We’re still hitched to the clutches of yet another COVID wave but one thing we know for sure is that cloud computing has upsurge to a whole new level. Even before the pandemic, companies made their digital transition to enterprise cloud. If not, it has become more evident than ever that working out of offices is also a viable option and it is here to stay!
What to expect from the cloud as a technology leader in today’s age? Look out for a cloud model that extolls the worthiness of cloud computing for your enterprise and employees. The goal is to mold a cast of cloud framework that brings resiliency and optimization to the business along with ascertaining security for your organization.
Here, we introduce some insightful practices that will help you understand why and how to facilitate cloud resiliency, make the cloud more secure, and your enterprise cloud performance more optimized. We address some tidbits about the ‘cloud never fails’ myth and list out some practices to strengthen the security and resilience of the cloud.
Cloud never fails! That's a Myth
You know the basic rules while choosing and managing an enterprise cloud – it must be scalable, available, and secure.
What many people get wrong is that ‘Cloud never fails!’ But get this, while downtimes are not very common on the cloud, it spells disaster if it ever occurs. Any downtime in your server operations leads to cataclysmic results for the business. Your cloud provider bills you per hour, but any downtime per hour might lead to a significant subtraction of profitability.
There are multiple factors leading to downtime on the cloud and most of them point towards suboptimal cloud practices by users. Cloud spending has spiked for businesses, and more companies are diving into cloud adoption to modernize business operations. The sole purpose is for the cloud to enhance productivity and bring more value to the business.
A huge volume of data processing, open infrastructure, and diverse cloud providers in the market make it a little tumultuous to have a clear and precise direction on – where to go and how to build or manage the cloud platform that best suits your employees, leaders, and business.
Whether it is a Public Cloud, a Private, a Hybrid, or a Multi-cloud model that brings operational convenience to your business; or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or Infrastructure as a Service in cloud computing (IaaS ) being the type of service you choose, technology will work as smoothly as the user operates it.
In other words, Best Practices make the cloud perfect!
Security is a major concern when it comes to trusting cloud computing to entirely control your business operations. But the cloud has evolved so much that even government organizations and top intelligence agencies use the cloud as an opportunity to build an agile and fast processing system, ready to serve their consoles at the tip of the fingers.
How to trust the cloud with it all? You must adopt Cloud Governance for the best security strategies and apply the best policies across your cloud enterprise.
Cloud governance acts as a strong tool at your disposal to enable a well-functioning cloud model. Cloud governance is a set of policies in place that gives cloud managers the steering wheel to control all components of the cloud environment.
Have an edge by staying a step ahead in the cloud journey
To build a sustainable and robust cloud system for your enterprise you must understand how to coin and map your business requirements with your cloud needs. To acknowledge that technology can fail sometimes and addressing the concerns that might befall your cloud performance is the only way ahead to ensuring cloud optimization.
Cloud governance allows monitoring the performance metrics of the cloud infrastructure to enable better data-driven decisions. It is the optimus prime that not only commands how your optimized cloud infrastructure should be designed but also enables optimized management of the cloud while it is up and running its duties.
So, what comes under security and resilience? Achieving security and resilience are business goals. Focus areas that need to be addressed to achieve security and resiliency are –
Security & Compliance
- Identity and Access Management
- Data Security
- Operating System Security
- Network Layer Protection
- Incident Response
- Reporting & Resolution
- Service Limitation
These pillars hold the edifice and ensure your cloud works smoothly with no or minimal impact on business operations. Cloud security and resilience are 2 peas of the same pod which ultimately attribute to making the cloud more optimized.
How you can augment your cloud security
Cloud breaches are a concern among enterprises globally. As and how data gets migrated on the cloud, concern around its security grows. Focusing on security attributes is vital because any form of security risk impacts all stakeholders in the organization – employees, managers, top-level leaders, partners, and customers. The key to practicing security and compliance policies on the cloud is Zero Trust adoption.
Zero Trust your cloud framework to make it bulletproof from outages and breaches so you can confidentially deploy the cloud for your business.
- User Authentication – Who can see what, who can access what, and who can modify what. These roles must be identified and only role-based access must be given to users on your cloud. Identity management and user authentication are the primary keys to opening the cloud security door. Use password protection, multifactor authentications (MFAs), and access control when it comes to managing identity security on your enterprise’s cloud.
