Webinar Recap: Hot Topics in Cloud Computing – Microsoft Azure

Hot Topics in Cloud Computing

Hot Topics in Cloud Computing

SADA recently hosted a webinar, Hot Topics in Cloud Computing. The session featured popular topics and key considerations for organizations looking to get  the most out of a move to Microsoft’s secure, scalable, and flexible cloud —Azure.

During the webinar, Stephen Clark, Sr. Solutions Architect at SADA Systems and Juan Cruz, Partner Technical Strategist at Microsoft covered trending cloud topics including cloud consumption, security and identity, and lift and shift.

Here’s a summary of three hot topics that were covered in the session.

1) Getting Started with Consumption Driven Hybrid Cloud

In the next 15 months, 80% of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud solutions,¹ which leaves companies to grapple with how to move legacy components. Cloud First is quickly becoming a global organizational priority, but most organizations aren’t able to simply move all their applications to the cloud at the same time.

Hybrid cloud adoption has grown 3X in the last year, increasing adoption from 19% to 57% of organizations surveyed.² This study also showed that the number of cloud services organizations are using has dropped from 43 in 2015 to 29 in 2016. The consolidation of cloud services combined with the rapid growth of hybrid cloud is a leading indicator of greater cloud platform maturity for enterprises.

One of the main benefits of a consumption driven model is you pay for what you need. Learn best practices and how to get started with a consumption driven model on Microsoft Azure.


Four Steps to Enablement

There’s a four step process that allows organizations to securely deliver a cloud-based platform in a hybrid cloud scenario.

  1. Identity: Know who employees are, which applications they need access to, and where they will be accessing them from. Mechanisms are also in place to grant third parties access to your Azure tenancy and application without creating domain level accounts.
  2. Optimize Connectivity: World-class connectivity for not only VPN based customers, but also support for Azure ExpressRoute – a private connection for your infrastructure to Azure data centers. If you wish to run applications such as Word, Dynamics, or Power BI in the cloud, but have the security and reliability of on-premise from a connectivity standpoint, ExpressRoute will give you that capability.
  3. Empowerment Through Services Delivery: Automation is extremely important for day-to-day IT operations. Microsoft Azure automates tools like Jenkins, Puppet, and PowerShell – tools typically in the Linux environment. Developers can take advantage of open source technology to deliver services quickly and efficiently.
  4. Adoption of Cloud-First Culture: Microsoft understands that organizations have legacy applications and needs that need to remain on-premises, so we figure out whether to lift-and-shift to Azure, or look at a software as a service (SaaS) model. Hybrid cloud gives teams the time to move to a cloud-first culture.

Right now, 86% of Fortune 500 companies use the Microsoft Cloud. Azure has over 7 million Azure active directories and over 550 million user accounts. Dun and Bradstreet CTO Pat McDevitt recently spoke of Azure’s ability to manage data securely and in a way that was easy to scale to mobile applications.³ Microsoft Azure is focused on providing identity, on-premises, and also cloud-based and hybrid solutions as well

2) Cloud Consumption Driven Approach for Lift-and-Shift

One of the greatest advantages of a lift-and-shift approach is speed. Enterprises used to devise cloud-migration strategies extending two or more years into the future, but today, migration plans span no more than 18 months, and often as few as 11 months.

As a use case, the lift-and-shift model is a good option for enterprises that are “bleeding costs” to maintain their own physical infrastructure. Enterprises have to evaluate how much it costs to maintain a data center versus migrating to the cloud.

Three Phases of Lift-and-Shift On-Premises Infrastructure to Microsoft Azure|

  1. Explore: Suite of tools to assess current workloads, OS makeups, and hardware. Figure out from discovery and scoping perspective, what do I need to know before moving to the cloud?
  2. Assess: SADA Systems, working with Microsoft, can assist your entire spectrum of VMs, and determine if there are any network problems in your infrastructure. With assessment, you’re provided with a digital dashboard of an analysis around entire storage and compute workload and a Azure pricing plan based on your needs.
  3. Get Started: Connect Microsoft Azure to on-premises corporate networks, and you have two separate options to choose from to configure Microsoft Azure. 

3) Azure Security and Identity

There are three common issues when it comes to security and identity:

  1. Siloed Infrastructure and Operations
  2. Slow, Reactive Remediation of Issues
  3. Complex View of Environment and Consumption

For many organizations, the legacy environment is one of the most challenging issues, and legacy migration to the cloud can compromise security without proper planning and foresight. An ideal scenario uses a formalized process, such as
Microsoft Threat Modeling Tool, which is an appropriate application to evaluate the legacy application, its risks, and what controls are required to make sure the security model is appropriate. Microsoft’s identity-driven security environment and accredited expertise makes moving legacy environments to the cloud a much less challenging issue for organizations.

Gravitating to an Identity-Driven Environment
Organizations can gravitate to an identity-driven solution, enterprise desktop environment, server proliferation,  and workload virtualization. More importantly, as you begin to gravitate to hybrid cloud, the Azure security centre and cloud-identity model allow you to centrally identify and provide a repository for those identities.

Getting Started with OMS Cloud Operations: Planning for Repeatable Patterns of Success
Azure’s focus is to automate tasks such as QA, staging, and developing common on-premise concepts, and provision resources to keep dev teams efficient, standardize code, and ensure security.

Azure OMS (Operations Management Suite)
Web-based alert management, efficient server discovery and agent deployment, centralized log repository, VM capacity planning and management, integrated recovery for VM workloads, cloud backup and long-term retention.

Microsoft Azure has a multitude of benefits, and brings real value to organizations by offering hybrid solutions, ensure identity-driven security, simplified delivery, and consumption driven ROI. Interested in learning more about making the move to the cloud or optimizing your current cloud environment? View the complete webcast or reach out to one of our cloud solutions experts today.                                                                                                                                                                                                   

[View the Complete Webcast Here]

How confident are you in your cloud security strategy?

Flavors of Cloud Computing

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