Hybrid Datacenter Security Webinar Recap - What's the Future of Hybrid?

Last month, we hosted a panel webinar on hybrid datacenter security with J.J. Thompson from Rook Consulting, Sarah Fender from the Microsoft Azure team and our own Misha Govshteyn. We covered a lot of ground in the discussion … threats, tools, processes, people and more. A recording of the event is available on-demand on the Alert Logic BrightTalk Channel.

One of the first questions for the panel was to share their definition of a hybrid datacenter. There are lots of good articles, like this one from Microsoft as well as different opinions on the definition of hybrid.  J.J., Sarah and Misha had some interesting ideas from a variety of perspectives.

  • At a most basic level, it’s an ability to use cloud infrastructure alongside a physical infrastructure seamlessly and without having to choose between one or the other.
  • From a business perspective, it’s really about erasing the boundary between your data center in the cloud.
  • From an application perspective, it’s about being able to get global scale, whenever scale is needed.
  • From an IT team perspective, it’s about shifting some of the burden of managing infrastructure to a cloud provider, which means internal IT team member’s responsibilities can shift as well.

When thinking about the future of hybrid datacenters, it’s helpful to look at current spend and trends. In a study of approximately 700 organizations by business and IT strategy firm CEB, organizations in 2013 spent approximately 7% of their total budget on public cloud services. The figure is growing – it’s up from 4.5% of spend the previous year – but still a relatively small percentage of the overall IT budget.

These figures mirror the opinions of our panelists who all expect that while we’ll see growth in hybrid datacenters, for most organizations, for the foreseeable future, will continue to host many applications and assets on-site. For example, J.J. described how we just aren’t ready to run some applications, like ones directly involved with patient care in the cloud. And Sarah and Misha talked about the need to re-tool business-critical applications before they can really take advantage of hybrid environments.

Later in the webinar, our conversation shifts to the topic of security in hybrid datacenter environments. We covered topics like different types of threats, different tools, processes, people and more. We’ll recap the conversation in future articles or again, you can view the on-demand webinar now on our BrightTalk channel.