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Security in the Hybrid Cloud

Security is a primary concern for many organizations making the transition to cloud.  In the blog, “Taking a Hybrid Cloud Approach to Security”, cloud provider Presidio shares how building a hybrid cloud enables you to maximize security while maximizing flexibility at the same time.

Security in this instance can be thought of in terms of risk.  For example, sensitive data and mission-critical applications need a higher level of security than a devops test environment.  The challenge for organizations is to accurately assess their risk and align their security strategy with their business objectives.  Threats can come from outside – and inside – an organization.  The best response to threats goes beyond just the technology underlying your data center and that of your cloud provider.

The truth is, your organization is unique.  This means your security strategy is going to be unique as well.  The foundation of a solid, comprehensive strategy is, of course, an enterprise-class architecture with end-to-end security.  To be complete, however, security policies must be in place which meet the specific security needs of your organization and regulations of your industry.

The architecture must also be supported by procedures that enable the members of your organization to easily comply with these security policies.  These procedures must be effective while at the same time not getting in way of the workflows or corporate culture already in place.

Developing – and successfully implementing – such a security strategy can be extremely complex.  For organizations new to cloud, especially hybrid clouds, understanding the nuances of comprehensive security may be outside their expertise.  This is why an experienced cloud provider is crucial to any secure hybrid cloud deployment.  One size does not fit all, nor are all clouds created equal.  The right cloud provider can be a powerful partner in maximizing your ability to benefit from a hybrid cloud.

How can you find the right partner?  Ask how much they can do for you.  Not just what they offer every customer.  What can they bring to the table in terms of experience with your industry?  Can they help assess your requirements and risks?  Do they offer security beyond the commodity-based cloud offerings so common in the market?

A hybrid approach to cloud has much to offer organizations of all sizes.  And when deployed with the right partners, you can have confidence in the security of your data and applications.

Learn more about how Hybrid Cloud and Cisco Powered cloud and managed services can transform your business.

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Evolving Your Organization with Software Defined Networking

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is an exciting evolution in IT.  Today, connections throughout a network are made by directly connecting to routers to control them.  This is a process that can be time-consuming and prone to error, depending upon the size of the network being managed.  Furthermore, the effort involved in making changes across large networks can slow the pace of innovation within an organization.

SDN moves control to the application layer.  This provides numerous benefits to IT:

  • Unified point of automation and management
  • Consistent deployment of policies throughout the network
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Rapid deployment of new features like security and QoS
  • Simplified network management overall

Many people think SDN is the future of data center networking.  Cloud provider OneNeck, for example, is investing in developing the expertise to lead the market in transitioning its customers to SDN.  In their blog, Leading the Market with Software Defined Networking (SDN), OneNeck describes how they are working with Cisco to bring SDN to market.

OneNeck’s SDN lab, for example, is a great example of how our partners add value to Cisco technology.  SDN introduces a whole new management framework for networking.  By working with real-world SDN applications in their lab, OneNeck is developing the skill sets and expertise required to enables its customers to evolve with confidence.

Learn more about Cisco’s SDN solutions, including the Cisco Nexus 9000 series switches, Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Cisco Intercloud Fabric.

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Using the Cloud Strategically

A recent blog from Sungard AS, Stretch Your IT Dollar with Cloud Computing Services, offers more than just ideas on how cloud can extend your IT budget.  It also covers ways organizations of all sizes can use cloud services strategically to meet their goals, as well as provides a link to materials useful for companies considering the move to cloud.

A key part of Cisco’s cloud strategy is to enable service providers like Sungard AS to offer a wide range of cloud-based services. These cloud services aren’t simply cloud-based copies of data center applications.  Because they are based in the cloud, they can provide even greater flexibility and value.  This gives businesses fast access to new technology without the delay or expense of capital expenditures.  Put another way, this gives businesses a powerful competitive edge.

For example, organizations can deploy disaster recovery in the cloud.  The use of shared, multi-tenant architectures enables businesses to minimize the cost and complexity of a disaster recovery solution.  This provides greater flexibility, giving businesses more options that can be tailored to meet their specific needs and budget.

