The Security of Cloud Infrastructure

The Security of Cloud Infrastructure

Massimo Civilini (Cisco Systems® Inc., USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1631-8.ch009


The development of commercial Cloud environments has been fueled by the introduction of new technologies which have changed the interactions between the base components of a legacy IT infrastructure: computing, networking, and storage. In particular, the security of data and operations has been impacted by these changes, making the legacy security infrastructure no longer adequate to support new scenarios. This chapter illustrates how base infrastructure operations like software provisioning and resource virtualization are critical from a security viewpoint. It will also discuss the mitigation solutions available in guaranteeing an adequate level of security in the Cloud.
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The development of a fast, cost-effective network infrastructure and the availability of high performance computational and storage platforms fueled the creation of Data Centers as aggregation points for the IT infrastructure. The Cloud computing concept, favored by the heavy adoption of technologies like virtualization and self-management, has introduced the possibility of having computation and other services offered on demand. However, this transformation was not immediately apparent and the scientific community did not immediately recognize its importance, giving scarce support to the Cloud environment with analysis and proposals until recent times (Sriram & Khajeh-Hosseini, 2010). Due to this lack of support, the Cloud made its appearance only recently and was mostly driven by commercial reasons (Mohamed, 2009). The subsequent success of the idea helped create a Cloud environment which grows rapidly in term of services yet shows its limits due to the scalability of legacy infrastructures (Crump, 2010). As a result, the Cloud environment is suffering from scalability and compatibility issues connected to the difficulties of adapting legacy computing and network environments to new requirements and services.

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