Three Vital Concerns For Companies Running Hybrid Cloud Environments

The benefits of the cloud - reduced capital expenditures, greater IT flexibility, business efficiency, competitive advantage - are compelling. So much so that, not so long ago, people were predicting organizations would move their entire computing infrastructure to the cloud, and nothing would be left on-premises. It, of course, never happened.

Instead, organizations have embraced a hybrid cloud approach that includes a combination of both cloud and on-premises.

The reason companies prefer a hybrid-cloud approach is because it offers many advantages over complete reliance on third-party cloud vendors. Many tools make it easy to host an on-premises data center in a cloud-like fashion. Because while hybrid clouds do offer an appealing level of balance and flexibility, they can be enormously complex to manage.

Specifically, implementing security, backup, and disaster recovery in hybrid cloud environments is a serious challenge. That's why the threat of a data breach and data loss is still a dangerous possibility for companies that run hybrid cloud environments.

Security Is A Shared Responsibility

There remain many misconceptions about cloud security in general. The most common is that the cloud is secure by its very nature - this is not true. When organizations transition to the cloud, they must understand that cloud security is a shared responsibility between the cloud service provider and the customer. Cloud service providers, including Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS, typically secure the core infrastructure and services as part of their responsibility.

But when it comes to securing operating systems, platforms, and data, that is the customer's responsibility.

The cloud providers will not advertise this fact. Still, if you read the fine print of their terms and conditions, you will find legal language that clarifies that the provider is not responsible if anything happens to your data. Whether it's an issue of data corruption, a security breach, or even accidental data deletion, the onus is on you to recover that data, not your cloud provider.

It's like driving a car. Automakers are obligated to ensure their vehicles meet certain quality and safety standards. After that, it's up to you to wear your seatbelt and drive safely. The same goes for your data. It's your data, and it's your responsibility. The fine print protects cloud providers from lawsuits and does not protect your business from data loss and the resulting financial implications.

Making Clouds Play Nice Is Hard

Let's go back to that problem mentioned above, managing complexity. You've heard the expression, more money, more problems. Well, more clouds can also mean more problems. That's because the more clouds you try to blend, the more unwieldy your environment becomes.

Some organizations standardize on up to four different public clouds and numerous private clouds and data centers. Usually, those clouds operate differently and have very different interfaces. Customers may be able to manage each cloud environment seamlessly. But monitoring and supporting all the disparate cloud platforms and getting them to play nice with each other can be a daunting challenge.

Of course, there are other issues associated with putting data in a hybrid cloud environment, such as compliance and regulation concerns. Establishing comprehensive compliance in a single cloud is hard enough. But hybrid clouds introduce additional complexities that raise the stakes. This issue is challenging because all industries change their rules according to required security and certifications.

There Is A Security Solution For Every Cloud

The above challenges—security and compliance—should be considered early in the implementation process. Trying to play catchup and address them later could prove costly at best catastrophic at worst. You can address both if you have the appropriate backup and recovery solution for your hybrid cloud environment. It should protect your data comprehensively and give you the complete control you need.

You should consider a cloud storage offering that safeguards data by taking continuous snapshots and provides multiple recovery points. This solution ensures that your data is protected and gives you easy access and visibility into your data at all times.

Some data-protection solutions on the market specifically target private, hybrid, and multi-cloud computing environments. The solution you choose should combine security controls, ransomware detection, and data protection to ensure security across private cloud, public cloud, and SaaS-based environments. It should also deliver backup and disaster recovery services, including protection for physical, virtual, and cloud workloads.

Organizations must step up and take responsibility for managing their data storage and backup requirements, whether that data resides on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment.

They cannot place their trust solely in cloud providers. They should implement a data protection and recovery strategy that adds an extra layer of protection to make the difference between successfully responding to adversity and being overcome by a disaster. 

Florian Malecki is  VP International Marketing at Arcserve

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