Hybrid Cloud Security

Security is of utmost importance for businesses. It’s crucial that you have proper technologies and practices put in place to protect your business from many things that can be detrimental to your productivity and success, such as downtime, cyber threats, and loss of data. This is particularly important when using a Hybrid Cloud as it uses a combination of on-premises, private and third-party cloud services. While there are many advantages to using a Hybrid Cloud, in order to maximize the benefits, it’s imperative to ensure proper security is put in place to avoid a breach.

What is Hybrid Cloud Security?

Hybrid Cloud Security can be defined as security measures that have been designed specifically for hybrid infrastructures. It offers protection of your applications, data and infrastructures across all aspects of a hybrid cloud – both the physical, virtual and cloud, as well as public and private clouds being used.

Why Is Hybrid Cloud Security Important?

Premium protection of data, applications, and infrastructure is imperative for all businesses using any type of cloud. For hybrid clouds, in particular, your environments are separate items that are connected to private and public clouds. As such, there are some unique challenges that come with hybrid clouds, such as:

  1. Data Protection
  2. Vendor Security

While your data is a separate entity, migrating between the different environments that make up a hybrid cloud means that you are still connected to other environments in some ways. As such, it’s crucial to limit data exposure through encryption, which can be done with hybrid cloud security.

Vendor security is also another challenge with hybrid clouds as such environments often include software and products from several vendors. The way such vendors test and manage their software and products can pose a risk if hybrid cloud security is not implemented.

Is Your Hybrid Cloud Strategy Secure?

There are many ways you can check to see if your hybrid cloud strategy is secure. The first is to determine whether or not your business has a detailed plan on how data will be transitioned to the cloud securely. If there is no plan, this is problem number one. It is vital to develop a plan that foresees the details of transitioning to a hybrid cloud so any discrepancies and concerns can be addressed before they impact your business.

If your organization does have a hybrid cloud strategy put in place, take time to analyze it. A superior hybrid cloud strategy must determine and have a plan for the following information:

  • Which applications can be moved directly to cloud-based servers
  • Which applications require customization or changes prior to migrating to the cloud
  • Which applications must be rewritten or migrated to a different cloud that is compatible
  • The destination for each asset
  • Risk assessment schedule

Additionally, you’ll want to analyze the hybrid cloud services you’re using. You must ensure the policies and compliance of your private cloud, public cloud and both cloud as one entity comply with your policies and requirements. It is also crucial to determine if your intellectual property on the hybrid cloud is protected.

Security tool compatibility is also a key component for a secure hybrid cloud strategy, as it enables the use of imperative security tools, such as antivirus software, IPS devices and firewalls.

 

Hybrid Cloud Security can be complicated to understand but it is mandatory to ensure the protection of your data, applications and infrastructures. Zycom is building out a hybrid cloud workshop that will provide you with valuable information about maintaining optimal security when using a hybrid cloud.

 

 

 

What Is the Next Technology That Gets Commoditized? 

The consumerization of IT started with the rapid adoption of the smart Tablet by companies like Apple with the iPad.  The corporate workforce wanted their IT to work with the ease of use they experienced with the iPad and one-click or one- touch applications.  Applications on demand from the free iTunes platform started a revolution of transforming how users interact, and rising expectations pressured IT to keep up.  That transformation has led to Shadow IT, where non-IT departments started consuming virtual server workload resources in the form of cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. This was done to get around perceived hurdles in user experience and time to market.

The next round of technology is expected to change the digital world as we know it in many ways. They are ranging from advancements  in artificial intelligence to more secure cloud computing, private on-premise cloud cost parity, automated workloads and more. Here are the next technologies you might expect to get commoditized in the near future.

The Future of Server Technology

Servers are already highly commoditized, and vendors are now differentiating in terms of the application of form factors, out of band management tools, support and power consumption.  While highly optimized and infused with premium technologies that enable businesses to operate at superior levels, further consolidation is likely to occur. Though there is always room for advancement, and server-less computing is utopia, the in-house or on-premise servers are not going away.  They are, however, becoming more commoditized in terms of parity and performance expectations.

Traditional cloud environments for the most part still run virtual workloads and the hyperscale public cloud providers are still consuming physical servers at a high rate, based on pricing and availability.  As the software community develops next generation applications, they do so more by using containers and developing to a cloud native standard. This allows the freedom to ignore underlying operating systems and hardware.  A cloud native standard is particularly beneficial for developers as they’re able to focus their attention on their expertise, instead of worrying about the operating systems and servers, or the management and provisioning aspects.

The change to server-less technology is the result of developers beginning to divide applications into smaller micro-services, which can operate in lightweight containers. This change enables function-as-a-service (FaaS) computing, which is anticipated to replace the need for most traditional servers used today.  Make no mistake, servers are not going away, they are just moving to a more transparent and commoditized part of the IT stack.

