According to Steven Hill, Senior Analyst – Applied Infrastructure and Storage Technologies at 451 Research, hybrid cloud adoption offers a wealth of new options for business IT to expand beyond the limitations of the traditional enterprise datacenter, but complexity can be an inevitable byproduct of those options:
“Protecting, managing, and securing data that must now exist in multiple locations calls for a hybrid storage plan offering seamless data visibility, automation, and policy-based governance spanning all storage locations. Aging storage technologies can’t cope with the real-time nature of collaboration. Instead, outdated file-sharing technologies are causing employee downtime and undercutting teams’ ability to work together.”
Recently, Steven sat down with Rich Weber, Chief Product Officer at Panzura; Jake Burns, Enterprise Strategist at Amazon Web Services; Andy Knauf, CIO, Mead & Hunt; and Jeff Foydl, CIO – North America, Lincoln International LLC for a roundtable discussion on the evolving capabilities benefits, and challenges of hybrid cloud storage for the enterprise.
The roundtable features discussions around six key points:
- BC and its role in protecting organizations from disasters, malware, and other service interruptions.
- Adopting hybrid technology to enable collaborative productivity.
- Reducing latency and ensuring application performance.
- Data security and governance in the hybrid cloud.
- Data lifecycle management for compliance, archiving, and analytics.
- Responding intelligently to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch the webinar replay here: https://panzura.com/hybrid-cloud-storage-why-now-and-what-you-need-to-know/
BC and its role in protecting organizations from disasters, malware, and other service interruptions
Rich Weber shared insights on what the organization is seeing in terms of ransomware, given its extensive IT customer experience.
“Underpinning any public cloud services approach must be having an immutable data architecture. This means that ransomware or crypto lockers cannot overwrite the data that has already been stored. Not only is this done for security reasons, but also to provide a high-performance experience while the data is still protected,” said Rich.
Jeff Burns explored the impact of issues such as ransomware and the COVID-19 quarantine in relation to service interruptions.
“We always recommend that customers replicate data between availability zones and regions. But the best protection is security awareness training. Most ransomware events are still initiated via malicious links. So, while having all the cybersecurity technology in place is important, education must form a big part of our customers’ protection plan.”
Adopting hybrid technology to enable collaborative productivity
Andy Knauf discussed the importance of accessing data and services if a globally connected organization is to remain productive.
“A hybrid environment gives us the confidence that our people will be able to work from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection, just as efficiently as if they are in the office. This has really proved itself during the coronavirus.”
For Jeff Foydl, their organization’s goal was to get a hybrid infrastructure in its local offices. He described the journey they took to accomplish this with the result that the business can serve customers anywhere in the world as effectively as possible.
“We have focused on making sure that whether we have four people in an office or 400, they have the same level of technology. The hybrid concept has enabled us to do so.”
Reducing latency and insuring application performance
While much depends on the type of business and the amount of dynamic content required to view in production models, latency and availability will always remain critical.
Jeff said for Lincoln International, and this was a huge factor in how the company designs its systems: “Besides the fact that investment bankers are notorious for being impatient and needing everything to happen now, the ability for us to distribute our applications and data across the globe and have that local presence is equally as important. Here in the US, it is easy to design a system where you have low latency, high performance, and plenty of bandwidth. But when you get into the geographies, like India, China, or Brazil, the infrastructure is vastly different.”
Andy said that this was a massive challenge for Mead & Hunt: “If you are working on a CAD file and your crosshairs are jittering, or it takes a couple of seconds for the crosshair to catch up due to high latency, it is not great. Resolving this has been a priority as the company threw more bandwidth at the problem without addressing the underlying latency concern.”
Data security and governance in the hybrid cloud
The discussion turned to the importance of data security and governance and what must be considered from a hybrid environment.
“Our service for enterprise and government customers come built-in with all the security and compliance controls they need. We have a shared security model that focuses on the difference between security in the cloud and the security of the cloud. So, AWS assumes full responsibility for security of the cloud while providing customers with the tools to secure things such as key management services,” said Jeff about AWS.
Mead and Hunt and Lincoln International put the spotlight on the importance of the hybrid cloud to address many of the challenges associated with security and privacy, especially as they relate to compliance.
“Security and governance from a hybrid perspective are a combination of supporting the types of services and features that Jake (AWS) was talking about. In addition, extending the existing security paradigms that may have existed on-premise to an in-cloud data set,” said Rich.
He further discussed the practical aspects of security and compliance from a hybrid perspective.
Data lifecycle management for compliance, archiving, and analytics
There has been a lot of growth from storage coming from these needs. Whether it is the protection of PII base information, the protection of medical information, or even other industries like finance where the records need to be kept for the typical seven years, there must be an endless life cycle for some of this data.
The respective panelists highlighted how they are addressing compliance issues not only from an industry-specific perspective (through Mead and Hunt and Lincoln International) but also from a technology perspective (Panzura and AWS).
Responding intelligently to the COVID-19 pandemic
The final topic of discussion turned to the current crisis around the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact that this disaster can have on business operations.
Both Mead and Hunt and Lincoln International highlighted the importance of proper planning and how it enabled both organizations to carry on as normal. The hybrid approach empowered them to manage work and employee productivity as effectively as possible.
AWS and Panzura discussed how a hybrid environment provides the agility required to adapt quickly to any crisis.
“In times of disruption, this agility becomes even more important. One of the great things about the pay for consumption model of the cloud is you can upscale your investment as required. Other businesses might want to contract and spend less money in the short-term. Hybrid provides the options to be agile and dynamic and respond to things very quickly,” said Jeff.
Rich echoes this sentiment.
“Panzura has been really busy over the last few weeks, helping customers expand their remote capabilities. The agility you get from moving into the cloud allows you to respond at a pace that you could not do purely from an on-premise perspective.”
For more complete insights, watch the webinar replay here: