‘Stealth is good’

‘Stealth is good’

Unisys hopes to win over risk-averse customers with Stealth technology, a high-security private cloud.

Unisys is hoping to win over risk-averse customers here with the launch of its high-security private cloud offering. The Unisys Secure Private Cloud Solution is being aimed at government and enterprise customers wanting a fast and tough-to-hack option. The technology, underpinned by what Unisys calls ‘Stealth’ was initially developed for the US military.

“We are protecting some of America’s most sensitive data with Stealth,” said Brett Hodgson, Unisys New Zealand managing director, at the local launch of the service.

Hodgson explained the technology “cloaks” or hides data and devices from unauthorised access and secures the data within the client-confined community of interest.

Hodgson says benefits of the technology include protecting the confidentiality of data in motion and at rest, eliminating the need to modify applications or to web-enable them for the cloud and the ease of deployment. The technology simplifies IT infrastructure and establishes a verifiable chain of custody for users’ data.

The rollout of the full range of Unisys cloud services to the New Zealand market will be phased in line with market demand.

The company currently has a range of automation and virtualisation services and technologies for a private or public cloud. The Unisys Cloud Transformation Services allows clients to plan and migrate to the type of cloud environment that best meets their business goals and they are also available now.

The packaged Secure Private Cloud Solution will be available from next month. The managed public cloud services are currently available and Unisys says it will continue to roll out new cloud datacentres world-wide throughout 2010.

Despite rival vendors such as Fujitsu and IBM recently launching their own separate cloud solutions, Unisys director of real time infrastructure, Paul Allen, insisted the market was ready for its cloud offering because of its increased security.

“Research Unisys has done shows 70 percent of respondents are saying ‘I’m not putting stuff in the cloud because of security’,” he said.

The solution features session-based, 256-bit AES encrypted key generation and bit-splitting to secure and transmit data between servers and the clients. There’s also a ‘stealth’ capability to hide data from packet sniffers.

“Stealth flattens the network so there is no more need for multiple VPNs. It obviously reduces costs from a telecommunications’ perspective,” Allen said. “You can’t intercept it, you can’t ping the servers that are stealth protected. Even if someone does intercept the packet, because it has been bit-split and encrypted, the packet means nothing to them so they can’t capture the whole message.”

Unisys is only targeting companies with more than 2000 seats, as well as various government customers. Although Allen said its go-to-market strategy was being reviewed, he could not provide a timetable for completion.

“As a general rule, sub-2000 seat customers do not fall into our target market. However, if sub-2000 customers come to us, we’re absolutely able to fulfil their requirements,” he said.

“The smallest configuration set is about a $150,000 investment and provides about 150 [virtual machines], so if a company was setting up a greenfield site or going through a refresh, you could drop that straight in.”

Allen said it would be at least four to six months before the full solution could be delivered to customers, adding that the Australian Signals Directorate would have to check the solution and its cryptography components before other government departments could accept it.

However, companies willing to base their clouds overseas at Unisys’ Egan, US and Milton Keynes, UK datacentres, are able to sign on immediately. Set global pricing ensures they are not penalised financially.

“We are auditable by third-parties,” Allen said. “We also welcome chief security officers bringing in ethical hackers to take their best shot at breaking in.” With reporting from CIO New Zealand.

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