& cplSiteName &

4 Tips for Maintaining Control in the Cloud

Jeff Harris
10/9/2017
50%
50%

It is no secret that the cloud is fundamentally changing the way businesses operate. Critical applications that were traditionally considered on-premises, such as CRM and ERP, now run on a public infrastructure that can be scaled out, in and down on demand, as needs ebb and flow. The cloud enables great efficiencies and growth -- two essential factors for ongoing business success.

But what the cloud adds in cost efficiencies and scalability, it lacks in touch control. Most enterprises build hyperconverged cloud environments that span across multiple cloud-provider platforms and data center infrastructure.  This is smart. It provides nimbleness that allows these enterprises to meet different service levels within the organization. The flip side is inconsistent policy enforcement, as each provider has different internal architectures and service-level agreements (SLAs).

Visibility into various cloud environments would provide a certain level of control, but providers -- all of which manage multi-tenant infrastructures -- limit access to packet data to protect their customers' proprietary information. Even if enterprises could get the proper level of physical access they needed to enforce policies, it would be extremely complicated, because cloud has a distributed architecture where resources are pooled, and it would be time-consuming to manage each provider individually while trying to piece together some sort of central control.

As hyperconverged cloud environments grow for enterprises, holistic performance monitoring, testing and security are taking on more importance.  Enterprises need this whether they use Salesforce, NetSuite, or have workflows running on AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure. Having this breadth and depth of reach is necessary to gain touch control over hyperconverged cloud infrastructures.

Here are four tips for regaining touch control over your hyperconverged cloud environments:

1. Access monitoring data in the cloud
Gaining safe access to your cloud packet data is the first step, and that means having the ability to tap data in public or private cloud environments. This cannot be achieved with basic software agents that spit out everything. It requires intelligent sensors or virtual taps capable of extracting only the data you need to monitor and secure -- and they need to automatically scale without operator configuration, reconfiguration or intervention.   

2. Feed data to monitoring and testing systems
Data accessed from the cloud then needs to run through a highly intelligent network packet broker or virtual machine (VM) acting as a packer broker, where it can be deduped and routed to the various monitoring, compliance, analytics and security appliances. Alternately, there should be enough flexibility for sensors or virtual machines to send filtered data directly to cloud-based or cloud-compatible security, monitoring and analytics tools.

3. Use intelligence to parse data appropriately
This is what allows data to be distributed to appliances and systems logically. For example, most enterprises run all network traffic through a firewall, but a university that gets 30% of its incoming traffic from students streaming video may decide it is safe enough to exempt Netflix data from certain security policies. Intelligence at the network packet level, both in data center and cloud, allows this to be a choice. 

4. Test like you are already in the cloud
Most cloud providers offer some level of enterprise configuration, performance monitoring and basic performance testing, but are they enough? Enterprises can spin up home-grown tests and attempt to emulate traffic prior to launch, but how insightful is that? The more accurate and realistic the test environment and design, the more accurately enterprises can predict what will happen once real customer data is on their hyperconverged cloud network. With the customer expectations of instant availability, flawless performance and ironclad security rising every year, enterprises need to test, test, test, and test again to ensure consistent, quality user experiences. This is even more critical for applications that are running on infrastructures over which they have limited control.

No question the cloud provides flexibility, cost-efficiency, and scalability, but enterprises still need control over performance and security to ensure a consistent and quality user experience. Better visibility into hyperconverged cloud environments, driven by smart data access and intelligence at the network packet level, can deliver both so enterprises can better manage user expectations.

— Jeff Harris, CMO, Ixia Solutions Group, a Keysight Business

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
More Blogs from Column
The definition of voice services is widening beyond phone calls, even into IoT. That calls for a more open approach to product development, Ian Maclean of Metaswitch argues.
The shift to cloud is turning unified communications into the next hot service for enterprises as the UCaaS market continues to expand.
Pay-TV providers should focus on four key areas to bring employees and customers along for the ride.
The shift to cloud computing is changing the way business is done. Now, the CFOs and their finance teams are seeing a benefit in cloud as well.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives