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You should be optimizing your cloud operations right now: Here’s how

TechRepublic | Scott Matteson | Oct 6, 2020

scot 300x191 - You should be optimizing your cloud operations right now: Here's howIn my capacity as a system administrator, I've definitely seen the benefits of cloud services which my organization implemented before the pandemic.

Not only do we rely on Microsoft 365 apps, we are safely and securely able to use local applications such as Microsoft Teams, which connect to cloud-based servers even while off the VPN. Two-factor authentication using tokens and certificates is a key enabler to this functionality.  Also, according to this article, the company also could use VPN routers and don’t worry about turned on the VPN connection or not, a special router will do it.

Efficient cloud operations wouldn't necessarily have saved all of the businesses that went broke, but they can indeed assist surviving companies where it counts.

See: Hey bank, get onto my cloud!

I talked with Josh Quint, senior director of cloud solutions provider ServerCentral Turing Group, a cloud and disaster recovery company, to learn more.

Scott Matteson: How long do you recommend backups of data be retained?

Josh Quint: We recommend maintaining a synthetic full backup plus six days forward incremental backups in a performance storage tier and maintaining a full backup for a rolling 28 days on a capacity storage tier. This provides two critical benefits:

  1. Companies will have the most-needed data readily available in case of an immediate need for a restore request.
  2. This will lower the total costs of the backup services by aging out older data to the capacity storage tier where they remain available, albeit with a bit more lead time required to restore.

Quint also believes compliance is a key element in off-site operations and gives his recommendations for auditing mechanisms and gap analysis methodologies:

The most important aspect of audits and gap analysis is to use anything and everything you have at your disposal and be sure you actually do it. Pay attention to invoices, watch services in use, note service performance, etc. You can buy one of a thousand different tools to give you information and insights here--even those that will proactively take scripted actions for you. However, if you don't act on the insights or don't have a process to intelligently use the insights to improve your processes--and validate the automated suggestions taking place --it won't matter what you use.

See: Compliance, clients to drive new tech

Quint also believes there are many examples of formal governance and security processes related to cloud operations for best efficiencies. They include being sure encryption is in place for all data and ensuring that backup strategies are in line with your compliance requirements so that gaps in data and expectations of data do not exist.

Scott Matteson: Do you have any examples of the daily use of cloud automation processes and services that companies should focus on?

Josh Quint: Four key areas where cloud automation processes can prove extremely valuable are:

  • Automated data replication between different geographic sites
  • Scaling up applications during peak business hours
  • Shutting down or scaling back dev environments when not in use
  • Routing application endpoints through cloud-based WAF for automated security


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