts of IT can be deployed in the cloud? 

Companies can acquire network services with different classes of service. But until the same can be applied to many cloud services, the risks have to be assessed and borne by the customer, Per Dahlberg, CEO of the Asia Cloud Computing Association, said yesterday in his presentation on Carrier-Grade Cloud at the CommunicAsia2011 Summit.

Dahlberg said that for wider adoption of cloud computing there must be agreement on expected levels of performance, reliability and security.

“Only through such agreement can providers give customers the confidence to adopt services across a spectrum of needs. At each class of service there must be transparency into what a customer can expect to be delivered with clear service levels and associated service level agreements,” he said.

He explained that establishing agreed-upon standards will give rise to tiers of service as is now expected with any service-based offering.

He says the Asian Cloud Computing Association believes traditional service providers are well positioned to use their experience in driving this given their experience in delivering a range of service levels with differing tiers of quality of service.

Clearly there is still a lack of transparency and governance on cloud services right now. “We are seeking to establish some clear guidelines to give customers the necessary assurance so they can properly evaluate and assess the risks.”