One of the misconceptions that I run into as I visit potential clients is the amount of access a company like ours has when performing a cloud project for a company or individual. Invariably, at some point, the question of data visibility comes to the forefront. It usually goes something like this: “So are you going to be able to see everything, because we can’t have that!”
The answer to this question is the same as many other answers we give when it relates to highly malleable cloud projects: “It depends.”
Cloud isn’t an all or nothing endeavor. Your data doesn’t have anything to do with our work, and whether we get to see the data is totally up to you. I look at it this way: A cloud provider, such as AWS, can come to the site at which you’re building your dream home. AWS will put a Home Depot on the site and then leave. AWS doesn’t tell you how to build your home, what boards to use, or whether that joint requires a nail or a screw. All they do is keep the Home Depot stocked. JHC handles the architecture and deployment, and we know all the best practices when it comes to using the material. But that’s where it ends. We can build your house without ever knowing what will go in it.
Your data is the same way. We don’t need to see it and building your cloud environment isn’t dependent on having any access to it at all.
We are doing one project with a global organization in which we have full control of the cloud infrastructure we are deploying. This infrastructure is being deployed in an AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). As part of the creation of the VPC, our client’s requirement was that the VPC only allows access from a specific set of IP addresses. As it stands, that IP range is limited only to our client’s development servers. What that means is while we can deploy a server into the AWS VPC, we can’t even verify its operation beyond the fact that the server is running. We have no access to ping the server or remote into it. The only access comes from the client’s on-premises machines.
Testing the capabilities of the cloud can provide tremendous insight for an organization. Many times, involving an outside consultant with cloud experience is also the wise step. But, don’t fret that you’ll need to give the ol’ “Keys to the Kingdom,” to your consultant. You can build and test all sorts of services without exposing your data outside your organization.
Matt Jordan is the Cloud Services Manager for JHC Technology. He can be reached at mjordan(at)jhctechology.com, @matt_jhc, or connect with him on LinkedIn.