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5 Myths of the Hybrid Cloud

Cloud computing has been in the IT agenda for some years now, but with it evolving at such a fast pace, many are sceptical about taking the first step into the cloud. SERVAAS VENTER dispels five myths of the Hybrid Cloud.

Cloud computing has been on the IT agenda of most enterprises for the past few years.  However, as you might expect of an emerging technology, it’s evolving fast and, as a result, what some businesses might have understood about public, private and hybrid cloud may no longer be true. It’s clear organisations and IT departments are struggling to understand what a true hybrid cloud is so we’re debunking the top five myths:

Myth One: I have public cloud services. I have private cloud infrastructure. Therefore I have hybrid cloud…

Owning or investing in private and public infrastructures without having a joined-up plan can land you with the benefits of neither but the risks of both. For example, local or industry data protection regulations may require that data be encrypted according to certain protocols or stored within a specific geography. Additionally, the ‘agility’ benefits of public cloud may be negated by the costs required to migrate an app from a public cloud test environment to a private cloud ‘production’ environment.

Furthermore, a well-built hybrid cloud solution should be a blending of public and private cloud environments that share a common orchestration layer.  This means that data is managed and distributed in a way that optimises workloads, storage and network resources whilst, at the same time, limits organisational risk, increases productivity and delivers agility.  Simply deploying isolated public and private cloud solutions isn’t really the same thing.

In short, you must have a plan, and the proper tools in place, to ensure your private and public clouds can work together.

Myth Two: It’s impossible to have a secure public cloud

There’s a myth that only data within the corporate firewall is secure. False. Today, some public cloud service providers offer encryption and security that’s equal to, or might even exceed, that which you get in typical private cloud infrastructures.

Security in the public cloud is about more than encryption though. Shared resources, international hosting and access also have their parts to play.  What’s critical is that the right data is treated in the right way.  Certain types of data should always go to a private cloud, other data needs to go to very specific types of public cloud, and a third category of data can be stored more flexibly.

When partnering with public-cloud providers, business should be asking: “Am I covered by relevant data sovereignty regulation?”, “Who has access to my data?” And, “Can I move the data if I need to?”

Not all data is suitable for the public cloud and not all public clouds are created equal.  This, again, underscores the requirement for an intelligent orchestration layer and a clearly architected strategy to map data to the cloud. 

Myth Three: You can use the public cloud for everything, so who needs hybrid?

Let’s be clear: putting some data or workloads into public resources, unless they are very carefully controlled public resources, could land you in violation of local or industry specific data protection regulations, and at huge risk. The laws around this are different in every market and are constantly under review as a range of breaches, consumer rights issues and surveillance methods are constantly changing our perceptions on how data can best be protected.

Conversely, that doesn’t mean every bit of data has to reside in the private cloud; rather an intelligent approach is required to match data to the type of storage that best meets its needs.

The success of many of the world’s most innovative organisations is built upon well-designed hybrid clouds. Many of our favourite social networks, which juggle millions of users whilst delivering updates and new services, are utilizing hybrid cloud infrastructures.

Myth Four: You lose all control of data in the cloud:

Whilst adoption of cloud services continues to increase each year, concerns persist; fear of loss of control and lack of compliance from some of the largest providers outweighs the significant benefits that businesses could see.  In some cases, these concerns are well founded: some cloud players can make it hard to extract or migrate your data, deliberately or incidentally, by virtue of the mobility of the data or application in question.

Yet it’s possible to retain control in the cloud, as part of a properly orchestrated hybrid cloud environment. A well-run hybrid cloud has the ability to efficiently deliver resources, empowering IT to be a broker of cloud services, providing the control and visibility the IT department needs, and the on-demand self-service that developers and application users expect. Users can easily provision standardised services directly from an application marketplace portal, delivered from private and public clouds, set by the demands each workload requires, but built on policies set by IT.

Myth Five:  The hybrid cloud isn’t for my industry:

It’s easy to think that some industries deal exclusively in data that’s too sensitive to have anything stored in the public cloud – healthcare and finance spring to mind.  But, often, what we mean is that some industries will never be able to put all their information in the public cloud.  And these then become the sort of organisations that benefit most from a hybrid approach.

Sure, hospitals need to exercise the most extreme levels of caution with patient records, but what about catering information? What about data on their laundry?  How sensitive is the stationery order?  You don’t want to bear the increased costs of protecting non-sensitive data in state-of-the-art facilities.  This is where strategic planning of the hybrid cloud becomes so important.

Many enterprises have already embarked on a journey to the hybrid cloud. This will continue throughout 2015 as businesses look to the cloud for burst resources, data protection, archive, storage tiering and more.

This growth is being driven by factors including greater bandwidth, lower storage costs and enhanced security, combined with the need for greater scale. An increasing number of third-platform businesses like Netflix have become adopters of hybrid cloud, driven by the need to scale at a moment’s notice, but who also understand the growing complexities around securing data across international boundaries.

The competitive advantages in adopting a hybrid cloud strategy are hard to argue.  Forward looking enterprises that are able to see through the myths have the opportunity to completely transform the economics of IT service delivery… and their entire business in the process.

