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Navigating The Cloud: Hybrid Cloud Security Challenges Businesses Need to Know

In today’s dynamic business landscape, the adoption of hybrid cloud solutions is becoming increasingly prevalent. However, as businesses leverage the advantages of hybrid cloud architectures, it is imperative to address the security challenges inherent in this model.

This blog post delves into the complexities of hybrid cloud security and explores how businesses can navigate these challenges.

Understanding Hybrid Cloud Security

  • Overview of Hybrid Cloud Architecture

A hybrid cloud combines on-premises infrastructure with cloud services, offering flexibility and scalability. Understanding the nuances of this architecture is crucial for effective security management.

  • Shared Responsibility Model

Navigating the shared responsibility model in hybrid cloud security is essential. Knowing the responsibilities of both the cloud service provider and the business is fundamental for robust security implementation.

  • Key Stakeholders in Hybrid Cloud Security

Identifying and involving key stakeholders, including a Cloud Base Security Company in San Diego, ensures a collaborative approach to securing hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Common Hybrid Cloud Security Challenges

Data Protection and Encryption

Ensuring data security through encryption is a primary concern. Implementing robust encryption protocols protects sensitive information both in transit and at rest.

  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Challenges in managing user access across diverse environments necessitate a comprehensive IAM strategy. Cloud Security Solutions in Orange County play a vital role in achieving effective identity and access management.

  • Compliance and Regulatory Concerns

Meeting compliance requirements in hybrid environments is challenging. Businesses must navigate complex regulatory landscapes, and solutions from a cloud-based security Company can provide tailored compliance assistance.

  • Integration and Interoperability

Integrating security tools across varied infrastructures requires careful planning. Seamless interoperability ensures consistent security measures throughout the hybrid cloud.

Mitigating Hybrid Cloud Security Challenges

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Enhancing identity verification through MFA is a powerful defense mechanism. Integrating MFA, perhaps with the support of a Cloud Base Security Company, should be a standard practice.

  • Continuous Monitoring and Auditing

Real-time monitoring and regular auditing are essential for detecting and addressing security vulnerabilities promptly.

  • Security Automation

Leveraging automation for proactive defense enhances response times to security incidents. Integrating automated security protocols streamlines threat detection and mitigation.

  • Employee Training and Awareness

Employees play a crucial role in maintaining a secure hybrid cloud environment. Regular training programs enhance security awareness, contributing to a culture of vigilance.

To Wrap Up:

Hybrid cloud security challenges are multifaceted but can be effectively addressed with proactive measures. By leveraging the expertise of a Cloud Base Security Company and embracing cutting-edge solutions like Verkada Access Control, businesses can secure their hybrid cloud environments for sustained success.

Assess your hybrid cloud security posture with the support of experts. For tailored solutions, contact Terapixels Systems. Safeguard your business with Verkada Access Control and stay ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of hybrid cloud security.

7 Benefits and Best Practices of Bringing a Hybrid Cloud Strategy to Life within Your Organization


The business landscape has undergone significant transformation since the 1990s and 2000s, particularly in the technology domain. Earlier, businesses heavily relied on on-site systems and infrastructure for data management and storage. This often-required substantial investment in costly hardware, software, and an IT workforce to maintain their systems.

Conversely, adopting a hybrid cloud approach permits businesses to lean on cloud services, reducing their dependence on on-site infrastructure. This results in considerable cost savings since the hefty investments in hardware and software become unnecessary. Plus, cloud services offer the flexibility for businesses to scale their operations up or down based on their unique business needs.

As an IT and electronic security surveillance company, We’ve examined the advantages and best practices of implementing a hybrid cloud strategy into TeraPixels systems offerings. After careful analysis, we are persuaded that adopting a hybrid cloud strategy could offer our clients many benefits.

Here are seven advantages and best practices when integrating a hybrid cloud strategy:

  1. Flexibility and Scalability: By employing a hybrid cloud strategy, we can select the optimal environment for each task, allowing us to scale operations up or down as needed, enhancing our resource optimization and efficiency.
  2. Cost Reduction: We can curtail our overall IT costs by using cloud resources only when necessary. This is especially beneficial for TeraPixels systems due to our extensive data handling and the requirement for remote storage and access.
  3. Enhanced Security: Hybrid cloud environments allow us to maintain sensitive data both on-site and, in the cloud, leveraging the security benefits of the hybrid solution. This secures our data against potential breaches.
  4. Increased Agility: A hybrid cloud strategy enables us to adapt to evolving business needs and market conditions swiftly, a crucial aspect in the dynamic IT and electronic security surveillance industry where new technologies and threats can surface unexpectedly.
  5. Simplified Management: A hybrid cloud strategy streamlines our IT management processes, reducing complexity and enhancing efficiency, and allowing our IT team to concentrate on strategic initiatives.
  6. Improved Disaster Recovery: The hybrid cloud approach enhances our disaster recovery capabilities, ensuring the constant availability of our crucial data and applications in case of a disaster.
  7. Enhanced Customer Experience: Leveraging a hybrid cloud environment allows us to offer our customers quicker, more reliable access to our services and applications, leading to superior customer experience and improved business performance.

To fully reap the benefits of a hybrid cloud strategy, following certain best practices is essential. These include conducting a comprehensive assessment of current IT infrastructure, selecting suitable cloud providers, and devising a detailed migration plan. Security and compliance also warrant attention to ensure that data and applications are always protected.

Integrating a hybrid cloud strategy could enhance flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency while improving security, agility, and customer experience. With careful migration planning and adherence to best practices, we can effectively implement this strategy and set ourselves up for future success.

Call Terapixels Systems on (855)-203-6339 for a complimentary IT security consultation.

