The cloud is the future of networking. Today there are more options than ever before for companies to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud to transition resources from traditional on-prem data centers. These options can include public, private, hybrid, or multi cloud environments, but with all of these options comes complexity. Trying to plan for the future, while still utilizing some traditional security and monitoring tools that live in the data center is causing challenges, primarily around security and packet visibility in the cloud.
Let’s go over the basics.
A private cloud solution resides on the company’s intranet or hosted data center, where data is protected behind a corporate firewall. Private cloud can be a great option for companies with large data centers, so they can make use of current infrastructure, with enhanced security and control over resources. Private clouds can be costly to manage and maintain over time, since the responsibility falls completely with the organization, which may not have the talent and resources to effectively manage the cloud.
Private Cloud Visibility
With organizations becoming more dependent on virtual computing, there also needs to be a solution to eliminate the blind spots inherent to virtual environments. Cloud TAPs address these challenges by providing complete visibility for east-west and inter-VM traffic. They ensure that your team has the same level of visibility you are accustomed to in your on-premise network, now in the cloud.
Private Cloud Advantages
Public cloud is an appealing solution, and the most common method of deploying cloud computing for many companies, as the public cloud provider owns the cloud resources and delivers them to the customer over the Internet. The cloud provider is responsible for the daily management and maintenance of the data center resources, which keeps the cost for the company down. Individual company data is kept separate from other companies in public cloud environments, however some believe that public cloud is a less secure solution.
Public Cloud Visibility
With critical information in the public cloud, organizations also need visibility into the traffic in the cloud to acquire and distribute cloud traffic to other cloud-based tools. A lack of visibility can make it difficult to secure information in the cloud. Garland Prisms is the easiest and most advanced solution to get public cloud packet traffic to monitoring tools and services. A cloud native solution, Garland Prisms allows organizations to acquire, process, and distribute packet-level traffic from VMs in any public cloud.
One major challenge that exists with public cloud today is delivering packet level data to a monitoring tool in an on-prem data center. With data crossing public internet circuits, there is likely to be some degree of packet loss, which is unacceptable to most monitoring tools that need to see 100% of the traffic. There are also additional cost factors that must be taken into consideration related to delivering packet level data from the cloud to an on-prem tool.
Public Cloud Vendors:
Public Cloud Advantages
Common uses of Public Cloud
It’s important to think of hybrid cloud and multicloud as two different and separate terms. By definition, hybrid refers to incorporating across different things, thus hybrid cloud refers to a combination of public and private cloud resources that support similar or complementary tasks to reap the advantages of both solutions. Organizations can make use of the different resources for different operational and technology needs in an integrated manner that ensures optimal performance and can meet changing business needs.
One challenge that exists with developing a true hybrid cloud solution is the lack of true private clouds in use today. Gartner, Inc states that what most of us know as private clouds are in fact simply advanced virtualization and automation environments. Most organizations struggle with building and maintaining their own true private cloud.
Often confused with hybrid cloud, multicloud refers to the intentional use of the same type of cloud services from more than one public cloud vendor. It’s a deliberate attempt to leverage the cost-saving benefits that public cloud providers can offer for similar types of workloads. Organizations typically make use of multicloud as they start to grow the number of workloads they have moved off-prem and into the cloud.
With resources moving to the cloud, securing the cloud becomes just as important for an organization as securing on-prem resources. Cloud security comprises all of the resources, mechanisms, and strategies that are used to protect applications and data stored in, or processed by the cloud. It handles the same responsibilities that would be the focus in a traditional data center environment; securing applications, protecting data, authentication, and supporting compliance, but you have the ability to perform these activities in a flexible manner.
Cloud security can bring about many benefits for an organization. With resources living in the cloud, rather than in an on-prem or collocation data center, you eliminate the risk of onsite breaches, misplaced devices, personnel risks, and natural disasters causing havoc to the security of your network. Cloud environments have strict regulatory standards, guaranteed confidentiality, and DDoS mitigation.
However, migration to the cloud is still a new concept for many companies, and companies need to make sure that the provider they choose to use has an advanced security solution that is at least comparable, if not better, than what exists in the data center. The cloud is not infallible. It’s at risk to cyber threats and breaches, and must be protected both by the provider and implementation and best practices from the user.
-IBM Institute for Business Value, 2018