* Servaas Venter, Country Manager, EMC Southern Africa

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Veeam passes $1bn, prepares for cloud’s ‘Act II’

Leader in cloud-data management reveals how it will harness the next growth phase of the data revolution, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

Veeam Software, the quiet leader in backup solutions for cloud data management,has announced that it has passed $1-billion in revenues, and is preparing for the next phase of sustained growth in the sector.

Now, it is unveiling what it calls Act II, following five years of rapid growth through modernisation of the data centre. At the VeeamON 2019conferencein Miami this week, company co-founder Ratmir Timashev declared that the opportunities in this new era, focused on managing data for the hybrid cloud, would drive the next phase of growth.

“Veeam created the VMware backup market and has dominated it as the leader for the last decade,” said Timashev, who is also executive vice president for sales and marketing at the organisation. “This was Veeam’s Act I and I am delighted that we have surpassed the $1 billion mark; in 2013 I predicted we’d achieve this in less than six years. 

“However, the market is now changing. Backup is still critical, but customers are now building hybrid clouds with AWS, Azure, IBM and Google, and they need more than just backup. To succeed in this changing environment, Veeam has had to adapt. Veeam, with its 60,000-plus channel and service provider partners and the broadest ecosystem of technology partners, including Cisco, HPE, NetApp, Nutanix and Pure Storage, is best positioned to dominate the new cloud data management in our Act II.”

In South Africa, Veeam expects similar growth. Speaking at the Cisco Connect conference in Sun City this week, country manager Kate Mollett told Gadget’s BRYAN TURNER that the company was doing exceptionally well in this market.

“In financial year 2018, we saw double-digit growth, which was really very encouraging if you consider the state of the economy, and not so much customer sentiment, but customers have been more cautious with how they spend their money. We’ve seen a fluctuation in the currency, so we see customers pausing with big decisions and hoping for a recovery in the Rand-Dollar. But despite all of the negatives, we have double digit growth which is really good. We continue to grow our team and hire.

“From a Veeam perspective, last year we were responsible for Veeam Africa South, which consisted of South Africa, SADC countries, and the Indian Ocean Islands. We’ve now been given the responsibility for the whole of Africa. This is really fantastic because we are now able to drive a single strategy for Africa from South Africa.”

Veeam has been the leading provider of backup, recovery and replication solutions for more than a decade, and is growing rapidly at a time when other players in the backup market are struggling to innovate on demand.

“Backup is not sexy and they made a pretty successful company out of something that others seem to be screwing up,” said Roy Illsley, Distinguished Analyst at Ovum, speaking in Miami after the VeeamOn conference. “Others have not invested much in new products and they don’t solve key challenges that most organisations want solved. Theyre resting on their laurels and are stuck in the physical world of backup instead of embracing the cloud.”

Illsley readily buys into the Veeam tagline. “It just works”. 

“They are very good at marketing but are also a good engineering comany that does produce the goods. Their big strength, that it just works, is a reliable feature they have built into their product portfolio.”

Veeam said in statement from the event that, while it had initially focused on server virtualisation for VMware environments, in recent years it had expanded this core offering. It was now delivering integration with multiple hypervisors, physical servers and endpoints, along with public and software-as-a-service workloads, while partnering with leading cloud, storage, server, hyperconverged (HCI) and application vendors.

This week, it  announced a new “with Veeam”program, which brings in enterprise storage and hyperconverged (HCI) vendors to provide customers with comprehensive secondary storage solutions that combine Veeam software with industry-leading infrastructure systems. Companies like ExaGrid and Nutanix have already announced partnerships.

Timashev said: “From day one, we have focused on partnerships to deliver customer value. Working with our storage and cloud partners, we are delivering choice, flexibility and value to customers of all sizes.”

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‘Energy scavenging’ funded

As the drive towards a 5G future gathers momentum, the University of Surrey’s research into technology that could power countless internet enabled devices – including those needed for autonomous cars – has won over £1M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industry partners.

Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) has been working on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG), an energy harvesting technology capable of ‘scavenging’ energy from movements such as human motion, machine vibration, wind and vehicle movements to power small electronic components. 

TENG energy harvesting is based on a combination of electrostatic charging and electrostatic induction, providing high output, peak efficiency and low-cost solutions for small scale electronic devices. It’s thought such devices will be vital for the smart sensors needed to enable driverless cars to work safely, wearable electronics, health sensors in ‘smart hospitals’ and robotics in ‘smart factories.’ 

The ATI will be partnered on this development project with the Georgia Institute of Technology, QinetiQ, MAS Holdings, National Physical Laboratory, Soochow University and Jaguar Land Rover. 

Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the ATI and the principal investigator of the TENG project, said: “TENG technology is ideal to power the next generation of electronic devices due to its small footprint and capacity to integrate into systems we use every day. Here at the ATI, we are constantly looking to develop such advanced technologies leading towards our quest to realise worldwide “free energy”.

“TENGs are an ideal candidate to power the autonomous electronic systems for Internet of Things applications and wearable electronic devices. We believe this research grant will allow us to further the design of optimized energy harvesters.”

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