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Mastering Cloud Management - Get Connected

One of the biggest lessons learnt throughout the cloud management journey is that the cloud doesn’t simply recreate a customer’s environment up there in the ether. It’s different, and with the Cloud Industry Forum suggesting that almost nine in ten (89%) UK businesses are fully immersed in a cloud-based service, it had to be. Innovation was its secret weapon in attracting customers.  

Digital transformation is in full swing with the cloud being the foundation for this revolution, and so the journey to managing the cloud begins.

The First Step: Connectivity
So you’ve connected to the cloud. What next? Well, one of the first traffic management observations was that some cloud connections give basic connectivity only: A shock to some who were used to monitoring and prioritizing traffic during peak times. Although the ability to assign more bandwidth to mission-critical apps is possible in the cloud, it’s not always possible between two locations.

Fortunately, as the cloud matured, firewall technologies came to market that allowed for on-premise behavior of traffic management across the link between HQ, the cloud and also between multiple cloud vendor platforms.

Vendors themselves were increasingly adapting their own portfolios to be cloud capable, driving customer adoption. They realized it wasn’t realistic to simply deploy their on-premise solutions in a software fashion on the cloud, as many features weren’t required or simply didn’t work. This is when the cloud generation was born.

Cloud Generation Management
Now that organizations were starting to deploy cloud generation technology, they wanted to manage it. Management in the cloud is arguably more important than on-premise. You now get to utilize an architecture that is dispersed, covers multiple geographies, has ‘soft edges’, is difficult to contain, runs on multiple cloud platforms and is supplied by several vendors. 

If a customer enjoys all the ‘new’ aspects that the cloud delivers, why do they manage this brand-new environment with an on-premise mentality? 

Well, early management options in the cloud arrived in the form of familiar on-premise solutions. SIEM tools are an intricate part of data centre management posture and it seemed like a great idea to copy that posture to the cloud. However, the architecture of cloud configuration is very different. Management needs to evolve to get the best out of the cloud. 

The cloud demands a Cloud Generation management solution for this evolution. A new approach, which utilizes tools that have ‘insiders’, talking to end points via API calls, gathering all the data available and sifting through it closer to the source. Once complete, it can pass small chunks of pertinent data through to tools that don’t require professional intervention to decipher the information, whilst offering automated remediation.

Monitoring from the Inside
In this era of constant attacks, and zero-day threats, 80% of future cloud breaches will be due to customer misconfiguration, mismanaged credentials or insider theft, not cloud provider vulnerabilities, according to Gartner. A comprehensive and knowledgeable view of your infrastructure is vital. 

The cloud generation demands that the next wave of management options sit ‘inside’ as opposed to ‘outside’ the cloud’s walls. This will enable your shiny new engine to not only perform but also keep you one step ahead of the bad guys. The cloud is an enabler. Choosing a platform offering visibility, reporting and automatic remediation will free up specialized resources to concentrate on other cloud benefits. 

A big benefit is developer freedom. However, CISOs are struggling to get the visibility they need when Cloud instances are spun-up by individuals or groups. Developers want to build fast and CISOs want to stay secure.

Current SIEM tools can offer robust reporting at incredible speeds for this issue, however, speed is not the only thing you need. If a tool reports back quickly on a wealth of issues, with suggestions of areas to address, you then not only have to factor in the time for these fixes but also have to figure out if you have the knowledge to address them.

An SMB may not have the resources to keep this type of skill set on the payroll. Newer CPSM tools coming to market are now able to offer automatic remediation and orchestration, to address the issues they find, with some integrating their reporting with existing SIEM tools to help with alerts of potential threats. This is a major step forward in the ability to monitor and manage your cloud infrastructure.

Areas that may potentially need addressing could be connectivity between multi-cloud deployments and compliance issues. Has your developer left a port open or do you have the correct protection deployed on your storage buckets? 

Now you’re all set to master The Cloud!
In the end, having visibility into the whole deployment and possessing the ability to report from all endpoints without disrupting the latest cloud architectures is key to successful cloud management.

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