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Insights for maintaining control in hybrid and multicloud environments

Recently, our team hosted a webinar in partnership with NetApp, titled, The evolved cloud: Unlocking the potential of hybrid multicloud without sacrificing control​. This article touches on the key topics covered and the industry trends and innovations shaping the future of hybrid multicloud.

04 / 30 / 2024
4 minute read
Maintaining control in cloud

Unlock the potential of hybrid multicloud without giving up control

In the swiftly progressing digital age, businesses are finding themselves at the intersection of opportunity and challenge as they explore the potential of hybrid multicloud environments. The promise of scalability and flexibility offered by cloud computing, coupled with the secure control of on-premises infrastructure, presents an appealing prospect. Nevertheless, this terrain is complex to navigate, with data security, compliance, integration, and interoperability as key challenges to overcome.

Embracing automation is no longer a mere luxury in this digital era but a critical necessity. It ensures tasks are executed accurately while simultaneously safeguarding against unauthorized modifications. Ansible takes center stage as a potent tool in this context with its idempotent nature. This means that rerunning the playbook will revert any unauthorized changes back to the desired state.

Furthermore, Ansible playbooks are founded on REST API, ensuring full compatibility with NetApp’s OnTap. This allows you to script your automation workflows in any preferred language, extending an unparalleled degree of flexibility. Strategically navigating the hybrid multicloud environment is key to effectively managing data security, transfer, and costs.

Addressing data security, integration, transfer, and cost challenges in hybrid multicloud environments

Data security and compliance pose significant challenges in a hybrid multicloud environment. As data is dispersed across various platforms and locations, businesses are tasked with enforcing stringent security measures to safeguard sensitive information. This involves the establishment of robust access controls, routine audits of data usage and access, and the utilization of tools such as Cloud Data Sense for governance and compliance. Through data classification and policy setting, businesses can automate security protocols, thereby minimizing the risk of human error.

Another hurdle is the complexity of system and platform integration and interoperability. With data and applications distributed across on-premises infrastructure and multiple cloud platforms, it is crucial for these disparate systems to communicate effectively and operate together. This necessitates a unified storage operating system across the entire data plane, enabling businesses to use existing skills and tools for cloud data management.

Data transfer is yet another potential obstacle in a hybrid multicloud environment. Transferring large data volumes between on-premises infrastructure and the cloud can be time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, businesses must meticulously plan and manage data transfers to minimize disruption and maintain data integrity.

Lastly, cost optimization is a vital factor to consider in a hybrid multicloud environment. Although the cloud can offer cost savings in certain scenarios, it may not always be the most economical solution. Businesses must thoroughly analyze the costs associated with cloud services, including storage, compute, and network costs, and weigh them against the benefits to determine the most cost-effective strategy.

Exploring the Blue XP role in automation and the safe usage of AI

In the realm of automation, Blue XP emerges as a pivotal tool that serves as a unified data management plane. It empowers businesses to migrate workloads and deploy and configure storage across diverse platforms, be it on-premises, in a public cloud, or at a Flexential data center. Additionally, Blue XP offers data governance and anti-ransomware features. With its full REST API support, businesses can opt for automation over the web GUI, offering a single hub for managing all data state aspects.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another burgeoning field, but it necessitates a cautious approach. Exposing intellectual property to platforms like ChatGPT may inadvertently lead to its inclusion in ChatGPT's dataset and potential exposure in the public cloud. Hence, establishing robust guardrails and employing data classification is essential to ensure safe AI usage.

The recent launch of the C series marks another significant stride. While flash has traditionally been viewed as costly and excessive for numerous workloads, the C series brings the cost down to the level of spinning disks, making it more affordable. Additionally, it aligns with sustainability objectives, requiring less power, heat, and cooling compared to conventional spinning disk FAS arrays.

Harnessing the advantages of a hybrid multicloud environment does come with its share of challenges, which include data security, integration, data transfer, and cost optimization. However, with meticulous planning and effective management, businesses can conquer these hurdles and fully exploit the potential this environment has to offer.

The shift towards the cloud is not optional but a necessity in today's digital landscape. The key is to have a solid strategy for deciding which workload to move and when. Utilizing tools such as Ansible, NetApp Blue XP, and AI can streamline this process, provided they are used purposefully and in line with the business value that automation offers. With strategic use of the right tools, businesses can maintain control, boost flexibility, and leverage the efficiencies provided by the cloud to their advantage.

Watch the webinar on-demand to learn more!

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