Infrastructure as a Service: A Cost-Effective Path to Agile and Competitive IT

The Time to Move to Cloud is Now

Traditional on-premises infrastructure with high upfront costs and weeks long scaling lead times is no longer sufficient to effectively support today’s needs and required responsiveness. IT is increasingly moving to a direct revenue-supporting position within the enterprise. Applications may require scaling from hundreds to tens of thousands of users, or go from one geographic location to multiple locations, in a matter of days.

Not being able to do this has direct revenue impact. Responding to this high velocity of change requires an IT infrastructure layer with comparable flexibility and scalability. Likewise, built-in resilience at the IT infrastructure layer is a necessity to move forward confidently with the digital transformation of the business

Cloud infrastructure or infrastructure as a service (IaaS)is designed to deliver scalable, automated, and utility financial model capabilities. IaaS services are consumed on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no upfront costs, and on-demand scalability. In addition, IaaS services from the major providers are delivered from a globally distributed set of data centers, and designed for immediate availability, resilience, and lower upfront investment. 

From a broader perspective, IaaS and cloud technologies bring to enterprises three key capabilities.

» Low upfront investments. Get started on initiatives at no cost and in turn achieve faster launch and faster time to market for new initiatives. This is important as organizations ramp up their digital assets and experiment with the best ways to leverage technologies—shifting away from a costly capex model to a more beneficial opex one.

» Rapid scaling and resilience. From a capacity and a geographic footprint perspective, cloud technologies allow successful initiatives to be quickly scaled up and replicated across physical locations as needed, allowing solutions to address availability, expansion, and scaling needs at any time without customer disruptions

» Access to a broad ecosystem of higher layer services and partners. This Includes access to faster and more cost effective development tools and databases, advanced analytics capabilities, and technologies like AI/ML. These can jumpstart projects and lead to faster application development and deployments and avoid upfront investment to build these platform capabilities in-house.

Most Common Entry Points and Use Cases for Cloud Infrastructure

With the increase in familiarity and acceptance, cloud IaaS is gaining adoption across nearly all types of enterprise IT use cases and organizations are moving applications to cloud through a variety of the following paths and entry points:

» IT Data Center consolidation and expansion: Legacy technology infrastructure can be rigid and limited in use and management. Often it requires manual input and resource to maintain applications and services and does not scale quickly or easily to suit business needs, without major expenditure and potential down time. Cloud technology offers an increased agility, automation, and intelligent services to all aspects for the datacenter. It enables quick scalability, reducing resource demands and costs, and can improve ROI by expanding services on a global scale

» Business continuity and disaster recovery: Improving IT resiliency and maintaining business continuity are more important than ever for any enterprise. The flexibility and agility of cloud makes it an optimal solution to mitigate risks and maintain business continuity. In fact, the cloud often improves uptime, performance, and availability of applications, data, and workloads from traditional on-premises environments. In the cloud, organizations can recover applications, data, and workloads completely and quickly.

» Application modernization and migration: Another approach is the application modernization and migration path to cloud, where an application is first re-architected to take advantage of the native capabilities available on cloud such as containers, scale-out capability, and other readily available services. The specific path selected is typically determined by the workload itself and the level of technical capability available to move that workload to cloud.

» Virtual machine migration:One commonly seen path to cloud adoption of enterprise applications is the “lift and shift”migration of virtual machines (VMs) into cloud environments. This involves moving the applications on a VM into an identical or near identical VM in an IaaS environment. While this may still require minor configuration changes in the application or deployment scripts, it reduces the rework required on the application before moving it to cloud

» Regulated workloads: With the maturity of cloud services and the expansion of cloud capabilities, cloud infrastructure is also seeing adoption for regulated workloads and highly secure sensitive workloads. These have been enabled by specific capabilities that allow such workloads to run in the cloud such as dedicated bare metal services and built-in security capabilities.

Security Concerns, Skill Sets, and Migration are Top Challenges with Cloud

While cloud IaaS is gaining traction across enterprises, cloud adoption is not without its own challenges. One key challenge reported with cloud adoption continues to be security. Security concerns can be broadly broken into the following three types:

» The ability of the cloud provider to secure its platform sufficiently. The last decade has helped demonstrate to the enterprise IT world that cloud providers’ investments in security often exceed what is possible by enterprises, and that public cloud IaaS offers comparable and often better security than possible on-premises safeguards. 

» The ability of customers to secure their applications running on the cloud platform. This is critical given the shared security model of public cloud. Cloud providers are responsible for security of the infrastructure stack, while the customers need to be responsible for the security of their application that runs on the cloud platform. This often includes use of proprietary tools from the cloud provider, and a good understanding of the platform’s security framework. Protecting applications and data by using the cloud provider’s security framework correctly, continues to be a challenge for enterprises.With increased familiarity and skillset availability, this is a challenge that will be resolved in time. 

» Cloud adoption can bring forward resource limitations. These include the availability of cloud skill sets, lack of clarity around cloud adoption planning, and execution of application transformation and migration. The typical workaround, seen particularly among large enterprises with IT applications that are designed to support thousands of users, is to engage managed services or professional services to assist in this adoption. Availability of a strong service partner with an extensive ecosystem of experts and partners has thus emerged as an important enabler for organizations looking to migrate and transform their businesses in the cloud. 

Advantages of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Cloud Adoption

IaaS empowers IT service organizations with a foundation for agility—the ability to make IT changes easily, quickly, and cost effectively—in the infrastructure layer. Early adopters are seeing benefits in business metrics such as operational efficiency and customer retention. Key business benefits customers report includes the following: 

» Business agility – enabled by the rapid scalability of IaaS. Organizations can easily scale their IT footprint as needed depending on business needs. IaaS enables faster time to launch for initiatives, swifttime to market for new offerings, and rapid iterations to stay current with market needs.

