The Next Big Thing in IT is the Hybrid Cloud

Businesses like yours are transforming their IT environments to a hybrid cloud solution.  A hybrid cloud is a combination of a private cloud and public cloud where you house critical data on a private cloud, while other data is stored and accessed via a public cloud.

It allows for a mix-and-match system so you can access a local data center that’s scalable, and also use on-demand public cloud storage. Your hybrid cloud infrastructure has the advantage of scalability, reliability, quick deployment, and cost savings, with the security and control of a public cloud solution.

With it, you can deploy applications much faster, and with greater flexibility than ever before.  A hybrid cloud integrates with your in-house IT infrastructure, and provides you with the products and services to meet your business’s specific needs.

With businesses distrusting their data and application assets to public cloud, the solution they now choose is a hybrid cloud. It provides a level of comfort that data is kept under their lock-and-key.

However, there’s a catch. You can’t do this on your own.

Using a Hybrid Cloud Can Be Challenging

Data, Data Everywhere

Managing large amounts of data can be overwhelming for any business.  You might have to look through hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of logs stored in multiple environments to find what you need.  Doing this manually is simply untenable.

Having the visibility to find your data can be a challenge for you and your employees. In the past, there are only so many places where you could store data.  With a hybrid cloud solution, there are many more places to store your data – However, if you aren’t careful, you won’t be able to find what you need.

So Many Applications

The number of applications you can choose from today can be overwhelming. With the increase in applications (and data), you would have to look through hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of places to find what’s needed. Doing this manually is impossible, yet your existing solutions likely don’t offer the answer you need.

Even the experts are always searching for tools to access data and applications more readily. The newest solutions help them do this. While tools and platforms like the hybrid cloud help your business increase efficiency and productivity, they also need to be managed, which requires you to learn, manage, and maintain these new tools on your own.

Hybrid Cloud Security Concerns You Need Help With

Cloud computing has been around for more than 10 years, yet there are still concerns to address.

Businesses are using more cloud providers, devices and have more remote users than ever before. Because of this, the complexity of networks has increased. This requires even greater levels of security than ever before. And, the larger the company, the greater the concerns surrounding security.

Traditional security measure such as firewalls and intrusion-detection solutions (IDS) use defined

parameters with minimal entry points into networks and devices. But with the hybrid cloud, today’s

firewalls and IDS tools must be configured to allow traffic for remote users’ mobile devices, tablets and laptops from anywhere they are. This reduces the effectiveness of these legacy security tools.

Data Controls & Application-Level Security

Businesses today need to update their security from these legacy and detection-based tools. Instead, security must start at the application and data levels. Data controls deny or allow access based on multiple requirements including, but not limited to, user ID, multi-form factor authentication, the type of device, application set, time of day and location.

Plus, you need application-level security solutions such as server firewalls to set what applications can be used to access data, and how data can be viewed and used. And, other security solutions (such as application scanners, vulnerability assessment scanners and patch management solutions) should be deployed to ensure your applications and systems are up to date with bug fixes and best-practice configurations.

Now that you know what’s needed, can you answer these questions with confidence?

  • Are we capable of managing security for a hybrid cloud solution?
  • Can we manage and recover any platform, any cloud and any workload?
  • Is our IT environment as secure and protected as it should be?
  • Can we solve IT problems quickly?
  • Are we spending the amount of time needed to grow our business, instead of dedicating this time to managing our IT environment?

Unless you can answer “Yes” to all five of these questions, you need the help of an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP).

The Right MSP Will Implement the New Security Solutions Your Business Requires to Use Hybrid Cloud Services.

The right MSP will have skills both in on-premise network IT management as well as management of cloud environments. Before your hybrid network is managed they will ensure that it’s properly configured and engineered.

They will facilitate the effective management of your on-premise network in a hybrid environment. This includes:

24/7 Monitoring – So all your devices and services on the hybrid network perform optimally and with efficiency.  In a hybrid environment, it’s essential to ensure all your on-premise and cloud segments are working together properly.

They will deploy a hybrid monitoring platform that uses best-practice capabilities, policies and processes, along with relationship and dependency mapping, full automation and easy-to-read dashboard analytics.

Ongoing Management – Your hybrid solution requires ongoing management. Proper backup and data protection must constantly be assured – Plus, patches and updates to operating systems, applications and utilities. When hybrid cloud services are sourced from multiple providers, regular adjustments and other routines must be performed.

Guaranteed Performance – Once your hybrid-cloud solution is fully operational, the goal is to ensure the best performance, reliability, and security at all times. This requires resource lockdown capabilities, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), Security Incident and Event

Management (SIEM), log analysis, anti-virus, anti-mal-ware, firewall tuning and much more. It might also include regulatory requirements, authorization to operate, and other special issues which require constant and consistent compliance.

Your MSP should provide the security solutions we mentioned above in addition to:

  • Server snapshots and virtual versions of your selected devices, multiple times during the day.
  • Solutions for easy recovery of work from specific times during the day.
  • The ability to dictate how many snapshots to take, and how long to keep them.
  • Ensuring snapshots and virtual versions are replicated in a secure cloud data center with daily verifications.
  • Data recovery regardless of similar or dissimilar hardware.
  • Controlling systems with set schedules for snapshots and backups.
  • Protection for all your workstation and servers.

Before moving forward with a hybrid cloud service, ask your MSP:

  1. What data should we upload to the cloud?
  2. Should we implement any specialized security solutions to meet HIPAA, or other industry regulations?

The hybrid cloud will give you more services and benefits. By the end of 2017, nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments.  In order to compete in today’s technology-driven business environment, a hybrid-cloud solution is something you should consider.

A qualified MSP will understand the data security you require. With the right MSP and hybrid model, you can retain control of your data, and still use the cloud as a security and support mechanism.

They will provide the security solutions and services to help you use hybrid solutions effectively and securely in order to protect your most valuable digital assets. And, they can make sure that independent audits are conducted to confirm your IT environment is secure, you can always recover your data, and that you have 99.9%-plus availability.

Still don’t know if a hybrid cloud is right for your business? Looking for the Right MSP? We can help.

Contact Natural Networks for and let us help you assess your IT and cloud computing needs.  619-222-3232 /