- Data Security – Monitor the data at all times – while at rest, while processing, while stored, and while shifting. Data encryption within cloud platforms helps in securing the source data. Application data, stored data, operating system processing can be made incontestable with firewalls, encryption, intrusion detection system, and keeping event hub logs.
- Network Layer Protection – To avoid malicious attacks in the cloud network, gambits like – blocking inbound threats, virtual firewalls, securing outbound traffic, and data transfer protocols work the best. Besides, ‘Never Trust, Always Verify' must be much more than just industry jargon; it must be a phrase well-practiced in your organization.
- Threat Identification and Indemnification – Learn about the types of security threats that may plague your cloud environment. Assign white-hat hackers to shoot vulnerabilities and remediate any loopholes in the cloud’s security model.
How you can make your cloud resilient
Resilience is proofing the system to ensure it withstands any failure.
In a cloud environment where the system is distributed into layers of network, servers, and database, it becomes complex to achieve resilience. This is why you must understand that the journey to building a resilient cloud system embraces learning alongside a few failovers too. With continuous efforts, planning, management, and practices your cloud framework can become more resilient.
Resilience is especially ingested in applications and products whose failover exponentially affects the business. For example, an e-commerce website on the cloud faces downtime for a certain reason and end customers are not able to make purchases, it will directly impact the business. Also, apps that are directly used by consumers contribute to the bottom line of the business.
The purpose of making the cloud resilient is to make it self-service in times of failover.
Build an elastic cloud model that can be de-coupled, adds agility, and flexibility in times of a cloud disaster.
Identify the types of failovers
Identify the types of workload in the organization that is operated on the cloud. Follow up with – which workloads are most affected during downtime, which are least, and which are moderately affected.
Issues like single-point failures, network connectivity, failed backups, unscheduled maintenance, loss of power, server or storage failures, sudden usage spikes, or system bugs/errors put a load on the cloud and lead to downtime of cloud computing services.
Using multi-cloud platforms has its virtues and vices. The complexity to interlink and manage multiple environments is an added workload. Multi-cloud should be opted for when you have a wider range of services that offer operational advantages.
When one platform faces a cloud outage you can rely on the other to keep your operation's uptime. It dials down the dependency on single-vendor. Use more than one DNS server name to avoid single-point downstream failures. Be aware of the level of redundancy required for your business-specific model.
Ensure resilient network connectivity
Accessing or working on the cloud requires persistent connectivity. Keep an eye out for connectivity failures or prospective connectivity issues that limit or refrain your access to the cloud.
Plan a strategy
The measures you take to avoid outages might still result in some kind of failover. You must have a team to formulate a contingency plan for when the failover occurs. The sooner and vigilantly the team can manage to bounce back with minimum business impact, the better.
A disaster recovery plan will help with business continuity. Testing your cloud and its vulnerabilities will make the recovery plan more outage-proof. Add security patches. Based on the workloads identified and their impact on business during cloud failovers, sculpt out a plan keeping in consideration the performance metrics and prioritize the components that need immediate remediation.
Pick the right cloud partner
Operating your business on the cloud is a big commitment to make while selecting a cloud provider. Ensure the cloud provider understands your line of business and provides prompt support when required, especially in cases of a cloud outage.
Every cloud has a definitive downtime cycle during scheduled maintenance. The Service Level Agreements (SLA) of the cloud services define their uptime commitment. Assess the SLA to delineate your cloud requirements. The right cloud governance partner will help explore variable cloud and cloud vendor options and the type of service that will be the best fit for your enterprise.
If you found this article valuable, you can stay tuned for our next article to be published shortly – “What is the importance of cloud security in multi-cloud?”
Why partner with CoreStack
At CoreStack, we have spent years pioneering the cloud governance models for global customers across multiple industries. Our solutions provide transformative value to enterprises and help them boost cost optimization, security, and operational efficiencies through NextGen cloud governance offerings — FinOps, SecOps, and CloudOps.
Cloud security, resilience, cost optimization become more seamless with cloud governance in motion. Our well-developed cloud governance solutions put your business goals first and define how to concoct the right cloud architecture with the right amount of cloud governance and best practices in place.
To explore how CoreStack has advanced its course of cloud governance through serving some industry-leading enterprises, read our definitive guide to enterprise cloud governance.