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June 13, 2016updated 22 Sep 2016 12:13pm

Open source, dark web and edge data centres: 5 major talking points at Datacloud Europe 2016

List: This year’s Datacloud Europe really mirrored the hypes, worries and evolution of the data centre industry.

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From the IoT data boom, to the rise of cloud and security concerns, the conference brought to Monaco around 1,500 experts from over 100 countries.

CBR list five main takeaways from the event.

Colos at risk of dying

Opening the first Global Leadership Roundtable of the event on June 7, Byrne Murphy, chairman at data centre colocater Digiplex, issued a staggering warning to those in the industry.

He said: "Innovate or die, and you cannot put too much pressure on the engineering side as well."

Murphy’s remarks came as the data centre space is being faced with new challenges, be it the need to be closer to customers or more hosting space.

However, this is also calling for new business models and a higher need to create new technologies (such as ones related to power, cooling and other components of the data centre) to answer the needs of a growing digital world.

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We’re about to live on the edge

A key message across the main keynotes in the Central Theatre of the Grimaldi Forum was that edge data centres are about to boom just as the IoT moves from hype to reality.

Mark Bidinger, president of Schneider Electric’s cloud and service provider segment, was one of the first to bring the topic to the table saying that "the future edge is closer to us" as IoT fuels growth in data streams.

William Barney, CEO of Global Cloud Exchange, also said that the rise of IoT and growth of cloud services will bring with it the edge data centre, leading to the need for networked hubs.

 

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The ‘dark web data centre’ is real (so is the ‘dark cloud’)

The threat landscape in the IT space has never been so big, but the IT landscape has also never been this big. One attracts the other. And now data centres are also being targeted by the dark web.

Presenting at the conference and also speaking to CBR, Cameron Brown, an independent cyber defence advisor who has also worked with the United Nations, the Australian Government and the Australian Police on forensics, said that the connection of the dark web to the data centre is real.

"With data centres, or cloud in particular, it is really not that different from how you would might go against physical infrastructure. You look at information, you try to transform that into a commodity which you can sell to people, and you want to do it secretively, so you do it via the dark web."

As Brown explained, the dark web is essentially a marketplace to trade information that would not be accepted in legitimate economy.

CBR asked about concrete examples of data centres being targeted via the dark web. Brown confirmed but due to confidentiality could not give any concrete examples, simply saying that is happening and that "there is data centre information available in the dark web".

"The security holes in the cloud, are probably bigger than the ones you would see in the conventional in-house enterprise architecture. Because it is moving so quickly, and it is expanding, that security is not necessarily built in at the get go. It is sort of an after-thought".

The key recommendation Brown has given is that there is a need for a shared responsibility model – trust verification, understand the SLAs, understand "where accountability stops with the provider, and where accountability stays with the user or the consumer".

It is also important that data centre operators understand why others would attack their business. "Organised criminals might be leveraging information to other third parties for example. [You need to] Build a profile of yourself, a psychological insight into what the attacker is or who they are."

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