» Improved customer experience – delivered by high availability architectures built on a resilient public cloud IaaS platform. Organizations that build their services on the cloud can maintain availability through critical phases such as outages, periods of growth or high utilization of services, thus increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty with the solution. This leads to smooth customer base expansion during growth periods.

» Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) benefits – possible because of the “pay as you use” cost model for infrastructure minimizes the need for large upfront investments and over-provisioning. IaaS compute, storage and networking resources can be provisioned and used within minutes when needed and terminated when not needed, allowing instantaneous on-demand access to resources.

» Geographic reach – enabled by the globally distributed set of data centers, all of which deliver a consistent infrastructure environment close to the respective geographies. A Solution that is successful initially in one region can be easily replicated on the IaaS service in other geographies with minimal additional qualification or contract renegotiation, allowing shorter lead times for regional expansion. This allows a cloud-based solution to rapidly expand beyond physical boundaries and reach customers and markets across the globe as needed. 

» Easy access to new technologies and services – through the cloud ecosystem of higher layer service and partners. Thisbroader cloud ecosystem has emerged as a major source of benefits for IaaS customers. Nearly a third of the respondents to IDC’s IaaSView 2019 report indicate this ecosystem is a top driver of their decision to adopt cloud.

Recent Trends in Enterprise IaaS Usage: Multi Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Patterns

Two popularly seen cloud adoption patterns in enterprise IT today are “multicloud” and “hybrid cloud” environments: 

Hybrid Cloud. IDC defines hybrid cloud as the usage of IT services (including IaaS, PaaS, SaaS apps, and SaaS-SIS cloud services) across one or more deployment models using a unified framework. The cloud services used leverage more than one cloud deployment model across public cloud and private cloud deployments. Customers sometimes also include cloud and noncloud combinations when they describe an environment as hybrid cloud (sometimes referred to also as hybrid IT). 

This model is rapidly gaining adoption among enterprise IT organizations (see Figure 2). Factors driving the adoption of hybrid cloud include the desire to retain a higher level of control on certain data sets or workloads, as well as proximity and latency requirements requiring certain workloads to stay on premises. 

Multicloud. IDC defines multicloud as an organizational strategy or the architectural approach to the design of a complex digital service (or IT environment)that involves consumption of cloud services from more than one cloud service provider. These may be directly competing cloud services such as hosted private cloud versus public cloud compute services, public object storage from more than one public cloud service provider, or IaaS and SaaS from one or more cloud service providers. Multicloud encompasses a larger universe than hybrid clouds. 

Factors driving multicloud usage include organic reasons such as independent projects scaling in different parts of the organizations on different cloud platforms, as well as intentional reasons such as a desire to leverage specific cloud platforms for specific unique capabilities. A major factor gating the adoption of multicloud more broadly is the cost/complexity associated with enabling consistent management/governance of many different cloud options.

The Benefits and Differentiators of IBM Cloud IaaS

IBM Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) forms the foundation layer of the IBM Cloud portfolio, and delivers the compute, storage, and network functionality, as well as the required virtualization, for customers to build their IT infrastructure environments on these services. The customer continues to be responsible for management of the higher layers of the stack operated on the IaaS platform. Figure 3 shows the functionality delivered in the different layers of the IBM Cloud portfolio and the split of management responsibilities between IBM and the customer in each of these layers. 

IBM Cloud IaaS and the broader IBM cloud ecosystem bring to customers allthe business benefits discussed earlier of cloud IaaS adoption. These are delivered through a combination of IBM’s global datacenter footprint, resilient, scalable, and broad IaaS portfolio. This is complemented by the rich ecosystem of cloud services and partners, including access to the latest technology capabilities such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing. In addition, IBM is in a unique position as a trusted long-time enterprise technology partner, and brings the following differentiated strengths and capabilities to businesses:

» Security and trust –IBM Cloud is built to deliver security across all its services, integrated through the service and delivered as a service. This includes audit compliance and ability to support standards such as PCI 3.0, HIPAA and GDPR, which are often challenging and expensive for enterprises to meet in house with on premises infrastructure. This also includes specific security capabilities like the IBM Cloud Pak for Security and the IBM Data Security Services; and the IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services with built in data in motion and data at rest protection as well as Keep Your Own Key (KYOK) capability for the most security sensitive use cases. These are further enhanced by IBM’s long track record as a security-conscious technology company and a trusted partner to enterprises, alleviating concerns of misuse of customer data. These have been instrumental in recent large customer wins in the U.S., from some of the largest and most well-known enterprise brands.

» Offerings for specific enterprise needs, such as SAP, VMware, Bare Metal – IDC research shows that most of the enterprise adoption of cloud IaaS for production use starts with existing applications. To offer consistency, IBM Cloud offers specialized qualified IaaS offerings for common enterprise IT services in Orange County. These include bare metal offerings specifically qualified to run SAP and VMware solutions, as well as a mature and broad range of configurable bare metal offerings. These allow customers to configure their cloud IaaS environment to closely match the existing environment for business-critical applications, minimize migration risk, and enjoy the agility and broader benefits of moving to cloud IaaS.

