Determining On-Premises or in the Cloud

By Taher Elgamal  |  Posted 2010-08-28 Print this article Print

Determining on-premises or in the cloud

Now, imagine another class of applications that allow you to add new partners. The new partners are small but numerous, perhaps numbering in the thousands. Today, maybe you add these new partners traditionally because, for one, you simply can't expect these partners to voluntarily sign up for the electronic data interchange (EDI) or enterprise applications at any time. And secondly, the current Web application platforms perform pretty flimsily, and you can't really expose a true enterprise application on the Web without a sturdy security platform.

A new suite of connectors exists, however, that allow a partner to export identities and access rights into the cloud piece of the application. Theoretically, you would work with vendors who offer cloud applications to build these as extensions of on-premises applications, not as separate cloud applications. This is completely different from the first example we talked about.

What's being called a hybrid cloud is exactly that: a way to extend an existing application so it exists both on-premises and in the cloud. Basically, a partner can go to the cloud and "buy" an instance belonging to this application to issue to a partner-or one hundred instances belonging to this application to issue to one hundred partners. In the cloud, you can see the larger partners and, within the scope of the application, the identity of the purchasing manager (the identity is actually established up in the cloud). It then ties back down into the same application that runs on-premises but without actually exposing the real directory structure (surely you don't want your entire directory sitting in the cloud).

Investing in a new suite of connectors

New technologies can connect your directory structure into your cloud existence in a secure way so that you can verify access rights within your organization and you can see it's in the cloud and it ties back down. While not complete products just yet, these interesting new technologies will use hybrid applications, which we'll see a lot more of rather than companies jumping into the cloud immediately and throwing away legacy systems.

Taher Elgamal is the Chief Security Officer at Axway. Taher is an expert in computer, network and information security. Recognized in the industry as the inventor of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Taher led the SSL efforts at Netscape and throughout the industry. He also wrote the SSL patent and promoted SSL as the Internet Security standard within standard committees and the industry. Taher also invented several industry and government standards in the data security and digital signatures areas including the DSS government standard for digital signatures. A 2009 recipient of the RSA Conference Lifetime Achievement Award, Taher has public company board experience with RSA Security, hi/fn, Phoenix Technology and Tumbleweed. He also serves on numerous corporate advisory boards. He can be reached at

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