The need for secure hybrid cloud adoption in Canada can be explained with just two words: Big Data.

In late 2016, Simon Fraser University in British Columbia announced the appointment of Professor Fred Popovich as the new director of the Big Data Initiative at the School of Computing Science. Director Popovich is a former president of the Canadian Network for Visual Analytics, and he believes that Big Data has a lot to offer beyond the university.

Popovich believes that Canadian society cannot afford to ignore the potential of Big Data. His personal interests in the disciplines of cognitive science and linguistics illustrate how he intends to approach Big Data during his tenure at Simon Fraser University. Professor Popovich wants the Big Data Initiative to provide a platform that the university and the community can use seamlessly. The idea is to increase the computing capacity in the campus so that it can capture, store and serve data from all users and provide real-time data services to anyone who may need them.

Transforming Canadian Research

The foremost clients of the Big Data Initiative at Simon Fraser University will be researchers. The initiative intends to facilitate data clusters that can be tapped into by research teams through the existing digital infrastructure.

In October 2016, the university introduced the new Digital Humanities Innovation Lab, which presents Big Data through applications such as Tableau. With this visualization platform, researchers in fields such as History, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology can conduct interdisciplinary studies. For example, a podcast on French Studies can explain how novelists create works that incorporate elements of various disciplines and how they relate to human interaction.

Big Data and Security

In the case of Simon Fraser University, the Big Data Initiative can be hosted and contained in servers located on campus. Since they will contain academic research, the security measures will differ from those in other sectors such as business and government.

Although many Canadian cloud providers offer Big Data storage and hosting, not all organizations will be able to move their information to public clouds. Government agencies, contractors, law firms, and clinics are some examples of business entities that will be subject to data compliance requirements.

Since October 2017, tech giant IBM started offering Cloud Object Storage solutions that include secure hybrid clouds in Canada. These platforms allow business organizations to host their own cloud servers for the purpose of complying with provincial and federal regulations.

With secure hybrid cloud systems, Canadian organizations can host their own Big Data solutions without having to worry about their information being stored in public clouds. This will motivate more companies to leverage the benefits of Big Data in a similar fashion to the Bif Data Initiative being developed by Simon Frasier University. If you would like to learn more, the Carbon60 Networks blog is a helpful source for information.