The rapid migration from private to hybrid cloud environments is bringing countless business benefits. Among the most exciting are predictive analytics, disaster recovery, and higher quality agile services for customers at the lowest possible cost.
The scalability of these environments offers businesses significant cost savings in areas including data storage, disaster recovery, predictive analytics, enterprise applications, and more.
But while a hybrid environment enables enterprise IT departments to deliver services to their customers at lower costs, it comes with its fair share of obstacles. When shifting assets from private to public servers, IT teams can find themselves at odds with their existing network infrastructure.
Common Obstacles to Cloud Transitions
Some of the biggest challenges that face IT organizations moving to the cloud include:
- Automaton Gap: Unlike automation at the server and storage layers, the deployment and configuration of critical network resources continue to be mostly manual. This increases the roll-out time for applications and increases the human resources needed to manage the cloud environment. So while servers and storage can be configured and provisioned in minutes, network setup tasks can take hours or days.
- Speed: Network configuration for virtual machines (VMs) is time-consuming and slows down rollout. It takes administrators hours or sometimes days to provision networks and IP addresses for VM instances, VPCs, and workloads, making it difficult to provide self-service style cloud services at a fast pace. Manual reclamation is cumbersome and error-prone, leading to a sprawl of unused IP addresses and DNS records.
- Security: One of the biggest issues for any organization turning to hybrid cloud is whether or not they have a security policy that works seamlessly across on-premise and cloud. If someone wants to access the business’ on-premise data they go through a gateway – often, a VPN. However, if an employee tries to access data in the cloud, the business is unlikely to have any control over that — due to the fact that there’s usually a standard way of accessing cloud services that isn’t necessarily aligned with traditional security protocols.
- Control: IT does not always have full control over the provisioning, de-provisioning, and operations of infrastructure, which has increased the difficulty for IT to provide the governance, compliance and risk management required. To mitigate the various risks and uncertainties in transitioning to the cloud, IT must adapt its traditional IT governance and control processes to include the cloud.
How to Make a Successful Transition to Hybrid Cloud
Conventional IT management approaches require manual processes and siloed solutions that can undercut the very benefits you seek from cloud deployments. For example, legacy solutions lack the visibility and agility you need to effectively manage multi-platform environments. They also create inefficiencies and inconsistencies that hinder deployments, cause network disruptions, and increase your security risks. By migrating workloads to the cloud, you can enhance agility, reduce costs, and free IT resources to focus on core initiatives, instead of manually managing complex infrastructure.
When it comes to the Domain Name System (DNS) and IP Address Management (IPAM), a hybrid environment presents some particular challenges to IT teams. First, since IPAM is meant to be the source of truth about what’s on your network, it’s difficult to maintain a common inventory when ‘your network’ includes your own data center and multiple public clouds. Further, if you’re using the cloud platform’s IP space and management capability, it’s difficult to enforce security policies for an application that spans both the public cloud and your own data center.
At Infoblox, we are able to help enterprises get past these and instead focus on the benefits it offers. By running on Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Service integrating with multiple private clouds and container environments, Infoblox is giving customers the tools they need to succeed in a cloud-based world:
- Discovery & Visibility: Give Infoblox the credentials to your public/private IAAS platforms and we’ll discover everything running in your traditional, private and public cloud environments – devices, VMs, and network. What’s more, we’ll provide auditing and reporting as well.
- Automation: Infoblox Actionable Network Intelligence gives IT teams the power to control their hybrid cloud environments through policy-based automation of DNS, DHCP, and IPAM services. For example, instead of standing up a basic DNS server in AWS that needs continuous updates and patches, Infoblox DDI for AWS ensures agility, consistency, and visibility for those workloads. Open RESTful interfaces allow for more customization.
- Use of public cloud APIs: We don’t just run on public cloud like AWS as an AMI, we also intercept AWS APIs frequently used by developers to enforce policy and IP/network assignments
- Multiple Deployment Options: As our clients’ needs have changed over the past few years, we’ve evolved with them, providing solutions for a centralized approach to DDI management across all platforms, cloud or on-premises. By bringing core network services together with the public cloud in a single interface, Infoblox eliminates many of the challenges raised by the increasing complexity of public-cloud or hybrid cloud environments.