Keeping control: four ways to manage hyperconverged cloud environments
Transformative, game-changing, a new business era – a lot of dramatic statements are made as to how the cloud is fundamentally altering the way enterprise IT operates. Critical applications in every function, from accounting and payroll, to CRM and marketing are being migrated to public clouds, where cost-effective scalability can be easily achieved.
However, these benefits come at a price, which is touch control. Hyperconverged architectures, complete with multiple cloud provider platforms and datacenters, similarly have multiple internal architectures and SLAs – which makes seeing into, and managing these infrastructures, very difficult.
Ixia CMO, Jeff Harris, recently published an article on Light Reading looking at this specific issue. Simply gaining visibility – the foundational building block of infrastructure management and security – into the various cloud environments at play, can be unexpectedly complicated.
The problem is that, when you’re working with a combination of different cloud providers (such as Salesforce, NetSuite, AWS, Google Cloud and Azure), each cloud has a distributed architecture where resources are pooled. Managing each individually is simply too time-consuming and complicated – and it still doesn’t give you a single window into your various cloud deployments.
However, all is not lost. Here are the four stages for regaining touch control in such environments:
This is all about getting hold of the data you need for comprehensive network monitoring across both public and private cloud environments. To do this, you need virtual taps or intelligent sensors that capture and extract the right data at the right time. The less operator intervention required, the better. To properly support cloud migration plans, these tools need to be able to scale up or down automatically.
- Monitor and test
Next, all that data has to be fed to monitoring and testing systems, which can cover off all the various compliance, analytics and security tasks you need to undertake. Of course, precise compliance requirements vary from industry to industry, but no matter what your line of work, you’re probably going to need an intelligent network packet broker or virtual machine (VM) acting as a packet broker.
This simply means distributing data to appliances and systems in a logical fashion. Not all traffic needs to be inspected by the same security tools, but parsing decisions can only be made intelligently once you understand the profile of existing traffic on your network, and the policies that you have in place.
- Test (like you’re already in the cloud)
Performance testing is, of course, critical to ensuring that your hyperconverged network supports your operations and can cope with typical traffic profiles and volumes. The key is to ensure that all your testing procedures emulate as accurately as possible what your live environment has to cope with.
Once real customer data is flowing across your cloud network, you need to match up to a long list of expectations around application availability and network speed, 24/7. Can you do it? You’ll have far more confidence if your test environment reflects real-world conditions as accurately as possible.
There's no question that cloud migrations can be more complicated than expected, and the potential loss of control can seem bewildering. But the tools and processes are available to help you benefit from all the scalability and agility of the cloud, without sacrificing security and compliance.
Click here to read the article in full on Light Reading.