In order to meet performance, cost-savings, and operational goals, many businesses have moved away from a public-or-private cloud migration discussion and are favoring a multicloud strategy. Businesses prioritizing various interests around data backup, disaster recovery, and application resiliency, while addressing concerns around cyber security, determine how each application is placed in the cloud that can best support its performance specifications.
The approach is so widespread that the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report showed that 93% of organizations are using a multicloud strategy, and 87% are using a hybrid-cloud strategy. There are countless variations to each of these approaches, but it’s clear that the enterprise choosing single-cloud adoption is a dying breed.
While a multicloud environment provides freedom in terms of workload placement, this approach also adds layers of complexity to management – particularly in cases where cloud solutions are added in an ad hoc way instead of in a strategic plan. In addition to management and operational obstacles, it adds the challenge of increased operational costs. IT teams rarely have the expertise in house to manage a mix of private and public cloud plus on-premise environments.
One of the specific challenges is cloud connection through the on-premise wide area network (WAN), a secure approach that can limit the performance of multicloud environments. Compromised network performance and costly connectivity are just two of the challenges of using a traditional data center with a multicloud strategy.
In order to address bandwidth and performance requirements while prioritizing cyber security, businesses using multicloud environments should consider software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). This approach simplifies the WAN infrastructure and reduces costs while simplifying some of the complexity that comes with cloud adoption.
Ideally, businesses use an approach called secure SD-WAN, which combines security and networking in a single solution. It uses three elements to achieve a secure multicloud environment:
Common Framework: One of the obstacles to effective multicloud adoption is that public clouds operate on disparate architectures that include application programming interfaces (APIs) and frameworks that are specific to that public cloud provider.
The right multicloud solution will have a cyber security and network architecture that is able to work across clouds. It will utilize the native functions and features of each cloud and then use APIs and automation to reduce complexity and save resources. It will also add flexibility, enabling the enterprise to grow and expand. With secure SD-WAN, the enterprise can apply security policies across distributed and complex multicloud environments.
Application Awareness: A secure SD-WAN solution will have awareness of network capacity and an understanding of the importance of network traffic. It will optimize mission-critical transmissions and, through automated application of business policy, reroute priority traffic based on the best pathway available.
Integrated Architecture: In order to achieve objectives around efficiency and effectiveness, a secure SD-WAN solution offers centralized management and integrated communications between security and networking layers to address any vulnerabilities and reduce the likelihood of an attack.
These strategies include segmentation of network traffic as it moves between applications across multiple clouds and deep packet inspection. It also leverages cloud-native security groups and firewall and intrusion prevention systems to seamlessly integrate security into the network layer. This connection allows for real-time data inspection as traffic moves between and across clouds.As more businesses embrace a multicloud strategy, they need an approach that will prioritize cyber security and protect their complex systems and data in a single, integrated approach. If you’re considering whether an effective and secure SD-WAN solution might be right for your business, contact us at Safari Solutions. We offer guidance and expertise with a holistic perspective to allow you to leverage the right technology to help you grow.