Cloud Right, not Cloud First: Avoiding the pitfalls

Sachin Verma wins ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at ARN Awards
October 10, 2019

Cloud Right, not Cloud First: Avoiding the pitfalls

Cloud – we’ve all heard of it, and we are probably all using it in some form now – Office 365, Salesforce, MYOB are some of the many Software as a Service (SaaS) products that are “in the cloud” today.

However, there is still some ambiguity over what is cloud computing, how do Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud differ, and how secure is it.

We define cloud computing as having the following five attributes: (1) on-demand self-service, (2) broad network access, (3) resource pooling, (4) rapid elasticity, and (5) measured services (pay as you go); for compute, network and storage.

Options in cloud compute solutions have extended to include customer-dedicated solutions, such as HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure), that are modular, elastic and relatively quick to set up - all characteristics of Cloud compute, but are also dedicated and “in house”. However, customer dedicated solutions may lack some other features of Cloud computing. HCI is categorised under the Private Cloud umbrella solution, although it requires some of the self-service portals.

Looking at the abundance of solutions available for businesses today, choosing what the right solution is can be complicated and daunting – but the alternative is worse: stagnation.

Cloud Right, not Cloud First, is therefore imperative. The days of jumping both feet first into Public Cloud, no matter what circumstances, is so yesteryear!

Cloud-First is flexing to Cloud Right. Instead of deploying solutions by blindly following a Cloud-First corporate policy, we now select solutions based on what offers the best overall outcome: Cloud Right. 

When you are considering your journey to the cloud, you need to look at your companies’ short, medium, and long term requirements. Asking yourself the following questions is a great starting point:

  • Is your current platform urgently in need of a refresh? 
  • Do you develop or redevelop solutions in-house? 
  • Do you utilise SaaS offerings? 
  • Do you need or want to have dedicated hardware? 
  • Do you want managed infrastructure or do you want to do it yourself? 
  • How much effort do you want to put into managing your compute? 
  • Are you growing IT? 
  • Is a Capex or Opex billing model preferred? 
  • Are there any regulatory or compliance requirements that need to be met? 
  • What Disaster Recovery requirements exist? How long are backups required to be retained? How quick is it to recover from a backup?

Sometimes finding the answers to these questions can be difficult. Too often, people have their blinkers on and cannot see the trees from the forest.  Oreta can help. Oreta can assist your organisation prior, during,  and after your journey to the cloud.

During Phase 1, the discovery and assessment stages,  Oreta conducts a ’Journey to Cloud’ workshop, where Oreta’s cloud architects use special analytical tools to help answer the questions above, and tailor a plan that will best meet your organisation’s needs.

A plan to proceed to the right cloud can then lead to a Cloud Blueprint, a build and first-mover process which will give you a quick step into the cloud for a low-risk application.

However, during Phase 2, you should consider some of the risks you may encounter, particularly if you have opted to move to a public cloud. A public cloud risks being open to the Internet, not just for you but for the rest of the world. Two critical pillars stand together to protect your public cloud: Security and Network.

Security of your data in the cloud is paramount and complex. Companies run with services from different clouds (e.g. Salesforce and Office 365 and IaaS compute etc). And different services have different security responsibility thresholds – for example, security a SaaS service is different to a cloud SQL PaaS and IaaS compute, let alone if these are from different cloud service providers. To secure your cloud you need to ensure your security policies are enforced consistently and corporate wide. A big challenge. CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) tools protect your SaaS services and CSPM (Certified Security Project Manager) tools protect your IaaS and PaaS public cloud services. It is vital to configure your organisation’s CASB and CSPM correctly from the start to ensure your compute services are as secure as you believe they are. Incorrect setup of these can give you a false sense of security and lead to catastrophic outcomes.

In recent years, the way networks have been deployed has changed to meet the new cloud compute requirements companies have. Flexible and cheaper internet-based links that are software-defined (SD-WAN) have replaced traditional private Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks. SD-WAN enables flexible network options to meet your business requirements. Whether provided by Telstra or NBN, a secure network is still required to ensure only authorised people can connect to your systems. SD-WAN delivers on all of these requirements. Oreta specialises in networks and SD-WAN.

So Oreta is the logical solution when you are seeking a service provider that can cater to all your future compute services’ needs – cloud, network and security.

Oreta specialises in ensuring you adopt the cloud that is right for your organisation, connecting your organisation’s internal users to its compute over secure networks, and securing your cloud provided services from possible breaches.

Oreta’s top priority is always to do what is right for the customer.

Cloud Right, not Cloud First, with Oreta.

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