Hybrid cloud and the future-proofing of IT environments


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Interxion’s Jelle Frank van der Zwet explains how hybrid cloud is allowing businesses to create a future-proofed IT environment fit for tomorrow.

As businesses rely more heavily on cloud, traditional on-premises data centres are becoming a dying breed. Gartner predicts that, by 2025, 80pc of companies will have closed their traditional on-site data centres, moving instead to cloud or colocation models.

But nobody knows exactly what services will be demanded in the future. How do you then make sure your IT infrastructure and your customer’s are up to the job? Will you need cloud, colocation or a mix?

‘More companies are now using cloud services and hybrid infrastructure to take advantage of more flexible and scalable solutions, but with these advantages new connectivity and security aspects arise’

What we can be confident about is that we are in a period of rapid change. Today’s service providers and system integrators will need to adapt to new demands on their customers’ IT environments, including the growing communication between different systems, platforms and users.

Additionally, with data regulation becoming ever more stringent, everything needs to be fast and safe. You will need to have full control of where data is housed to meet the high expectations of security and performance that regulators set and customers expect.

New security concerns

More companies are now using cloud services and hybrid infrastructure to take advantage of more flexible and scalable solutions, but with these advantages new connectivity and security aspects arise. This is particularly relevant for government agencies and other public entities handling sensitive data.

For these types of customer, data storage is often a crucial factor in choosing their IT infrastructure. They will demand a comprehensive security strategy and the use of qualified partners at all stages of cloud migration – for systems, applications and data.

Cloud providers such as Microsoft, AWS and Oracle, as well as Google and IBM, offer good security with firewalls and real-time monitoring against intrusion and threats in the public cloud. But for those entities with strict legal requirements for local data storing and processing, this is not enough.

Providers have responded to this with locally housed private cloud-based services, where applications are run and stored locally, in-country, alongside any data produced. Microsoft’s Azure Stack, for example, is a private Azure cloud release for IaaS (infrastructure as a service) or SaaS (software as a service), where all data processed is stored and checked locally. This means that organisations can benefit from modern cloud services while still being able to guarantee the handling of all their data in-country.

In response to this demand, colocating in neutral data centres has emerged as the alternative for the enterprise data centre. These neutral and local data centres provide private direct connections to all major cloud providers, built to ensure a fast and secure connection. This stops data transfer taking place, in contrast to standard internet lines that cannot guarantee the same performance or security.

Flexible hybrid environment

Of course, some organisations may not need local data management for all their data and applications. Some of their operations can often be placed in the public cloud.

For organisations using a colocation data centre, IT administration can often be managed using a dedicated interface, where the administrator can easily connect a private connection to one or more cloud providers and manage their wide area networks (WANs) in one place. The hybrids can be optimised in line with load and need, without compromising on safety or performance.

By offering a more flexible environment, hybrid cloud solutions allow organisations to scale, streamline and implement new features more easily. They can improve the management of their resources, offering better control and now even organisations subject to strict data-processing rules can benefit from this, using secure data handling from colocation centres and models.

It’s clear that hybrid cloud – and, with it, colocation and enhanced cloud data security – is allowing businesses to not just thrive today, but also create a future-proofed environment for tomorrow.

By Jelle Frank van der Zwet

Jelle Frank van der Zwet is director of business development and marketing for Interxion’s cloud segment. He has more than 12 years of experience in product and business development within IT.

For more information on future-proofing your business, check out Interxion’s IT service provider transformation guide.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Interxion blog.