I recently read an article- Cloud on the Horizon written by Marshelle Haseley on January 7th, 2021 in the Business Newsday. It was the perspective of Mr. Hector Martinez, the Development Manager at APC North America, who touched on some key points in this article by making the critical distinction between Private and Public Cloud Infrastructure. To me, this was important because many people when they hear Cloud, automatically think of an Internet-based service. It’s key to also understand that the term Cloud was taken from the term Cloud Computing and this computing can be delivered using Internet Infrastructure (Public Cloud) or it can be delivered privately within your organization (Private Cloud). Having this clarity, not only sets the context for the article but also addresses this misconception early.
Martinez spoke about a trend where many companies are moving towards the use of Cloud and he cited the reason for this as “businesses wanting to focus on their core business”. I believe that this transition will continue, and it is my view that this is further fueled by the recent Pandemic and the need for rapid Digital Transformation. I also believe that Cloud solution offerings and the adaptation to the “OPEX” model for paying for this infrastructure will make this technology much more affordable for organizations that traditionally may have never been able to implement such solutions.
For me, there were three (3) points that resonated with me from this article. They were as follows:
1. Change in How Networks Operate
Martinez identified that he noticed a change in how networks are operating, and there has been an increase in demand for greater bandwidth. I can concur that there has been an increase in demand for Internet bandwidth. This will continue with the proliferation of Cloud and Cloud-based applications. This is also fueled by the increase in the remote work/ distributed workforce use case. I believe that that this mode of operation will continue, and this too will force a huge transformation of the technology used by the Service Providers. I expect them to get better at providing more advanced and cost-effective solutions, especially for the home. The home has rapidly transitioned to the mobile enterprise, and the service offerings need to transition as well.
2. Data Protection & The Proactive Approach
Martinez raised a key point about Data Protection and the use of proactive approaches to protecting customer data. Adopting a Proactive Approach is music to my ears. I too believe that the increased push to Cloud; especially Public Cloud technologies create a huge security concern. You eventually transfer the responsibility for securing your data to a third party. This introduces concerns of trust and vulnerability at the same time. In these cases, you need to trust that the provider is taking the necessary steps to secure your data, and this is a very vulnerable position to be placed in, especially when the data is extremely sensitive. I believe, however, that these fears can be managed by the solution provider adopting a proactive approach and making those efforts very visible to their customers. This approach will not only instill confidence but reduce the fears and anxiety associated with relying on third parties to secure your data.
At BLU Networks, our core business is the design, delivery, and management of communications networks. From an infrastructure perspective, I also believe that the security concerns of Cloud need to be met with a solid understanding of proper network design and implementation approaches. One must properly understand the requirements and consider the appropriate technologies to address the use case. Our experience has demonstrated that a firm understanding and the proper application of basic design concepts and approaches places you in a better position to identify and mitigate network and security related threats. The list below is just a few of the concepts available:
- Network Segmentation
- End to End Encryption
- Least Privilege / Zero Trust Concept
- VPN Technologies
- Network Resiliency Technologies (SD-WAN)
3. Increased Energy Consumption
Martinez raised a concern about the impact of energy consumption used by the increasing number of data centers. I believe that this is a concern that may not be looked at seriously presently, but I expect this to change soon as we develop more and more data centers across the region and as cloud adaptation increases. I also believe there has always been technology to address high power consumption and reduce our carbon footprint. These technologies may increase in usage/demand in the next few years.
Overall, I was pleased with the article and it further demonstrates the thinking of the leadership in some of the key technology organizations both regionally and globally. It’s no longer a question of should we adapt or change, should we move to the cloud or not. It’s more a question of when we should and what services should we move to.
Thank you, Mr. Martinez, for sharing your thoughts on this immensely popular and relevant subject!
Let’s further this discussion about transitioning to the cloud and the Infrastructure Solutions available by contacting us. We also have some other articles on cloud-based technologies below that may be of assistance as you transition.