Cisco’s portfolio of cloud services is extensive.  It includes:

Collaboration services like TelePresence as a Service (TPaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

Infrastructure services like Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), and Bring Your Own Device as a Service (BYODaaS)

Software services like Application Experience as a Service (AXaaS)

Security services like Hosted Security as a Service (HSS)

And the list only continues to grow.

An important part of this portfolio is that providers can offer these services as Cisco Powered services.  Every service is built upon validated architectures.  As such, they provide enterprise-class performance and reliability as a minimum standard.

The top percentage of Cisco partners, however, take these services to the highest level.  By passing a third-party audit, cloud providers like Sungard AS have verified that they can deliver the service, security, and support they promise.  They also earn the right to use the Cisco Powered logo.

For you as a cloud user, the Cisco Powered logo means a service has passed Cisco’s stringent standards.  As a result, the service provides fast time to market with ensured performance.  You also benefit from ongoing innovation by your service provider and Cisco as they continue to innovate and improve services.

Using the cloud strategically is crucial for survival in today’s competitive world.  However, not all cloud services are created equal.  Commodity-based services built on best-effort networks can’t give you the confidence you need to move your mission-critical applications to the cloud.  To execute a great cloud strategy, you need cloud services you can trust.

Learn more about how Cisco Powered can transform your business.

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The New IT: How Cloud Changes Everything

The move to cloud can be daunting.  In their blog, Overcoming the Organizational Challenges of Moving to Cloud, Presidio describes one of the barriers organizations face when transitioning to cloud.  Building a hybrid cloud – one based on private on-premises resources extended through the public cloud network – requires many shifts in thinking for IT.

In short, IT is becoming the cloud services broker within their own company.  This means IT is less about building out infrastructure than it is brokering cloud-based services and applications. To achieve this, IT needs to be able to provide services tailored to their user base.  In turn, IT needs to be able to access flexible services designed to meet their specific requirements.

Another important shift in thinking for IT is to realize that the cloud is a doorway to more than just virtual servers.  It is a portal to new applications and new ways of doing business so you can act upon emerging opportunities quickly.  It is an assurance that you can have the performance you need to follow through on these opportunities.  And it is a direct connection to ongoing innovation, enabling your organization to seamlessly access leading technology without extensive capital investment.

Cloud providers like Presidio understand this dual role of cloud, to help manage costs today while enabling unrestricted expansion into the future.  And, with their Cisco Powered services, Presidio offers a cloud that is also built for reliability, security, and scalability.

Learn more about how Presidio’s Hybrid Cloud and Cisco Powered cloud and managed services can transform your business.

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Disaster Recovery Oversights

It can be challenging and expensive to design an efficient network and data center that minimizes downtime.  Yet, even if you’ve put together a bulletproof solution, there’s always the possibility of disaster to consider.

Developing a robust disaster recovery plan involves much more than just installing redundant resources.  There are so many factors to consider, and so many that are easily overlooked.  For example, a comprehensive disaster recovery plan includes not only redundant electrical systems; it ensures electricity sources are redundant as well.

Disaster recovery is an example of an application that is well-suited for the cloud.  Certainly you can take on the challenge – and expense – of putting together a complex, in-house solution.  Alternatively, you can leverage the expertise and up-to-date solutions available from cloud providers.  Cloud-based disaster recovery services can also be put in place must faster and at substantially lower cost.

Partnering with a cloud provider can greatly simplify implementing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. Not every cloud provider offers enterprise-class service.  Nor do they all guarantee their promises with written service level agreements. Choosing the wrong service or the wrong provider can put the reliability of your recovery strategy at risk.

In Shopping List for Cloud Recovery Services, cloud provider Sungard AS reviews key factors to consider when evaluating disaster recovery cloud services.   They offer many service levels, such as the speed with which different infrastructure and applications are restored.  Properly balancing your plan with your business requirements leads to the best price.  The right provider can also help you understand your vulnerabilities and different approaches to address them.

Cloud-based disaster recovery services provide a cost-effective approach to enable you to ensure the safety of your organization’s data and continuity of operations.  Learn more about how industry leaders like Cisco, Sungard AS, and Allstream are working together to manage risk in the cloud.

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