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Applying MaaS to DaaS (Database as a Service) Contract. An introduction to the Practice

The Cloud offers a great opportunity to manage highly available and scalable databases by decreasing cost, time and risks. We have introduced how [4] the DaaS life cycle helps in applying best practices when migrating to the Cloud or administrating day-by-day Cloud activities. Taking into consideration the risks associated with Cloud contracts, we introduce a set of best practices that assist organizations in defining the best possible DaaS agreement. Best practices help define regulation controls that determine when and how applications can be deployed in the Cloud. This means that Cloud computing platforms are made up of different components from a variety of vendors but also of a variety of legal jurisdictions (countries, politics, risk management and compliance).

MaaS applied to drawing up the DaaS contract (and to control the Services)

Applying the MaaS can help manage data storage by using location constraints to check where your data is deployed and how it is implemented. Such constraints need to be clearly defined in the contract; persistence and dependencies have to be those classified (and regularly updated) in the data model in order to standardize the platform technologies that underpin the service provided. The main obligations that must be stipulated in the DaaS contract are the following:

1. Integrity defined at the model level has to be maintained through the service. The monitoring executed by data model, for example, has to match what is defined into the initial data structure and classified in the same way;

2. Country location has to be defined in the model partition and regularly monitored and compared. Any mismatch is an infringement of the agreement and must be reconciled with the terms outlined in the SLA;

3. Include and specify international regulations that the both Provider and the Vendor are responsible for during the service life cycle. In detail, highlight directives containing data breach rules. Provider and Vendors are protected although any violation is a service penalty and the data owner must notify both Provider and Vendor in case of a breach;

4. Specify location properties and not only in terms of country. The site locating machines, racks and so on has to be the appropriate one (weight per square meter, fire safety, anti-flood, employee privileges and security service personnel);

5. Identify trust boundaries throughout the IT architecture. Data models and partitions are the right way to define trust boundaries and stewardship to prevent unauthorized access and sharing;

6. Include the method to encrypt data transmitted across the network. If different encryption is used by the provider/ vendor, specify what and when it is to be used. The contract has to include how encryption is run on multi-tenant storage. List the rules concerning keys adoption;

7. Once data has to be deleted, specify that data retention and deletion are the responsibility of the Provider. Looking at data model mapping, data has to be destroyed in all locations defined and monitored. The Provider has to specify if data, for any reason, has been copied in different media and then shredded. The contract must include a provision for the customer to request an audit in order to certify that data has been deleted. This is strategic because satisfyes 2 important clauses:

7.1) Service Closure: the provider should not be able to terminate the service at his convenience. Merges, acquisition and other unpredictable events cannot stop the service (clause of irrevocable guarentee of continous service). In case the service has to be shutdown, the provider has the obligation to retain the data (and services) for an accepatable period of time and to migrate them to the new provider without costs. Of course, data retention and unrecoverable deletion after the migration are the responsability of the provider;

7.2) Right to Closure: in case the contract’s clauses are non respected (value proposition violated, extra charged upgrades, infrastructure maintenance without appropriate assistance, services have not be rendered adeguately, location security out of order …) you should close the contract without penalties. Again, the provider has the obligation to retain the data (and services) for an accepatable period of time and then to migrate them to the new provider.

8. Models are key to ensuring that logical data segregation and control are effective after backup and recovery, test and compare are completed. Include in the contract that a data model should be used to define the data architecture through the data life cycle. MaaS maintain the right to audit, to test all the clauses have been agreed: the data models keep in.

Although the best practices introduced above are helpful guidelines in defining DaaS contracts, negotiating the contractual clauses of your Cloud agreement is the first constraint. Ensure that all standard functionality are guaranteed and enforce special measures should be taken into consideration to secure data and service both in transit from/to the Provider and during the storage:

1)    Enforce and ensure security compliance through ISO 27001/27002 directions. Schedule vulnerability assessments and regular real-time visibility into data applications. MaaS can define “on-premise” the multitenancy in the provider’s infrastructure and applications. Models map the service requirements at a given infrastructure: then, compliance officers have to periodically verify requirements assessment and outcomes through the infrastructure.

2)    Apply SSL, IPSec constraints to secure data movement into the data center. Perimeter protection is essential to prevent denial-of-service threats;

3)    Consider and include VLAN, VPN rules to secure data movement from/to the data center;

4)    Include full disclosure. Provider’s employees and data administrators have to be certified by regulatory and compliance obligations. ISO 27001/27002 have to be provider’s standards (extended to their employees) in regard to privacy and data residency. Always include in the contract, who is responsible for establishing the compliance policy.

Conclusion

MaaS is the “compass” to define on-premise the DaaS (Database as a Service) properties such as security range, DB partitioning and scaling, multi-tenancy, geo-location and all requested assets might be defined “early”. Still, models increases the efficiency of defining, updating and sharing data models and database designs. In other words, models provide continuity with the databases’ structure to extend to the Cloud preconfigured levels of security, compliance and what has been registered inside the data models.

References
[1] N. Piscopo - ERwin® in the Cloud: How Data Modeling Supports Database as a Service (DaaS) Implementations
[2] N. Piscopo - CA ERwin® Data Modeler’s Role in the Relational Cloud
[3] D. Burbank, S. Hoberman - Data Modeling Made Simple with CA ERwin® Data Modeler r8
[4] N. Piscopo – Best Practices for Moving to the Cloud using Data Models in the DaaS Life Cycle
[5] N. Piscopo – Using CA ERwin® Data Modeler and Microsoft SQL Azure to Move Data to the Cloud within the DaaS Life Cycle
[6] R. Livingstone – Four Barriers to Cloud Due Diligence;
[7] N. Piscopo – MaaS (Model as a Service) is the emerging solution to design, map, integrate and publish Open Data http://cloudbestpractices.net/2012/10/21/maas/
[8] N. Piscopo – MaaS Workshop, Awareness, Courses Syllabus;
[9] N. Piscopo – DaaS Workshop, Awareness, Courses Syllabus;
[10] N. Piscopo – DaaS Contract templates: main constraints and examples, in press.


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