Cloud Infrastructure Management
As more and more organizations move their on-premise data centers to the cloud and the applications of cloud computing continue to grow, cloud infrastructure management has become a necessity. So, what are cloud infrastructure services and how do they relate to the minimum requirements of cloud computing?
Cloud infrastructure refers to all of the hardware and software components needed for cloud computing architecture, including the server, networking, storage, virtualization resources and more. The cloud infrastructure usually also involves an interface (UI) that manages these hardware and software elements. Using a cloud computing stack like this can help businesses benefit from cost savings, increased scalability and reliability, and improved security.
However, the IT teams that support these growing cloud environments face a new set of challenges that businesses have to take into account. One of the main hurdles is the lack of end-to-end visibility into hardware and software stacks in these giant computing environments. This can be a significant problem during and after migration to the cloud, when infrastructures are often deployed across different combinations of in-house data centers and private or public clouds. When organizations are reliant on incongruous management tools, it can lead to operational silos that can become a headache, not to mention a poor usage of time and money.
Fortunately, your organization doesn’t have to navigate this new terrain all alone. That’s where cloud infrastructure management comes in.
Cloud Infrastructure Management Tools
Having the right cloud infrastructure management tools can help you simplify complexity, improve operations across multi-cloud environments, and optimize cost and savings. As hybrid cloud management platforms are becoming more and more common, organizations are seeking out the best cloud management software for strategies that involve multiple public clouds as well as on-premises or private data centers. According to the IBM 2022 State of Multicloud Report, more organizations are migrating workloads from private clouds to public clouds and 79% of the respondents believe applications will move freely across clouds at some point.
Examples of the best multi cloud management platforms include options that take advantage of the latest cloud offerings from a number of different providers at the same time. This could look like an organization using a combination of multi cloud management tools such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its flexible pricing and diverse tool set, Microsoft Azure for compatibility with Windows, or Google Cloud for Machine Learning.
Cloud infrastructure management tools help with the process of monitoring, securing, and optimizing workloads and applications across hybrid or multi cloud environments. They offer a unified platform for managing single clouds and cross-cloud setups in order to improve visibility and cut down on the confusion that comes with using disparate tools.
Some of the types of tools available for cloud infrastructure management include:
In the past, most organizations had an IT operations team that was responsible for managing cloud infrastructure. IT ops developers would have total responsibility for overseeing apps, tools, and platforms for app development and testing. In updated infrastructures, more and more non-Unix users are now using Linux and thus need to know their way around systems management and access. This means that IT teams need a strong and reliable server admin tool as part of your cloud infrastructure management. This is becoming increasingly challenging for organizations to manage internally as there is a growing skills gap for legacy systems such as those that run IBM Power. Often, the people that designed these systems are no longer with the company and it can be challenging to hire people with that same knowledge due to the growing skills gap.
By unifying automation efforts into a streamline strategy, your teams can abandon repetitive manual tasks and spend more time on strategy and innovation. However, in order for automation to work effectively, you need to ensure that all levels of your organization are using a common language. This requires tools for provisioning infrastructure and configuring systems to enable a unified automation strategy.
Predictive analytics tools help you identify and name potential threats within your cloud infrastructure. This is essential when it comes to avoiding unexpected incidents, unplanned outages, and other unknown issues. The best tools can also offer guidance to address issues in advance and steer clear of unplanned downtime, unnecessary risks, outages, etc.
Hybrid Cloud Management Tools
Hybrid cloud management tools help manage the lifecycle of numerous clusters, whether they are on-premises or public cloud. They also help maintain governance risk based on compliance policies across various clusters.
Infrastructure Security In Cloud Computing
Infrastructure security in cloud computing is the practice of protecting assets based in the cloud and supporting systems. Cloud security is the foremost concern of most organizations that have migrated to the cloud. It is essential to have a strategy in place to deal with the threats, risks and challenges that come with data security in cloud computing. Cloud infrastructure best practices include different types of infrastructure security for the various elements of the environment, such as the host, network, and applications.
There are countless benefits of infrastructure security. These systems and tools can address many of the issues that go hand-in-hand with cloud migration, including inconsistent security policies, problems with regulatory compliance, and more. Because traditional methods of network security aren’t always effective when applied to the cloud, there are many different types of infrastructure security to consider for these new environments.
Cloud infrastructure security exists as a framework that includes policies, best practices, tools, and technologies to ensure that computing environments, apps, databases, etc. remain secure in the face of internal and external threats. Some infrastructure security examples include:
- Regulatory compliance
- Disaster recovery
- Avoidance of downtime
- Data retention
- Loss prevention
- Role-based access control
- Threat intelligence
- Threat prevention and detection
- Risk mitigation
- Identity and access management
Cloud infrastructure security spans a variety of security levels, including network, application, and data levels. Cloud infrastructure has to be inherently secure and reliable, including storage, computing, and network. This is complex, because businesses need to have a broad understanding of what data they are responsible for keeping secure vs. the data that providers help secure. Data in the cloud often overlap in multi-cloud environments, which can create a lot of confusion as to who is responsible in the event of an attack or security breach.
Due to the rise in attacks on cloud infrastructure over recent years, organizations are placing more and more of an emphasis on cloud security. However, there are some significant hurdles to face in ensuring that all elements of a cloud are secure. Clouds require specialized security options to protect the enormous size of the attack surface. Cloud-based workloads, by nature, are dynamic and shape-shifting, meaning they often need scalable and responsive security solutions. And it can be difficult to gain full visibility into how cloud services operate when many are being run at the same time. For these reasons, most organizations outsource the help of dedicated IT professionals that specialize in cloud security.
Cloud Infrastructure Services
Cloud infrastructure services are the central component of cloud infrastructure management. As hardware appliances are replaced by software, the nature of cloud infrastructure architecture has transformed completely. This has led to a vast array of cloud infrastructure benefits. Service providers eliminate the need for the development of physical computing and storage resources, reducing costs for customers.
Cloud service providers also offer financial benefits because they spread the costs of advanced security technologies and IT support across a wide customer base. With more money to support operations, these cloud infrastructure components can help provide better security with less risk than when companies had to finance private security services.
Cloud infrastructure services also provide organizations with operational capabilities they didn’t have previously. Employees are able to perform better with unlimited access to the tools and data they need, regardless of their location. And cloud and dynamic infrastructure services offer DevOps teams the ability to automate processes at a scale that was not possible before AI and Machine learning.
Most cloud computing services can be broken down into the following four categories:
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the most basic type of cloud infrastructure. With this model, you rent IT infrastructure such as storage, networks, VMs, etc., from a cloud provider.
Platform as a service (PaaS) is a type of service that offers an on-demand model that makes it easy for developers to test, deliver and manage software apps all within the same environment. It allows developers to create and deploy web and mobile apps quickly because the underlying network, servers, storage, etc., is already set up.
Serverless computing, like PaaS, also makes it easy for developers to build apps without worrying about foundational infrastructure management. These architectures are desirable because they offer extensive scalability and they also minimize the use of unnecessary resources.
Software as a service is a model that delivers software apps over the Internet, usually on-demand and as a subscription. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an example of SaaS. Users connect to the app via the Internet, eliminating the need for hosting and managing software and infrastructure.
Cloud infrastructure services are under 10 years old, but companies around the world, from small startups to global enterprises, are using the powerful technology to stay competitive and offer customers the best possible experience in a variety of industries.
With Skytap on Azure, moving and natively running your legacy systems in public cloud infrastructure is easy, fast, and safe for our customers. Learn more about what Skytap can do for your cloud transformation.