Following a year marked by unprecedented challenges, businesses seek more accessible ways to manage incredibly challenging infrastructure models. This year, business and IT leaders can anticipate multiple cases of more innovative infrastructure management solutions being made available to them.

To a degree, 2021 will feel like a rerun of 2020 as companies resume operations, albeit under varying situations. Thus, many of last year's key focus areas – IoT, VR/AR, software-defined networking, software-defined data center, and, of course, AI – will be relaunched.

The most significant data center trend is the development of innovative technologies to support hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure. As cloud computing advanced, many users discovered no such thing as a one-size-fits-all quick fix. Consequently, the pandemic has expedited the transition to hybrid multi-cloud computing, which was already underway.

The number of cutting-edge technology projects will start to plummet throughout the year. Although most of the significant expenditures associated with COVID-19 adaptation occurred in Q2 and Q3, there is a need to rationalize spending and consider long-term operational effects. Economic and fiscal uncertainty will constrain ambition for more experimental projects with a lower probability of return on investment.

What does the future look like for cloud computing?

Thus, if we can comfortably assert that hybrid strategies prevailed, we can now forecast that the cloud component will not be monolithic—rather, it will be multi-cloud. This results in the emergence of new operational and infrastructure management challenges.

Utilizing multiple clouds has evolved beyond probability and is being implemented on a deliberate basis for various reasons, including data residency requirements, resilience, and disaster recovery. Businesses adopted multi-cloud for resilience reasons, and many companies "accidentally" adopted multi-cloud when integrating ad hoc applications for an unexpectedly remote workforce. The pandemic has intensified the transition to remote work, and many workers will remain at home in 2021 and beyond.

Further, companies will work to create a more deliberate technology landscape around them in the future. Additionally, there will be a shift in focus away from day-to-day concerns, creating a need for ample cloud architecture. For instance, corporate travel and field service work will continue to be restricted, necessitating augmented and virtual reality solutions.

Hybrids are gaining popularity

The reality is that the increased emphasis on cloud computing has delayed device refresh cycles. While hybrid infrastructure solutions are on the rise, this trend has thus far been defined by a diminished focus on on-premises.

Gartner predicts that more than half of corporate data will be generated and handled outside the data center or cloud by 2022, up from less than 10% in 2019. This (together with the increased amount of data generated by IoT.) adds another layer of complexity when businesses are keen to extract more value from their data. Accordingly, digital transformation has centered on software (including SaaS).

The issue is that increased infrastructure complexity exacerbates organizational complexity. This risks tilting the budget balance in favor of "keeping the lights on" operations over strategic initiatives—nonetheless, at a time when companies are attempting to refocus attention on innovation projects postponed by COVID-19.

Thus, in 2021, we will see a more balanced focus on on-premises and hardware (including network) to better align with cloud and software, as well as attempts to tame this complex infrastructure via new tools, more visibility, and a growing dependence on services in many areas.

Additionally, solutions and services for effective, adaptable, and agile integration, management, monitoring, and support of such complex settings are emerging—to serve the company now and encourage innovation in the future.

As we enter the new year, exponential growth in time, effort, and expense, we will need a more intelligent and adaptable approach to cloud computing. As the complexity of digital infrastructure grows and the need for agility increases, there will be a growing need for various choices to stay up. As a consequence, multi-cloud setups will force providers to rethink their delivery strategies.

Why are an increasing number of organizations migrating to the cloud?

One of the most crucial drivers of cloud migration and data modernization, entails transferring data from legacy to contemporary databases. Fifty-five percent of IT leaders and executives polled strongly believe that data modernization is a critical component of, or a cause for, their organizations' cloud migration.

Today's executives need fast and focused analytics on current data; many depend on a continuous flow of insights generated via data mining, exploration, and prediction. Moreover, given that the majority of that data is now stored in the cloud, 91 percent of respondents said that their organizations store data mainly in the cloud—unsurprisingly it's that executives see the cloud as critical to successfully upgrading their organizations' data platforms.

Cost and performance of IT operations have been significant drivers of cloud adoption for an extended time. However, as the cloud's other commercial advantages have become apparent, the cost has become less of a concern.

To illustrate, it may facilitate operational agility and efficiency. Moreover, cloud computing may offer various solutions and choices from established technology suppliers, assisting businesses in their digital transformation initiatives.

IT leaders have faced a variety of roadblocks on their journey to the cloud, it can be complicated To address this issue, technology providers of cloud and managed services should collaborate closely with organizations and assist them in three critical areas throughout their cloud migration journey:

  • Choosing the appropriate method by establishing a clear understanding of the intended business goal or result
  • Utilizing proper skills and experience to solve a company's primary business concerns
  • Using suitable toolkits that are user-friendly, secure, and long-term sustainable

Improve agility

To some extent, every server hosting is scalable. It has the potential to expand to accommodate expanding companies. In vertical scaling, more powerful servers take the place of less powerful predecessors. Horizontal scaling increases the number of servers and distributes the load among them. However, horizontal and vertical scaling of physical servers is sluggish and costly compared to a fully flexible cloud platform.