What Corporate Desktops?

The landscape of the client workstation and notebooks in business has been under pressure for over a decade with consumer-grade devices abundant in the workplace.  Operating systems are moving to subscription models, applications started moving to subscription years ago, and next, we will see more of our devices application move to these models as well. and the device’s applications have typically run on are also moving to as-a-service models, like Desktop as a Service.

Supply and demand are going to determine the future of most end user clients.  Security, however, is still a battleground for innovation in the market, where vendors are now fighting over who has the most secured or the most ‘private’ device for conducting work.  When we think of the mobile worker, we see notebooks, tablets and smart phones, not only abundant on office floors but also in coffee shops, restaurants, fitness centres, subways, trains and planes.  The digital and social footprint of where our employees work and interact with others has changed rapidly.  What may save the corporate PC or notebook from further commoditization, is security.  To the vendor with the most robust secured end user productivity device will go the spoils.

The next desktop technology to be commoditized is the virtual desktop broker.  With more and more applications moving to browser SaaS based access, the need for fat clients like a PC or Notebook are becoming less and less a requirement.  Consumer tablets and even some smart phones are becoming good enough to run corporate applications on.  Even at Zycom we demonstrate using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology on most smart phones…if we squint hard enough.  Look for more competition and more parity in the VDI broker solutions available in the near term.

Hypervisor is Next

Consolidation in the Data Centre can be largely attributed to the hypervisor. The hypervisor makes it possible to share server hardware with multiple applications, each running on their own operating systems.  This led to maximum utilization for server hardware investments and soon led to increased availability and resiliency of applications using hypervisor innovation.

Fast forward to 2019; multiple hypervisors are on the market with very similar features and price points.  Some hypervisors are very low cost, even free, and are enterprise-grade by today’s standards, and some are good enough.  VMware continues to enjoy the market share, but competition is shared, shifting that dominance away with the choice.

Hypervisors have become centric to most virtual server workloads and are a pre-requisite in most cases to migrating a workload to public cloud.  Hypervisor to cloud compatibility dominates discussions for hybrid cloud but no one ever asks how the public cloud giants are running their virtual workloads.  Why?  Because you do not need to know how in most cases.  For that reason, public cloud has driven the highest amount of hypervisor commoditization in the market.

Layer in hyper-converged or software-defined into the mix, and you see solutions that are hypervisor agnostic.  Why agnostic?  The market demands choice and one hypervisor over another may be very similar today, but customers still drive choice based on experience, training and a willingness to change.

 

For more information on how commoditized technologies can benefit your business, visit Zycom.

Cloud IoT Core: What You Need To Know About Google’s Latest Offering

Google’s latest offering, Cloud IoT Core, is creating a buzz in the industry. What is this service? Do you need it? How will your business benefit? Below, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Cloud IoT Core.

What is Cloud IoT Core?

Google has designed a platform where intelligent IoT (Internet of Things) services are fully integrated and managed securely. Cloud IoT Core lets you access IoT data from all your devices (no matter where they are globally) and process, visualize and analyze it in real time. You can take actions and implement changes to your operations as necessary and improve your devices’ operational efficiency in the process.

What are the benefits?

Cloud IoT Core provides users with numerous benefits such as end-to-end security that uses asymmetric key authentication over TLS 1:2. Furthermore, Cloud IoT’s integrated services move data seamlessly across various cloud services and you can store said data in other Google offerings like Cloud Storage, Cloud Panner and Cloud Bigtable.

Besides the aforementioned, with Cloud IoT Core you can:

  • Eliminate the need for the costly infrastructure currently used to maintain IoT data analysis

  • Connect easily to the cloud and use the protocol bridge to automatically load balancing and horizontal scaling

  • Easily manage all globally connected IoT devices

  • Enjoy secure device connections while lowering your overall cost of ownership

  • Carry out firmware updates as needed

  • Get out-of-box support for devices from Intel and Microchip

  • Get seamless integration for numerous embedded operating systems and Android Things

  • Make changes to your devices with the Cloud Functions workflows based on real time events

  • Unlock business insights from your globally distributed devices

What industries will get the most out of Cloud IoT Core?

Any industry that relies on the Internet of Things can use Cloud IoT Core to their advantage. For instance, the manufacturing industry can monitor globally dispersed devices as a single entity instead of auditing each on its own. They can also reduce repair costs since they will be capturing data in real time. Another great example of an industry that will enhance how they operate as a whole is the utilities industry. By using Cloud IoT Core, the utilities industry can collect consumer usage patterns based on parametres that they set up like time, date and location. Based on these findings they can schedule firmware and equipment upgrades so that they do not impact operations. Finally, the oil and gas industry will see how components interact in real time allowing them to design more efficient systems and machinery that lasts longer.

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