Key Considerations When Moving to the Cloud
Cloud Computing provides advantages in cost, scalability, security, and reliability. However, all Cloud deployment options are not the same. You must carefully consider your options when you are moving to the Cloud. Core outlined some of the benefits of the Cloud in our blog post, Scientific Platform Designed to Run on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Deployment Options for the Platform for Science
The Platform for Science (PFS) is a cloud-native platform that can be deployed on the Cloud (or on- premises) to fit the needs and desires of customers. There are three ways to deploy an instance of the Platform for Science: Enterprise, Shared Cloud, and Customer Managed.
A Shared Cloud deployment of the Platform for Science includes Core’s products and solutions through our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. Core manages the Cloud deployment and provides end-to-end support. Core provisions the Cloud services, installs and configures the Platform for Science and related products, and maintains the environment. If you are in the Shared Cloud, Core Informatics handles your upgrades automatically. Though the word “shared” is in the name, this Cloud option keeps your entire instance and your data separate from the other organizations in the Cloud, while also allowing you to reap the cost-saving and security benefits of being in a large AWS Cloud.
An Enterprise Deployment of the Platform for Science also includes Core’s products and solutions through our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model on a private Cloud infrastructure. Core manages the Cloud deployment and provides end-to-end support. Core provisions the Cloud services, installs and configures the Platform for Science and related products, and maintains the environment. With the Enterprise Cloud you can schedule your upgrades and Core will help with the process. The Enterprise Cloud also supports system validation.
In a Customer Managed deployment, you are in control of everything. You can run the Platform for Science on your own Cloud instance or on your server. (On-premises deployments are available for customers that would like to have their own dedicated instance of Core Informatics’ products and services in their data center.) Your team is in control of all aspects of the deployment and maintenance of the infrastructure and Core Informatics products. With the Customer Managed option, you have the ability to schedule and implement your own upgrades.
Can Regulated Industries Use the Cloud?
Regulated industries can use the Cloud. (Read more regulated industries and the Cloud in our blog, Regulated labs can use the Platform for Science on a Validated Cloud infrastructure.) Core informatics has a Validated Cloud infrastructure which can be used by regulated and GxP customers. The Validated Cloud option allows companies such as biopharmas to track their data from start to finish within the Platform for Science. Core’s Validated Cloud deployment offering is a qualified infrastructure built on Amazon Web Services. For more information on our validated Cloud deployment, read our AWS case study, and our press release.
Using the Cloud for HIPAA
HIPAA compliant organizations can also use Cloud Computing for their data. The Department of Health and Human Services released a Guidance on HIPAA & Cloud Computing to assist organizations in navigating this process. AWS has created a plan for enabling HIPAA compliant customers to use the Cloud. According to the AWS website, “AWS enables covered entities and their business associates subject to the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to leverage the secure AWS environment to process, maintain, and store protected health information.” They even offer a HIPAA-focused Whitepaper for customers interested in learning more about how companies can use AWS to process systems that facilitate HIPAA and HITECH compliance.
Benefits of Hosting in the AWS Cloud
By deploying in Amazon Web Services (AWS), data is protected with multiple layers of security, and compute resources can be spun up in a fraction of the time taken by conventional providers. Services can also be scaled on demand with virtually no upper limit. Additional benefits include:
- Fully managed deployment available across the globe to any AWS Region.
- Physical access to the AWS data centers and networks is strictly controlled, monitored, and audited.
- Multi-factor authentication – together with Identity and Access Management (IAM) and fine-grain permissions – are used to access the infrastructure.
- Your data is segregated with dedicated servers and logically isolated networks.
- Your data is secured in motion and at rest with industry standard encryption.
- Your data is protected with tight controls at the firewall and policy/procedure level to ensure there is no unauthorized access or compromise of your data.
- Auto-recovery from hardware failures.
Weighing Cloud Deployment Options
Just like the clouds in the sky, there is tremendous variety in Cloud Computing implementations. When it comes to Cloud Computing, the structure of your Cloud should be determined by how you will use it. Take the time to consider your options and your use case before planning your Cloud implementation.