Maximize a hybrid cloud approach with colocation
As a multi-tenant cloud environment, the public cloud offers companies with large amounts of data a very affordable option. However, it also has a number of limitations, including reliability issues, lack of oversight and transparency, and information security issues.
First, reliability of availability can be a major issue for public cloud architectures. Popular cloud platforms – including Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and IBM Cloud – typically offer 99.99% uptime guaranteed, but relying on an average of 99.99% is not enough. While on the surface this may seem equivalent to 100% reliability, in practice it equates to hours of disruption each month, which can be a costly decision.
Second, the public cloud offers little operational transparency to its customers. An IT specialist typically does not have access to or visibility into the back-end infrastructure of a public cloud and has no say in the management or operations of the IT architecture.
This lack of visibility and control over the production environment often means that the public cloud is not suited to support legacy applications that require a highly stable infrastructure. While due diligence is essential in determining a vendor, with the public cloud, customers ultimately need to be confident that the vendor has sufficient security and risk mitigation strategies.
By limiting control over your data, public cloud companies also limit the ability to create additional layers of security. For example, if your business has specific security requirements, hosting sensitive data in the public cloud will limit your control over authorization, authentication, and access control, making it difficult, if not impossible, to do so. compliance and assessment of compliance with your security protocols. Additionally, because your data is stored with other companies’ data in a public cloud, environmental security breaches pose a threat to all tenants.
Additionally, vendor lockdown can be an issue with some public cloud providers. In the event of a data breach or security protocol failure, businesses may find it difficult to delete their data in favor of a different storage option. Exorbitant fees are the norm for data retrieval, and often providers do not return the data in an easily usable format.
For a large amount of non-sensitive data, a public cloud can offer a sufficiently secure and affordable option for users. For many businesses, however, there is a need to improve the reliability, control, and security provided by private cloud environments.
A private cloud architecture is under the full control of an internal IT team or vendor, providing full transparency, as well as greater flexibility and agility in risk management and response. This control also enables the IT team to ensure that data-specific security and compliance measures are followed and to deploy strategies to mitigate potential security risks. As a result, the private cloud is seen as a more secure location for existing infrastructure, sensitive data, and critical applications.
Despite the benefits of the private cloud, many businesses find managing a private cloud both difficult and expensive. In response, we’ve seen a noticeable shift towards companies adopting hybrid cloud environments – a solution that takes advantage of the best qualities of both public and private cloud.
Benefits and challenges of switching to hybrid
Companies are increasingly deploying a hybrid cloud approach to balance the benefits and challenges presented by public and private cloud. With hybrid cloud, the two types of cloud environments are integrated, allowing data to move seamlessly between platforms.
This hybrid architecture can be designed as a bifurcated system in which the private cloud hosts sensitive data and critical components of a business, and the public cloud hosts the rest. With this type of architecture, data and applications permanently live in their assigned cloud environment, but the two systems are able to communicate seamlessly. Another option – the cloud burst model – hosts all of a company’s information in the private cloud, but when demand spikes occur, the public cloud provides additional capacity.
Both hybrid approaches give businesses greater control and access to their IT environments and the ability to implement more stringent security protocols on the private cloud portion of their deployment. Additionally, a hybrid approach gives organizations the flexibility to create a solution that meets their current needs, but that can also evolve as their needs change. If a new application is introduced or there is a large influx of data, the business can quickly add additional capacity using the public cloud.
While a hybrid cloud architecture offers a number of advantages, creating an efficient and secure solution is not without challenges. When data is stored in multiple locations, the secure transfer of this information from one server to another must be managed and ensured. The actual act of transfer is a very vulnerable point for data, and the best defense against a cyber attack is encryption. Investing in powerful crypto tools is an essential part of securely using a hybrid cloud.
A hybrid cloud also brings an additional level of difficulty to ensure compliance with government and industry regulations. Rather than establishing compliance protocols in a single cloud environment, a hybrid cloud requires that these guidelines be followed in multiple instances. As sensitive data moves freely between environments, each must comply individually – and comply together as a system.
Beyond the threats to the security of information posed in a hybrid cloud, come the threats of physical security related to keeping the part private. An optimal environment with cooling and redundant power is essential to maintain availability, as are security protocols to protect systems from unauthorized access.
Establishing a secure hybrid environment can pose challenges for many businesses, but partnering with a colocation provider to host hybrid cloud infrastructure can help minimize IT effort, ensure compliance with security and compliance standards and provide significant transparency and flexibility.
Leverage colocation in hybrid deployments
Colocation facilities are growing in popularity to provide the ability to maintain a private cloud and enjoy all the benefits of hybrid architecture without the associated maintenance.
Despite the impression that the cloud is an amorphous place where data and applications are stored, in reality, the cloud relies on physical infrastructure. Colocation can provide this basic infrastructure and help businesses avoid adding unnecessary operational complexity – by shifting the private part of a hybrid cloud from a capital expense to an operating expense.
By partnering with a colocation provider, businesses can avoid having to build and maintain a private data center to operate their hybrid cloud environment. Not only is this approach much more cost effective, it is also generally safer. Because colocation providers specialize in the design and operation of data centers, they are known to provide multi-layered reliability and security features that individual organizations cannot reasonably replicate.
For example, many vendors guarantee 100% uptime, offer proactive protection against DDoS attacks, and provide full infrastructure redundancy. Colocation providers also typically focus on physical security with a multi-layered approach, strict authentication protocols, biometric access technology, and 24-hour monitoring. This combination makes colocation a great choice for securing your data. sensitive when using a hybrid cloud approach.
One area of vulnerability in a hybrid approach is the transfer of data between the public and private cloud. Colocation facilities with cloud ramps can help alleviate this security concern by allowing customers to create point-to-point connections between private and public clouds. Creating a direct connection allows data to bypass the public Internet, providing a more secure and reliable connection. In addition, these cloud ramps improve bandwidth and latency issues by creating an alternative to data transfers over the public internet.
In addition, despite the presence of your IT infrastructure in a multi-tenant environment, colocation does not require you to give up the visibility of your deployments. Users retain control, access, and transparency in their own deployments. Many colocation providers also offer cutting edge technology to help with reporting and compliance, as well as remote services to provide support when your IT staff is not on site.
Colocation is also much more scalable than a traditional private cloud. When additional storage is needed, customers can adjust their contract to access more bandwidth, power, equipment, and square footage. Fluctuation in data generation is normal in most industries, and the ability to securely scale storage needs is more easily managed by a colocation provider than in a private data center. With the infrastructure already in place, implementation time is often negligible.
When selecting a colocation facility or by negotiating terms and conditions, there are many steps that customers can take to ensure the security of their hybrid cloud environment. Starting with the basics, select an installation with redundant power, combined ISP solutions, sufficient cooling, and 24x7x365 access. For most businesses, selecting a facility that offers remote technicians to help manage issues or make changes immediately on-site, also provides an essential service to consider when setting up a business environment. hybrid cloud in a colocation environment.
Maximize the benefits of hybrid cloud
While public and private cloud solutions have inherent advantages and challenges, many IT managers find that a hybrid approach allows them to customize a solution that balances the best of both environments and meets the needs of their business. As this trend continues, using colocation in a hybrid cloud architecture is emerging as an efficient and resource efficient way to deploy a hybrid approach.
While any cloud environment poses its own set of security challenges, following best practices for leveraging colocation for a hybrid approach can open the door to scalable, efficient, and secure data storage.