Today, hybrid cloud solutions are a popular choice for organizations, providing flexibility for those needing both on-premise and cloud solutions. However, one of the biggest challenges facing hybrid cloud management is navigating fragmented critical applications and data with disparate tooling, governance and security policies – due in part to the differing underlying technologies and cloud infrastructures. In fact, the differences between cloud-native and traditional IT applications further exacerbate this problem because of their different design and technology characteristics. Organizations must understand these shortcomings to navigate cloud assets to make their business more effective and efficient.
The Challenge of Data Governance
It’s no secret that cloud has brought new agility and speed to how organizations deploy IT workloads. Still, it’s crucial that businesses govern their resources and ensure that they are securely provisioned. There is always the concern for the integrity of your environment when it comes to application security and data privacy. You may be familiar with this recent example:
EasyJet, the UK-based airline, reported that approximately 9 million customers were compromised during a breach. The company said it was a “highly sophisticated” cyberattack and that it is working on contacting customers whose information was exposed in the breach. A cyberattack of this size is disastrous – especially with customer’s private information being compromised.
Without the right visibility or controls, data breaches of this caliber can remain unchecked. But, with a proper security and governance tool that provides visibility across all cloud resources, this kind of business compromise can be mitigated – providing centralized security and compliance management for ease of auditing, configuration management and server hardening offers a consistent way to deploy and secure your applications.
The Importance of CMPs to Enable Agile & Efficient Hybrid Cloud Management
Before you consider any hybrid cloud tooling strategy, you will first need to create a comprehensive cloud strategy. With this in place, organizations should ensure that their hybrid cloud architecture is aligned with business outcomes and provides an understanding of transformation impacts associated with ROI, cloud adoption velocity, app modernization and data migration hurdles. The tooling strategy is an integral part of any organization’s cloud strategy, whether you are embracing DevOps or just trying to streamline your CI/CD pipeline. The use of a tool to consolidate the vast ecosystem of disparate tools in your organization can be extremely valuable.
When it comes to performance issues in hybrid multi-clouds, finding the breakdown in the overall user experience can be difficult without the proper correlation tools to quickly and deliberately determine the root cause of a failure. A comprehensive Cloud Management Platform (CMP) that covers all aspects of a cloud lifecycle can make hybrid cloud management easier.
It’s also important to be aware that not all tools are created equal. The term CMP means something different to different people. It could refer to a cloud commerce portal, a cloud cost management tool or even a cloud orchestration and provisioning tool, which are all unique. A true CMP will bring all of these capabilities together under one umbrella. But, some do not have management capabilities for diverse types of clouds (VMware, AWS, Azure, GCP) or reporting capabilities for IaaS and PaaS based cloud resources, which limits the value of a CMP.
Today, financial operations (FinOps) tools for cloud are becoming even more critical to hybrid cloud approaches. CMPs incorporate machine learning to keep cloud resources in check, with AI recommended options should you over or under provision cloud resources. CMPs can reduce your cloud cost by up to 30 percent in some cases by identifying underutilized resources and tracking opportunities to leverage reserved instances in a hyperscale cloud. CMPs will help with cost forecasting for new deployments in cloud, choosing the best cloud for your workloads or costing and sizing a cloud disaster recovery plan. For example, if you have on-prem legacy applications and considering moving them to the cloud or protecting them with the cloud, a strong CMP can provide an assessment of your current environment, the design and cost in a like environment in the appropriate hyperscale cloud.
Mature CMPs also allow for the automated deployment of workloads with ease amongst different hyperscale public and private cloud environments using their native API’s or well-known technologies like Terraform and Ansible – without impeding innovation velocity and still adhering to companies’ corporate governance.
For the best results, organizations should outline the appropriate cloud strategy to align with business objectives and further bolster company digitization through best practices – by taking advantage of a cloud adoption framework, well architected design principles and mapping out your cloud landing zone. Before beginning this hybrid cloud journey, organizations should determine if they need a hybrid cloud service provider to support the operational burdens that a new hybrid cloud architecture can bring, reducing the heavy burden on current employees and allowing for a third-party partner to manage this heavy lift.
A hybrid cloud service provider can act as your co-pilot while you drive your transformation goals and own your vision. Their primary role is delivering a comprehensive portfolio of services across private cloud, regional public clouds and hyperscale cloud, provide the right tools to keep your cloud cost/performance optimized and always be your trusted advisor with an unbiased approach. This will help accelerate your innovation in the cloud – enabling you to succeed with your application modernization strategy.
Aptum’s Hybrid Cloud Manager is a powerful hybrid multi-cloud platform that enables you to accelerate your cloud initiatives. It delivers visibility and control to plan migrations, optimize spend, secure data and automate critical tasks. To learn more, visit: aptum.com/services/cloud/hybrid-cloud-manager/.