» Access to services and expertise across the globe – The rapid adoption of cloud has outpaced skillset evolution. IBM’s services divisions, Global Technology Services and Global Business Services, acts as an effective delivery arm for IBM’s technology offerings, and can assist customers on their cloud adoption and capability building. These bring to customers professional expertise across containerization, microservices, DevOps,

» Hybrid cloud and multicloud enablers – The 2019 acquisition of Red Hat brought to IBM Cloud a strong suite of cloud-native software including the Red Hat OpenShift platform, a compelling cloud-native platform that could be delivered both on customer premises and on multiple public clouds. These complement the Cloud Paks product portfolio at IBM, which is also designed to deliver a consistent experience for specific enterprise use cases on customer premises and public cloud platforms. IBM Cloud Paks and the IBM Red Hat OpenShift platform are designed with the intent of offering a unified customer experience across public cloud and customer premises infrastructure. These products address one of the top challenges reported by enterprises using cloud today:the lack of consistency across clouds and across premises, which limits the ability to effectively build a multicloud or hybrid cloud environment. The Red Hat OpenShift platform also offers open source compatibility with open source frameworks like Kubernetes and Knative, allowing portability and reducing risk of lock-in for customers. These recent additions and evolutions to the portfolio are complemented by IBM’s long track record of building and operating complex private cloud platformsfor enterprise customers


The cloud value propositions of flexibility and scalability were ideally suited for the initial use cases that deployed on cloud IaaS, such as startup and hobbyist/shadow-IT workloads. While these value propositions continue to be important, enterprise use cases require more from their IT stack. These include end-to-end security, flexibility to operate across multiple premises and platforms, and partners to support the enterprise’s vertical-specific needs. IBM Cloud offers an expansive global cloud infrastructure service inclusive of open hybrid and multicloud enablers and the broad IBM ecosystem of technology and service partners designed to address these needs. With these capabilities and its strong technology portfolio, IBM is well poised to be a trusted cloud partner to enterprises as they transition their IT to the cloud


IBM Cloud for Financial Services

Today your business model and your technology are under significant strain.

External conditions such as COVID-19 are driving extreme volatility in channel usage, in transaction volumes, and product demand. Your legacy systems may lack the resiliency needed to handle these challenges. Current customer behaviors and workloads are likely to shift quickly and dramatically again; placing your systems, your costs and your people under perpetual strain. You are faced with infrastructure that is slow and expensive. Additionally, different executives each with their own set of concerns makes moving to the public cloud seem daunting. 

These limitations and concerns are why banks have moved fewer than 20% of all workloads to the cloud, and virtually no complex workloads or those involving sensitive data. Until you find a way to safely and securely migrate and manage substantially greater workloads on the cloud, you will operate at this disadvantage. But it doesn’t have to be this way–it IS possible for banks to benefit fully from public cloud. 

Introducing IBM Cloud for Financial Services

To help enable financial institutions to transform, IBM developed IBM Cloud for Financial Services, built on the IBM Cloud. By working with Bank of America to develop industry informed security control requirements, on-site embedded IT services and leveraging IBM Promontory, the global leader in financial services regulatory compliance, IBM Cloud for Financial Services provides the level of data security and regulatory compliance financial institutions are mandated to adhere to, along with public cloud scale and innovation they want. With this comes the introduction of the IBM Cloud Policy Framework for Financial Services, exclusively available, which deploys a shared-responsibility model for implementing controls. It is designed to enable financial institutions and their ecosystem partners to confidently host apps and workloads in the cloud and be able to demonstrate regulatory compliance significantly faster and more efficiently than they are today.

Workloads will be run on IBM Cloud for VMware Regulated Workloads, a secure, automated reference architecture that enhances VMware vCenter Server on IBM Cloud to deliver a security rich, high-performance platform for VMware workloads in regulated industries. Designed to enable a zero-trust model, this architecture offers our clients in regulated industries a strategic approach to securely extend and scale their VMware IT operations into the IBM Cloud while maintaining compliance.

With nearly thirty ISVs and partners, procurement, contracting and onboarding within the ecosystem can be streamlined, leading to increased revenues and reduced time to market for all parties.

IBM Cloud for your workloads

IBM Cloud for Financial Services is exclusively available in North America, but you can still take advantage of all the products and services IBM Cloud has to offer in our 60-plus global data centers. 

IBM can help you build a strategy for global, regional, industry and government compliance

  • IBM Promontory® for financial services sector (FSS) workloads—operating at the intersection of strategy, risk management, technology and regulation 
  • Strong commitment to our European clients (PCI-DSS and EBA briefing) 

Maintain control of your cloud environment and your data

  • Client-key management (BYOK and KYOK) 
  • Visibility and auditability with physical-asset management and logging and monitoring 
  • Full control of the stack, with transparency for audit purposes, right down to the serial number of the server

Security leadership with market-leading data protection

  • Clients can keep their own key that no one else can see—so not even IBM operators can access the key or the data it protects, unlike other cloud vendors. IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Services is designed to give clients the control of the cloud data-encryption keys and cloud hardware-security module (HSM)—the only service in the industry with FIPS 140-2 Level 4 certification. 
  • Each workload requires various access and security rules; IBM enables organizations to define and enforce such guidelines by way of integrated container security and DevSecOps for cloudnative applications with IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service. 
  • IBM Cloud Security Advisor detects security misconfigurations so organizations can better assess their security postures and take corrective actions for all parties

Reduce complexity and speed innovation

  • IBM Garage™ for quick creation and scaling of new ideas that can dramatically impact your business 
  • With IBM’s vast ISV and partner ecosystem, banks can reduce overhead and the time and effort to ensure compliance of third-party vendors and more time delivering new services  


“We received the best of both worlds: the innovation and speed benefits of the IBM public cloud with the high security of a private cloud.” — Bernard Gavgani, Global Chief Information Officer, BNP Paribas


Why IBM?