A significant feature of cloud computing is the ability to scale up and down rapidly. Servers may be spun up in a matter of minutes and discarded just as fast. Elasticity mitigates the risk and expense associated with scalability. A company is not required to scale up to accommodate traffic surges only to be left with idle resources that waste space, electricity, and staff time while contributing nothing to the bottom line.

Disaster recovery

What happens when servers that run mission-critical software fail or are destroyed by a natural disaster? Without business continuity and disaster recovery plans, activities come to a screeching stop. The answer is the redundant infrastructure that is ready to take over in the event of a disaster.

With physical servers, this entails purchasing gear that you hope will never be used. A catastrophe recovery strategy may double or even triple infrastructure expenditure.

SSI enhances this in several ways. First, we address redundancy at the physical layer, with redundant computing and storage nodes that automatically take over in the event of a hardware failure.

Second, redundancy does not always imply idle infrastructure waiting for a call to action in the cloud. Cloud servers may be installed as required, and disaster-stricken systems can be duplicated in seconds from backups. Our managed IT services cloud solution aims for a recovery time in a matter of seconds.

Managed security services that protects your data

When a company owns its servers, it is responsible for the server's security, the operating system's security, any virtualization or container software installed on the server, and the applications hosted on the server. The vendor is responsible for physical security, the host operating system, and the hypervisor in the cloud.

At SSI, we offer a shared security approach. They are responsible for the stack's bottom levels, including the physical layer. The user is accountable for the top layers, which include the guest operating system and user-supplied applications.

Physical protection

The servers of reputable cloud providers are housed in secure data centers. They are constructed in such a way that the danger of fire and natural catastrophes are minimized. Computers are physically separated from plumbing.

Access to the building is restricted to authorized personnel; even consumers are seldom admitted. Every visitor is recorded, and monitoring devices keep an eye out for intruders. The typical cloud computing data center is an unassuming brick or concrete structure with few windows.

In contrast, an on-premises data center is often located in a bustling office building. Numerous guests arrive and go. Even in a well-maintained facility, this level of activity increases the danger of equipment damage. Corporate spies can get access to the building and even to the server rooms.

Network monitoring

A competent cloud data center is just as concerned with network security as it is with physical security. All data activity is monitored by protective software. If something suspicious occurs, people are always on duty to take swift action.

Firewalls of the next generation analyze incoming data and filter out packets that should not be there. They do not just block undesirable protocols and data sources; they also analyze data and prevent application-specific assaults.

All activity is recorded in system logs so that data center analysts may examine attempted assaults and determine if further action is required.

A single source of truth

A cloud service is a single place from the system administrator's perspective. It may be distributed over several machines, but the management is not concerned. On-premises systems are usually distributed over many devices, each of which must be maintained separately. Increased complexity increases the likelihood of a security flaw.

A single administration interface enables the administrator to create or remove users and manage access with fine-grained control. Users are granted access to just the systems they need, reducing the harm caused by a hacked account. When a service is no longer required, it may be eradicated.

Software updates

Maintaining the security of a network service needs timely software upgrades. When serious vulnerabilities are found in system software or apps, the publisher immediately releases a fix. Once it happens, thieves are aware of the vulnerabilities and begin targeting unpatched systems.

Additionally, security software must be maintained current. New types of malware emerge every day, and it's a never-ending task to support software that protects against them.

A typical company has many challenges, and keeping software current may be challenging when there are many other concerns. If anything unexpected occurs during an update on a local computer, service may be disrupted. With a cloud center, the software is its primary focus, and as such, it will devote all of its resources to keeping it operating and updated.

Unified management of endpoints

Networks have become more complex. Businesses make smart devices, point-of-sale terminals, and IoT (Internet of Things) devices available in addition to conventional workstations. Individuals telecommute from remote locations.

Each endpoint is a possible point of entry for attackers. To mitigate risk, cloud services provide Unified Endpoint Management. The UEM service authenticates authorized devices and denies access to unauthorized devices. It is capable of remotely wiping out lost or stolen devices. Its setup allows for the restriction of a service to a set of defined, authorized endpoints.

While smartphones are an excellent way to remain connected, a BYOD policy that is not managed correctly may be dangerous. UEM can ensure that the cloud service is accessed only by devices that meet its security criteria.

SSI provides cloud computing services with state-of-the-art and managed cyber security. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to drop us a line today!