Confidence in Cloud Security Begins in the Datacenter

BrandPost By Renee Boucher Ferguson
May 15, 2018

As cloud security becomes more complicated, Microsoft invests in highly secure datacenters at scalern

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Credit: Shutterstock

The average enterprise deploys more than 1,100 cloud services, according to Netskope. And that number is only going to increase. A survey of 500 IT decision makers by VansonBourne and Gigamon found that 73% of respondents expect to move the majority of their application workloads to the cloud—public and private—over the next three years.

As the cloud becomes ever more vital to an organization’s digital transformation strategy, securing digital assets in a multi-cloud environment takes on greater urgency. That’s why cloud security must be a shared responsibility between IT teams and their service providers.

Increasingly, organizations are looking to service providers to provide robust, scalable security for cloud-based data, workloads, and applications. Service providers have stepped up with a range of sophisticated tools and methods for protecting their customers’ data.

For Microsoft, robust cloud security begins with physical infrastructure. That’s why Microsoft has made massive investments in highly secure datacenters to help organizations protect digital assets in the cloud. 

Scalability Matters

From a scale perspective, Microsoft has more regions—datacenters deployed within a latency-defined perimeter and connected—than any other cloud provider: over 100 data centers in 50 regions in 140 countries, according to Doug Hauger, General Manager of National Cloud Programs at Microsoft.

“When we deploy into a new region, we go in not just with one super-scaled datacenter,” says Hauger. “We go in with multiple datacenters that scale. From a security perspective, when you deploy your services in an environment like that, you know that you will have the redundancy and the recovery after a disaster that you need between one data center and another.”

Physicality Counts

Christian Belady, General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Strategy & Architecture at Microsoft, is considered the father of PUE, a metric that’s used around the world to determine Power Usage Effectiveness. He’s also an expert in the physical aspects of datacenter security, which Microsoft deploys across its infrastructure.

“On the physical side, we have several layers of security,” he says. “We screen people all the way in, we have restricted access to various parts of the building … and where there is customer data, even the cabinets are locked. We go through extreme measures to make sure data is safe. There is nowhere else you could have the resources to develop these layers of security.”

Massive Investments in Design

Microsoft continues to build on its state-of-the art facilities to help customers digitally transform their businesses with the help of the cloud. Datacenter innovations include design features like backup generators that “light up” in the event of a power failure, three different fibers coming into each site to ensure connectivity, and datacenter power generated by natural resources like water, wind, and solar.

For example, a partnership between Microsoft, Facebook, and Telxius resulted in Marea, a 4,000-mile-long cable under the Atlantic Ocean that can transmit 160 terabits of data per second—the equivalent of streaming 71 million HD videos at once—while providing resiliency against natural disasters.

“We’re constantly looking around and saying, ‘where geographically should we expand?” says Belady. “Where should we enhance scalability? Where should we expand connectivity in order to meet our customers’ desire to have that digital transformation?”

For an exclusive look inside one of the newest Microsoft datacenters, watch the webcast episode, Data Defense: An Inside Look at Your Secure Cloud.