Built on a foundation of open source software, security leadership and enterprise-grade hardware, IBM Cloud provides the flexibility needed to help relieve the headaches caused when managing workloads often associated with moving to the cloud. IBM Cloud offers the lowest cloud vendor costs and the broadest portfolio of secure-compute choices with a wide array of enterprise-grade security IT services in San Diego and products to help those in regulated industries. And most recently, IBM Cloud has been recognized as a 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide. The vendors with this distinction have been highly rated by their customers. Read the announcement to learn more

Top 10 Facts Tech Leaders Should Know About Cloud Migration

Cloud Migration Is A Harder Form Of Cloud Adoption

Cloud migration gained much popularity after Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent in 2015 and a revolutionary speech by General Electric’s (GE’s) CIO, Jim Fowler.1 Rather than focusing public cloud adoption on building new apps, Fowler referred to AWS as a preferred outsourcing option to host its existing applications. Prior to this, I&O leaders had disregarded cloud migration as hard, expensive, and detrimental to the performance of applications. The new storyline highlighted megacloud ecosystem benefits, reinforced outsourcing messaging, and, more importantly, promised that cheaper migration methods were no longer problematic and careful planning could mitigate the performance issues.

Decide Whether Migration Is An App Strategy Or A Data Center Strategy

After collecting hundreds of cloud migration stories, Forrester recognizes that enterprises view cloud migration from two vastly different points of view: 1) an application sourcing strategy or 2) a data center strategy. Depending on which lens they’re using, enterprises build their business cases around different timelines, drivers, goals, and expectations (see Figure 1). Organizations may view cloud migration as:

An app sourcing strategy. The goal is to optimize sourcing decisions for a full app portfolio. Typically, the scope of migration is limited to large packaged app hubs, subsets of apps with certain characteristics, or apps with location-based performance challenges. Major enterprise applications, e.g., SAP S4/HANA, commonly move to public cloud platforms with ongoing supplemental managed services support.2 Business cases usually outline mitigated latency, improved experience, or lower operational costs to maintain the migrated workloads.

A data center strategy. The goal is outsourcing as many apps as possible. The scale for this approach is large and usually tied to a “moment of change” (e.g., new executives, a data center refresh, a data center closing, or a contract ending). With such massive scale, these enterprises opt for less expensive migration paths and are more forgiving of performance drops that may occur during the initial migration. Data center strategists rarely complete migrations without the support of consultancies and tooling. Business cases usually rely on classic outsourcing benefits, cost avoidance, and reduced staffing (often through attrition) to justify the expense.


Forrester’s Top 10 Cloud Migration Fact

Today, 76% of North American and European enterprise infrastructure decision makers consider migrating existing applications to the cloud as part of their cloud strategy.3 This shockingly high figure is supported with powerful enterprise examples, including Allscripts, BP, Brinks Home Security, Brooks Brothers, Capital One, Chevron, The Coca-Cola Company, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), GE, Hess, J.B. Hunt Transport, Kellogg, Land O’Lakes, and McDonald’s.4 Despite cloud’s popularity, migration is still hard. It’s still expensive. And it still requires due diligence to mitigate these factors. Here are Forrester’s top 10 facts that I&O leaders should know about cloud migration:

  1. Cloud migration won’t have the same benefits as SaaS migration. When you adopt a software as-a-service (SaaS) technology, you’re using a new app designed specifically for a cloud platform. An app specialist is managing and updating that app. The new app has a new interface that your business users access and recognize as different. When you’re migrating an app to a cloud platform, none of that is true. You’re placing the same app in a generic cloud platform without the support of an app specialist. Any redesign requires your time, and the business user ultimately experiences the same app and interface. The best-case scenario is that performance stays the same and your business users don’t notice. That’s a lot less compelling than the case for SaaS.5 Don’t equate the two migration terms.
  2. Business users don’t care about cloud migration. If all goes well, your business users will experience the same app with no decline in performance. That isn’t a very compelling story for business users. If your cloud strategy is supposed to inspire, don’t focus your marketing on migration. Instead, focus on the elements of your cloud IT strategy that deliver new capabilities. Although its potential is powerful — in that cloud migration can clean up inefficiencies or release spend that might help fund new investments — the migration itself isn’t inspiring. For enterprises with “cloud first” policies, cloud migration may involve a corporatewide awareness that requires technology professionals to engage with the business to help ensure a smooth transition
  3. Cloud migration is hard. Cloud platforms differ in a few fundamental ways from enterprise data centers; they use commodity infrastructure, extremely high average-sustained utilization levels, and minimal operational time per virtual machine (VM).6 Consumers also get a financial reward if their apps vary resource usage as their traffic varies. Knowing this, enterprises have accordingly designed new apps to mitigate cost and obtain high performance. But for existing apps — as highlighted in cloud migration — this is much more difficult. Redesign or modernization, although ideal, is costly. Organizations can systematically solve these challenges, but learning these best practices can be painful. For critical workloads, the tolerance for mistakes can be low, especially when the advantages of the migration itself are less apparent to business users.
  4. Cloud readiness means scalable, resilient, and dependency-aware. To ready existing applications for cloud, enterprises look at basic improvements that can make a big difference in a public cloud. They ensure financial alignment by making their apps scale, consuming fewer resources when they’re less busy. Dependency mapping is another key step toward readiness, eliminating low-value dependencies and grouping applications into ecosystems to inform sets for the migration plan. More-thorough approaches break apps into services to increase application resiliency by eliminating dependencies within a single application. Migration discovery tools provide some readiness findings, including version updates, dependencies, financial implications, minimal application code and architectural feedback, and grouping suggestions
  5. Mass migrations typically align to a moment of change. Rightsourcing decisions explore characteristics that favor cloud.8 Mass migration (e.g., the migration of an entire app portfolio or a substantial number of apps), usually aligns to a “moment of change.” This includes executive changes; acquisitions/divestitures; the end of colocation contracts; infrastructure refreshes; IT cyber security, drastic changes in sourcing; and fear of, or experienced, disruption, any of which motivate significant and costly action at a specific point in time. Aligning to beneficial timing can make it easier to gain support, overcome barriers, or justify the economics behind a costly change. Almost all mass migrations align to one of these moments.
  6. Four paths exist for cloud migration. You may hear references to “the six R’s of migration” — rehost, replatform, repurchase, refactor, retire, and retain.9 Occasionally, other favored “R” terms are mixed in — redesign, rebuild, refresh, etc. Forrester highlights four key paths to cloud migration: 1) lift-and-shift (minimal change and moved through replication technology); 2) lift-and-extend (rehosting the app while making significant changes after the move); 3) hybrid extension (not moving existing parts of an app but rather building new parts in a public cloud); and 4) full replacement (complete or major rewrites to the application).10 Each company uses multiple methods for migration. Lift-and-shift is less resource-intensive, as it involves little change; however, this may cause performance decline. Full replacement requires significant change and resources
  7. Creating a cloud migration business case isn’t easy. Cost savings are hard to come by in cloud migration. Certain characteristics may make it easier to cut costs, such as shutting down data centers, eliminating painful inefficiencies, making minimal changes, and relying on minimal support for the migration. These may not be plausible or even recommended. Some of the more compelling business cases rely on cost avoidance, not cost savings (e.g., not buying new infrastructure). Creating your business case means cost, benefits, and future enablers, as defined by Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) model.11 Although you can support your documentation with any of the case studies noted above, it’s impossible to create your business case before you’ve defined the scope of your migration or gathered data about the specifics of your applications.
  8. Native platforms, consultancies, MSPs, and tools aid migration. Cloud migration is a massive revenue opportunity for cloud platforms. As a result, major public cloud platforms have eagerly built out migration support services, tooling, and certifications. Consultancies provide dedicated assistance to evaluate, plan, and migrate workloads, especially for massive migrations. MSPs also assist in migration but largely focus on the ongoing management after the migration. Standalone discovery and replication software assist both self-run and supported migrations. If you’re looking for support, it’s easy to come by.
  9. Hosted private cloud can be a less painful incremental step. Hosted private cloud isn’t the flashiest cloud technology. In fact, it falls short of public cloud capabilities and expectations in almost every way. However, it has three characteristics that deliver a practical solution for many use cases: 1) It’s often built on VMware products; 2) it has dedicated options; and 3) it’s managed by a service provider. For cloud migrators, it’s far easier to migrate a portfolio of applications to a VMware-based cloud environment, isolated from other clients and partially managed to the OS or app so they can meet aggressive deadlines and stable performance more realistically. This approach can help control costs, avoid performance issues, and provide migration support to the public cloud, with the help of your hosted private cloud provider.
  10. Repatriation happens, but it’s an app-level decision. Applications occasionally go in the other direction. The term repatriation started with cloud-negative origins to save reputation when an ill-advised cloud migration occurred prior to market maturity. More recently, it reflects a one-off sourcing change for an app when its characteristics change during the life of that workload and no longer are acceptable on a public cloud platform. Organizations undertake this effort only when the current state is painful — not simply inconvenient or slightly more expensive. Usually, it’s regulation or significant cost escalation that would drive such a drastic change for an app. AI/ML is a common cost example. Regulation-driven repatriation can mean that the scope of the application has changed, the regulation has changed, or the company’s approach to complying with regulation has evolved. Very rarely do we see complete strategywide repatriation, but when it occurs, it’s large technology footprints or ASIC requirements (e.g., Dropbox) that drive this decision

Prepare Yourself For Your Migration Strategy

Our team of IT Service Professionals in Orange County can start your cloud migration strategy off by educating your migration team, executives, and business users about how cloud migration fits into your larger cloud strategy. I&O professionals should use this report to help outline the key concepts to ensure better communication and accurate expectations. Moving forward, here are the steps you’ll need to tackle:

Identify the best-fit scope. Before jumping into cloud migration, first determine whether you’re seeking gains at the application level or the data center level. This is the first stage of determining scope. For those seeking app-level gains, start with your application portfolio. Create your own sourcing framework. This may include cloud readiness, variability, scalability, location challenges, dependencies, compliance requirements, data types, need for additional support, expected lifetime, and app satisfaction. For those seeking gains at the data center level, the framework will be similar but the results will heavily skew in favor of public cloud or SaaS migration as the preferred options. The framework itself may ask “why not” host in a certain solution rather than whether it’s the best fit or optimized in that platform. Rather than app-level optimization, the goal is system-level optimization, where the enterprise data center is seen as a source of inefficiency

Determine (and find) the support you need. Support is expensive but valuable, depending on your scope, experience, and executive sponsorship. Most migrators leverage some level of support, whether it’s tools, workshops, best practices, early guidance, or full migration support. After determining the right level of support, you’ll need to decide the type of provider that will deliver it and which set of partners meets your needs

Obtain real estimates based on your own numbers. The most common cloud migration inquiry question — “How much will I save from cloud migration?” — is impossible to answer accurately without inputs from your own estate. Your scope, current configurations, trust in autoscaling, anticipated changes, use of consultancies, cost avoidance, and team skill sets will all determine this figure. Each major cloud provider offers calculators. Each consultancy gives its own estimates. Before making definitive claims in your business case, get some real estimates and determine which costs won’t be going away

A guide to securing cloud platforms

Rethink security for cloud-based applications

As more organizations move to a cloud-native model for developing apps and managing workloads, cloud computing platforms are rapidly limiting the effectiveness of the traditional perimeter-based security model. While still necessary, perimeter security is by itself insufficient. Because data and applications in the cloud are outside the old enterprise boundaries, they must be protected in new ways. 

