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Cloud: Simplifying an increasingly complex hybrid landscape with confidence

The challenges for today’s CISOs aren’t going away any time soon – especially when it comes to data management, protection and recovery in a multi-cloud or hybrid-cloud environment.

The complexities associated with cloud and tech environments were listed as a top 3 challenge in the Focus Networks Intel Report for the CIO & CISO Leaders Australia Summit 2023. And, according to ARN, cloud spending will top the list in 2024.

So, what does this mean for your organisation and its ability to manage your hybrid cloud environment?

Shouldn’t hybrid cloud be getting easier, not more complex?

You’d think the rush to hybrid cloud would be slowing down by now.

But, says Veeam, in its #1 Hybrid Cloud Backup Guide, hybrid cloud implementations are unlikely to go away. Whether by careful, strategic design or accidental evolution, 92% of businesses already have a hybrid or multi-cloud setup. Regardless of the route taken, hybrid cloud is today’s reality for most organisations.

Hybrid cloud, observes Veeam, no longer means a mix of on-premises and a (single) public cloud. These days, a hybrid environment is more likely to consist of specifically chosen platforms used to serve different purposes. For example, disaster recovery (DR), production, dev-test and more. Meaning there’s more to measure, manage, and protect.

So, it’s easy to see how, over time, the complexity of hybrid cloud – especially in terms of backing it up – has grown, not lessened.

Managing data protection and security is easy (said no one, ever)

As we adopt more modern platforms, the struggle to manage them and their dispersed, often locked-away data grows in the face of ever-evolving cyber threats. And legacy backup solutions won’t cut the mustard. They’re old news, high-risk, and only suitable for dangerously old and high-risk technology environments.

If you have a modern multi-cloud environment, it’s obvious you need to take a modern approach to protecting it. Even then, not all cloud backup solutions on offer are created equal. With the need to back up your physical and virtual machines (VMs), cloud-native infrastructure and platforms, SaaS, and Kubernetes – all of which benefit from purpose-built protection, it can be a big ask. While native backup tooling is available from both first- and third-party vendors, this multi-vendor approach can result in siloed management and often creates more challenges than it overcomes. At a time when the desire is to reduce costs and simplify management, it does the opposite.

Then, there are those public cloud vendors who lock your data into their platforms, meaning you need to compromise on performance, capabilities, and costs rather than embrace a move to a better, more suitable platform.

Multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments are now the norm not the exception. So, the need for a single pane of glass approach to data management, protection and recovery is more critical than ever before.

The lowdown on the future of cloud (and what it means for you)

First, let’s look at where cloud is heading. Because above all, as cloud evolves and transforms, you need to consider solutions that will go the distance.

In Forbes’ article on Cloud Computing In 2024: Unveiling Transformations And Opportunities, they open with this bold statement: “The dynamic realm of cloud computing is on the brink of remarkable transformations in 2024, as organizations and service providers brace themselves for an era characterized by innovation, challenges, and unprecedented opportunities.”

Sounds great, but what do they actually mean by this?

In its list of 11 key trends for 2024 – Forbes says the era of one-size-fits-all cloud solutions is on the way out and a more tailored and dynamic approach that combines public and private clouds is in. Hybrid and multi-cloud environments are set to become the new normal for organizations of all sizes – which comes as little surprise to most of us.

More importantly (in the context of this blog), Forbes says that with the shift to multi-cloud environments and serverless computing, IT departments will face novel challenges, including paying more attention to security. While specialised solutions that are designed to help simplify the inherently intricate nature of multi-cloud environments are emerging, Forbes cautions against tools that conceal complexity without genuinely streamlining or reducing it.

More positively, though, Forbes says that AI will optimise cloud management, in a transition from novelty to the norm and bring benefits, including streamlined overall cloud operations.

Another trend Forbes noted (one that’s far from new in a world strapped for skilled technology resources) is the challenge of bridging a skills gap as cloud adoption increases. Meaning solutions that reduce the need for specialised cloud-computing professionals will be welcomed with open arms.

So, where to from here?

Given the challenges, what’s important when considering a data protection, management, and security platform to support your ever-evolving hybrid-cloud environment?

  • Centralised management. Drive efficiency and reduce costs with a single view of all environments and just one toolset.
  • The ability to support everything. As hybrid environments grow in complexity, look for a solution that natively supports everything from SaaS to physical servers, Kubernetes, and more.
  • Own your own data. Eliminate data lock-in with a solution that allows you to move data freely across your infrastructure so it’s available where and when you need it.
  • Only use and pay for what you need. Choose a solution that allows you to cherry-pick the components you need without financial or licensing penalties.
  • A seamless experience. Protect, manage, and recover your hybrid cloud environment with a platform that delivers what it promises without downtime, data loss, or compromise.

Hybrid cloud offers benefits and challenges in equal measure – something we deal with daily. Reach out to Global Storage for an obligation-free chat about how we can help you simplify the complex.

Written in partnership with Veeam.

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