Public Cloud Hosting vs Private – HIPAA Secure Hosting
By Gil Vidals, , HIPAA Blog, Resources

The numbers are in …

more and more companies are migrating to the public cloud. In fact, a recent survey predicts 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020.

Of those, 49% are utilizing the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). (Interestingly, the hybrid cloud is also becoming part of the conversation for the tech giant, but that’s another article).

The primary drivers to the public cloud, and GCP in particular, include security, cost-efficiency, instant scalability, greater speeds, and higher availability.

Let’s look at what GCP has to offer for each:

1.) Security –

It may seem counterintuitive, but migrating your enterprise data to Google is actually a more secure option.

Backed by 500 full-time security professionals and over 15 years of research, Google employs a “zero trust” security approach. The idea here is that no user or network should ultimately be “trusted,” and all attempts to access a business system or application must be verified before any level of access is granted.

Further, all data is encrypted under 256-bit AES and is maintained between Google, their customers, data centers, and Cloud Platform services. Encryption keys are also encrypted with a set of regularly changed master keys.

Application and storage stacks must also be authenticated and authorized. Google is committed to enterprise security certifications and regular audits for SSAE16, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, PCI, FedRAMP, and HIPAA compliance.

2. ) Cost-efficiency –

Performance is generally measured in terms of IOPS, or input/output operations per second. Typically this means the higher the IOPS, the better the performance. GCP generally provides greater IOPS for nearly a third of the cost!

In addition, Google’s minute-level increment billing (based on a ten-minute minimum, with further discounts on VM’s after a month) translates to only paying for the compute time you use. No prepaid, reserved instances – such as the kind AWS requires – are needed.

Reducing operational costs by cutting in-house IT staffing and capital equipment expenditures is another attractive benefit of migrating to GCP.

3. ) Instant Scalability –

The ability to scale seamlessly for increases and decreases in demand is another area where Google excels. With online resizing for persistent disks, provisioning can be made instantly on the basis of need – with no downtime.

A single command can make physical devices larger, with an immediate increase in IOPS and throughput, and without taking your system offline. You can then resize the file system by running resize2fs on Linux or resizing the partitions in Windows Disk Manager.

4. ) Greater Speeds –

With an unparalleled network of data centers, servers, and fiber optic cables (even a trans-Atlantic subsea cable), Google’s network is blazing fast. Greater speed provides the opportunity to process more data in lesser periods of time – which in turn impacts cost.

Google’s data centers are also state-of-the-art, and multi-regional (on a worldwide scale) – which means you can deploy to a location that is closest to you, ensuring lower latency and faster load times.

As Wired Magazine puts it:

“Google’s ability to build, organize, and operate a huge network of servers and fiber-optic cables with an efficiency and speed… rocks physics on its heels…This is what makes Google Google: its physical network, its thousands of fiber miles, and those many thousands of servers that, in aggregate, add up to the mother of all clouds.”

5.) High Availability –

Google’s commitment to continually keep services available – even in the face of disasters or local system failures – is built on an expansive system of redundancy. Replication of data in multiple data centers in different areas is carried out systematically, with robust failover software operations “decoupled” from specific pieces of hardware to ensure service continuity.

Google also employs “complex, multi-tiered distributed systems” and “…sophisticated management, load balancing, and recovery techniques…to achieve high performance and availability amidst an abundance of failure sources that include software, hardware, network connectivity, and power issues.”

Why Add Managed Services?

Clearly, Google cloud has much to offer over private cloud infrastructure; when properly configured for HIPAA and layered over with HIPAA Vault’s renowned Managed Services, it can be a far more flexible and secure option. Click here to read about the benefits of managed services.

Utilizing the Google Cloud through HIPAA Vault means you enjoy our “real world” support, consisting of a dedicated support team of system administrators available for you, 24/7/365 – no matter what hosting plan you buy.

This allows you to continue focusing on what you do best: run your business.