Organizations transitioning to a cloud-native model or planning hybrid cloud app deployments must supplement traditional perimeter-based network security with technologies that protect cloud-based workloads. Enterprises must have confidence in how a cloud service provider secures their stack from the infrastructure up. Establishing trust in platform security has become fundamental in selecting a provider

Cloud security drivers 

Data protection and regulatory compliance are among the main drivers of cloud IT services in Orange County—and they’re also inhibitors of cloud adoption. Addressing these concerns extends to all aspects of development and operations. With cloud-native applications, data may be spread across object stores, data services and clouds, which create multiple fronts for potential attacks. And attacks are not just coming from sophisticated cybergangs and external sources; according to a recent survey, 53 percent of respondents confirmed insider attacks in the previous 12 months.

Five fundamentals of cloud security 

As organizations address the specialized security needs of using cloud platforms, they need and expect their providers to become trusted technology partners. In fact, an organization should evaluate cloud providers based on these five aspects of security as they relate to the organization’s own specific requirements: 

  1. Identity and access management: Authentication, identity and access controls 
  2. Network security: Protection, isolation and segmentation 
  3. Data protection: Data encryption and key management 
  4. Application security and DevSecOps: Including security testing and container security 
  5. Visibility and intelligence: Monitoring and analyzing logs, flows and events for patterns

Verify identity and manage access on a cloud platform

Any interaction with a cloud platform starts with verifying identity, establishing who or what is doing the interacting—an administrator, a user or even a service. In the API economy, services take on their own identity, so the ability to accurately and safely make an API call to a service based on this identity is essential to successfully running cloud-native apps. 

Look for providers that offer a consistent way to authenticate an identity for API access and service calls. You also need a way to identify and authenticate end users who access applications hosted in the cloud. As an example, IBM® Cloud uses App ID as a way for developers to integrate authentication into their mobile and web apps.

Strong authentication keeps unauthorized users from accessing cloud systems. Since platform identity and access management (IAM) is so fundamental, organizations that have an existing system should expect cloud providers to integrate their company’s identity management system. This is often supported through identity federation technology that links an individual’s ID and attributes across multiple systems.

Ask prospective cloud providers to prove that their IAM architecture and systems cover all the bases. In the IBM Cloud, for example, identity and access management is based on several key features 


  • Each user has a unique identifier 
  • Services and applications are identified by their service IDs 
  • Resources are identified and addressed by the cloud resource name (CRN) 
  • Users and services are authenticated and issued tokens with their identities

Access management

  • As users and services attempt to access resources, an IAM system determines whether access and actions are allowed or denied 
  • Services define actions, resources and roles 
  • Administrators define policies that assign users roles and permissions on various resources 
  • Protection extends to APIs, cloud functions and back-end resources hosted on the cloud

As you evaluate a cloud provider’s cloud it solutions, look for access control lists together with common resource names that enable you to limit users not only to certain resources, but also to certain operations on those resources. These capabilities help ensure that your data in your data center is protected from both unauthorized external and internal access.

Extending your own Enterprise Identity Provider (Enterprise IdP) to the cloud is particularly useful when you build a cloud-native app on top of an existing enterprise application that uses the Enterprise IdP. Your users can smoothly log in to both the cloud-native and underlying applications without having to use multiple systems or IDs. Reducing complexity is always a worthy goal.

Redefine network isolation and protection

Many cloud providers use network segmentation to limit access to devices and servers in the same network. Additionally, providers create virtual isolated networks on top of the physical infrastructure and automatically limit users or services to a specific isolated network. These and other basic network security technologies are table stakes for establishing trust in a cloud platform. 

Cloud providers offer protection technologies—from web application firewalls to virtual private networks and denial-of-service mitigation—as services for software-defined network security and charge per usage. Consider the following technologies as crucial network security in the cloud computing era.

Security groups and firewalls 

Cloud customers often insert network firewalls for perimeter protection (virtual private cloud/subnetlevel network access) and create network security groups for instance-level access. Security groups are a good first line of defense for assigning access to cloud resources. You can use these groups to easily add instance-level network security to manage incoming and outgoing traffic on both public and private networks. 

Many customers require perimeter control to secure perimeter network and subnets, and virtual firewalls are an easily deployable way to meet this need. Firewalls are designed to prevent unwanted traffic from hitting servers and to reduce the attack surface. Expect cloud providers to offer both virtual and hardware firewalls that allow you to configure permission-based rules for the entire network or subnets. 

VPNs, of course, provide secure connections from the cloud back to your on-premises resources. They are a must-have if you are running a hybrid cloud environment. 


Developing applications cloud-natively as a set of small services provides, such as companies that IT Services in San Diego, offer a security advantage of being able to isolate them using network segments. Look for a cloud platform that implements micro-segmentation through the automation of network configuration and network provisioning. Containerized applications architected on the microservices model are fast becoming the norm to support workload isolation that scales. 

Protect data with encryption and key management

Reliably protecting data is a security fundamental for any digital business—especially those in highly regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare. 

Data associated with cloud-native applications may be spread across object stores, data services and clouds. Traditional applications may have their own database, their own VM and sensitive data located in files. In these cases, encryption of sensitive data both at rest and in motion becomes critical. 

Keep your own key (KYOK)

To implement data security that remains 100% private within the public cloud, IBM exclusively offers a solution that enables you to be the sole custodian of your encryption key. As the only service in the industry built on FIPS 140-2 Level 4-certified hardware, IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Services provides a key management and cloud hardware security module (HSM).

Businesses are right to worry about cloud operators or other unauthorized users accessing their data without their knowledge, and to expect complete visibility into data access. Controlling access to data with encryption and also controlling access to encryption keys are becoming expected safeguards. As a result, a bring-your-own-keys (BYOK) model is now a cloud security requirement. It allows you to manage encryption keys in a central place, provides assurance that root keys never leave the boundaries of the key management system and enables you to audit all key management lifecycle activities (Figure 2).

