Hybrid cloud is incredibly popular, as it gives organizations more options than with traditional public or private cloud. More traditional enterprises my choose hybrid cloud for its scalability, but don’t want to replace legacy infrastructure and software to accommodate for public cloud. Other enterprises might be adopting a cloud-first policy, using hybrid cloud to run and store machine learning data and hardware analytics. But what hybrid cloud providers are out there and what hybrid cloud solutions are they offering? Let’s explore.
Hybrid Cloud Solutions
There are several features associated with hybrid cloud that you should look into when choosing your hybrid cloud provider. It’s known and valued for its support of fast digital transformation, giving businesses agility, allowing them to change direction as needed to accommodate different combinations of public and private cloud, and on-premises resources. A few advantages, including:
- Separating critical workloads like sensitive financial or customer information on your private cloud, while you use a public cloud to run the rest of your applications.
- Big data processing and big data analytics, using public cloud and private cloud, to ensure data security.
- Manageable digital transformation by adding what you need, as you need it, requiring a smaller initial investment.
- Temporary processing capacity lets you use public cloud resources for short-term projects, lowering overall cost.
- Future-proof your business, as you don’t know what’s coming. Hybrid cloud gives you more control over data management, and all resources.
- Best of both worlds with hybrid cloud taking the best elements of public and private, and making them even easier to use.
Top 5 Premium Hybrid Cloud Solutions Providers
We all remember when IBM bought Red Hat for $33 billion, in their strategic move into the world of hybrid cloud. At the time, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said, “IBM will become the world’s number-one hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses."
IBM partners with businesses who want help with migration, integration and management, and the ability to handle more workloads securely in any cloud environment. With the inclusion of the IBM cloud Integration Platform, customers are easily and securely operating cloud services in all environments, with a container-based platform that moves applications around quickly and easily.
2. Microsoft Azure Stack
With its well-established Azure Stack, available in technical preview in January 2016, Microsoft has been one of the go-to hybrid cloud providers for years. Microsoft Azure capabilities include VM scaling on-demand, containers, networking, storage, security for data, web and API apps, serverless computing, and ready-to-go Azure Marketplace applications.
In a blog post, Azure corporate VP Julia White wrote, “Enterprises rely on a hybrid technology approach to take advantage of their on-premises investment and, at the same time, utilize cloud innovation. As more business operations and applications expand to include edge devices and multiple clouds, hybrid capabilities must enable apps to run seamlessly across on-premises, multi-cloud, and edge devices while providing consistent management and security across all distributed locations.”
3. AWS Outposts
AWS Outposts moved into hybrid cloud in 2018 when they launched Outposts, a fully managed service from Amazon with pre-configured hardware and software deployed in their own data center. A few of AWS Outposts functions and capabilities include the ability to easily order your perfect configuration of compute and storage capacity, easy and fast installation, a standard management console and the ability to build and run applications using native AWS services running on Outposts.
Matt Garman, VP of AWS compute services wrote a recent blog post detailing a few general use cases. “One of the most common scenarios is applications that need single-digit millisecond latency to end-users or onsite equipment. Customers may need to run compute-intensive workloads on their manufacturing factory floors with precision and quality,” said Garman. “Others have graphics-intensive applications such as image analysis that need low-latency access to end-users or storage-intensive workloads that collect and process hundreds of TBs of data a day.”
4. Google Cloud Anthos
Google has been a hybrid cloud provider since 2018, when it introduced Google Cloud Anthos, released with the promise of being able to run applications on-premise in Google Cloud, AWS and Microsoft Azure. Google Cloud Anthos includes Google’s Kubernetes Engine (GKE), GKE On-Prem, and the Anthos Configuration Management. This product provides unified and easy administration, policy dispersion, and security for all hybrid kubernetes deployments. Finally, it works will with existing customer hardware like VMware, Dell EMC, HPE, Intel and Lenovo.
McQuire of CSS insight said of Google Cloud Anthos: “With the arrival of Anthos, and in particular, its support of open source, particularly Kubernetes, Google is now taking a much more realistic path in meeting customers where they are on their cloud journeys and is aiming to become the standard in hybrid, multi-cloud services in this next phase of the cloud market.”
5. Sangfor Cloud Platform
Sangfor Cloud Platform provides enterprise cloud/hybrid cloud services, built on their powerful hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). This Hybrid Cloud Solutions is the one-stop cloud stack, built for enterprise scale deployment of private cloud, partner-built managed cloud, and hybrid cloud. SCP includes features like Security-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), restful API, easy billing and metering, identity and access management, and comprehensive logging and monitoring.
Jason Yuan, VP of Sangfor’s International Market said recently, “We saw a need to reduce the complexity of the cloud data center construction and management. We’ve standardized the process and made everything automated, something our customers have explicitly asked for.” While Sangfor has dominated the APAC region for years, they are gaining traction in the EMEA, with massive, pandemic-proof growth, in recent years.
Hybrid cloud is a big deal, and there are many options out there. It’s important to go with a hybrid cloud provider who has experience dealing with the unique complexities of your region, and the right hybrid cloud services to keep you cutting-edge. For more information on hybrid cloud, and how to use it to enable digital transformation, reach out to Sangfor today.
A Strong Hybrid Cloud Security Strategy
Afrer choosing the vendor for your hybrid cloud solution, you should also consider these 7 tips for hybrid cloud security in your hyper converged infrastructure and hybrid cloud journey.
- Approach hybrid cloud security as a shared responsibility. It’s important to work closely with your hybrid cloud provider for regular management of the system. There should be regular communication, proven to reduce the number of oversights and errors. Security should always be the first priority, and trust in your cloud provider is a must-err on the side of over-communicating. Without proper security efforts, one misstep can jeopardize everything.
- Standardize processes. Standardizing hybrid cloud processes means reducing the risk of disparities that lead to errors and security loopholes. Standardizing processes is also the best way to make the most of your network security solutions. Modern network security solutions look for recognizable patterns to identify security risks, and normal user or network behaviour. If your processes are the same every time, it won’t attract the attention of the network security processes, meaning less slow-down and more focus on actual security threats.
- Configure secure tools and processes for the cloud. Automating everything possible, through a secure hybrid cloud platform, takes the pressure off administrators, and reduces human error risk, day-to-day. DevOps teams should be aware of how to test the security of the hybrid cloud environment, and should keep a constant watch on any new developments.
- Verify everything, everywhere. Perimeter-based protections ceased to work when networks started sprawling in all directions. You must adopt a zero-trust environment, inspecting and suspecting everything and everyone. Ensure your hyperconverged infrastructure has disaster recovery functions, for easy isolation, back-up and restoration if necessary.
- Manage access across hybrid environments. SWG technology like Sangfor IAG is really useful in hybrid cloud environments. Security teams can use this security solution to control access in all areas of the network, automating the security process. It’s smart to operate on a structure of least-privilege access possible, unless otherwise determined, for this strategy to be successful.
- Ensure visibility and ownership. You need one management system for your entire hyperconverged infrastructure and hybrid cloud, with aggregation and monitoring features, and asset management for all your environments. Administrators should have single-pane-of-glass management, and security teams should have access to all security and cloud data with the click of a button. Giving a small team ownership of this project is a great way to ensure total buy-in.
- Protect data. Hybrid IT environments require encryption at a minimum for data protection. Think carefully about how secure you want your data to be, and how hybrid cloud can enable that, or expose data to theft. Integrate your security solutions with your hybrid cloud and hyperconverged solutions. The best way to do this is to work with a single vendor for the entire process.