Trusted compute hosts

It comes down to hardware: nobody wants to deploy valuable data and applications on an untrusted host. Cloud platform providers that offer hardware with measure-verify-launch protocols give you highly secure hosts for applications deployed within the container orchestration system.

Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT) and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) are examples of hostlevel technologies that enable trust for cloud platforms. Intel TXT defends against software-based attacks aimed at stealing sensitive information by corrupting system or BIOS code, or by modifying the platform’s configuration. Intel TPM is a hardware-based security device that helps protect the system startup process by ensuring that it is tamper-free before releasing system control to the operating system.

Data protection at rest and in transit

Built-in encryption with BYOK lets you maintain control of your data, whether it’s based on premises or in the cloud. It’s an excellent way to control access to data in cloud-native application deployments. In this approach, the customer’s key management system generates a key on premises and passes it to the provider’s key management service. This approach encompasses data-at-rest encryption across storage types such as block, object and data services. 

For data in transit, secure communication and transfer take place over Transport Layer Security/ Secure Sockets Layer (TLS/SSL). TLS/SSL encryption also allows you to demonstrate compliance, security and governance without requiring administrative control over the cryptosystem or infrastructure. The ability to manage SSL certificates is a requirement for trust in a cloud platform

Meeting audit and compliance needs 

Providing your own encryption keys and keeping them in the cloud—with no service provider access—gives you the visibility and control of information required for CISO compliance audits.

Automate security for DevOps

As DevOps teams build cloud-native services and work with container technologies, they need a way to integrate security checks within an increasingly automated pipeline. Because sites such as Docker Hub promote open exchange, developers can easily save image preparation time by simply downloading what they need. But with that flexibility comes the need to routinely inspect all container images placed in a registry before they are deployed. 

An automated scanning system helps ensure trust by searching for potential vulnerabilities in your images before you start running them. Ask platform vendors if they allow your organization to create policies (such as “do not deploy images that have vulnerabilities” or “warn me prior to deploying these images into production”) as part of DevOps pipeline security.

IBM Cloud Container Service, for example, offers a Vulnerability Advisor (VA) system to provide both static and live container scanning. VA inspects every layer of every image in a cloud customer’s private registry to detect vulnerabilities or malware before image deployment. Because simply scanning registry images can miss problems such as drift from static image to deployed containers, VA also scans running containers for anomalies. It also provides recommendations in the form of tiered alerts. Other VA features that help automate security in the DevOps pipeline include:

Policy violation settings: With VA, administrators can set image deployment policies based on three types of image failure situations: installed packages with known vulnerabilities; remote logins enabled; and remote monitoring management and remote logins enabled with some users who have easily guessed passwords. 

Best practices: VA currently checks 26 rules based on ISO 27000, including settings such as password minimum age and minimum password length. 

Security misconfiguration detection: VA flags each misconfiguration issue, provides a description of it and recommends a course of action to remediate it. 

Integration with IBM X-Force®: VA pulls in security intelligence from five third-party sources and uses criteria such as attack vector, complexity and availability of a known fix to rate each vulnerability. The rating system (critical, high, moderate or low) helps administrators quickly understand the severity of vulnerabilities and prioritize remediation.


When it comes to remediation, VA does not interrupt running images for patching. Instead, IBM remediates the “golden” image in the registry and deploys a new image to the container. This approach helps ensure that all future instantiations of that image will have the same fix in place. VMs can still be handled traditionally, using an endpoint security service to patch VMs and fix Linux security vulnerabilities.

Create a security immune system through intelligent monitoring

When moving to the cloud, CISOs often worry about low visibility and loss of control. Since the organization’s entire cloud may go down if a particular key is deleted or a configuration change inadvertently severs a connection back to on-premises resources or an enterprise security operations center (SOC), why shouldn’t the operations engineers expect full visibility into cloud-based workloads, APIs, microservices—everything?

Access trails and audit logs 

All user and administrative access, whether by the cloud provider or your organization, should be logged automatically. A built-in cloud activity tracker can create a trail of all access to the platform and services, including API, web and mobile access. Your organization should be able to consume these logs and integrate them into your enterprise SOC

Enterprise security intelligence 

Make sure you have the option of integrating all logs and events into your on-premises security information and event management (SIEM) system (Figure 3). Some cloud service providers also offer security monitoring with incident management and reporting, real-time analysis of security alerts and an integrated view across hybrid deployments. IBM QRadar®, for example, is a comprehensive SIEM solution offering a set of security intelligence solutions that can grow with an organization’s needs. Its machine learning capabilities train on threat patterns in a way that builds up a predictive security immune system.

Managed security with expertise 

If your organization does not have significant security expertise, explore providers that can manage security for you. Some providers can monitor your security incidents, apply threat intelligence from a variety of industries and correlate this information to take action. Ask if they can also deliver a single pane of glass that integrates in-house and managed security services.

Security that promotes business success

With cloud technology becoming a larger and more important part of running a digital business, it literally pays to look for a cloud provider that offers the right set of capabilities and controls to protect your data, applications and the cloud infrastructure on which customer-facing applications depend. Expect the platform security solution to cover the five key cloud security focus areas: identity and access; network security; security surveillance, data protection; application security; and visibility and intelligence. The goal is to worry less about technology and focus more on your core business.A well-secured cloud provides significant business and IT advantages, including:

Reduced time to value: Since security is already installed and configured, teams can easily provision resources and rapidly prototype user experiences, evaluate results and iterate as needed. 

Reduced capital expenditure: Using security services in the cloud can eliminate many up-front costs, including servers, software licenses and appliances. 

Reduced administrative burden: By successfully establishing and maintaining trust in the cloud platform, the provider with the right security offerings assumes the greatest burden of administration, reducing your costs in reporting and resource maintenance.