August 18, 2016 - How Managed Services Will Keep You Humming in the Cloud

How Managed Services Will Keep You Humming in the CloudCongratulations! You’ve successfully migrated to the cloud. You assessed your on-premises environment, chose your cloud platform, and transferred your applications and data. You’re done, right? Not quite. You now have to make sure that you realize the benefits of the cloud but, to do that, you need to optimize and then continuously manage your cloud environment. Let me reveal to you what needs to be done to keep your new cloud environment humming along.

Keeping up with the cloud
If you don’t keep up with cloud innovation then your cloud performance will suffer. This could be due to slow performance of business applications, potential security breaches or even increased operational costs. Cloud Services change every day so you need to assign resources to maintain your cloud infrastructure after the application migration is complete. Some organizations choose to manage their cloud environment themselves while others decide it’s best to seek help from a Cloud Managed Services (CMS) provider.

If you don’t keep up with cloud innovation then your cloud performance will suffer. This could be due to slow performance of business applications, potential security breaches or even increased operational costs. Cloud Services change every day so you need to assign resources to maintain your cloud infrastructure after the application migration is complete. Some organizations choose to manage their cloud environment themselves while others decide it’s best to seek help from a Cloud Managed Services (CMS) provider.

Here’s the crux of the matter, the best designed cloud workload today could be completely out of date a year from now so you have to keep innovating and optimizing at the pace of the cloud.

What we’ve learned at Apps Associates is that the best way to optimize your cloud environment is to focus on balancing cost, performance, and security. You need to focus on all three. The right equilibrium is usually achieved through governance, change management, and automation. So we’ve developed a new platform called appslensTM. This platform provides integrated cloud management.

With CMS, customers are literally giving us the keys to their datacenters. That is a lot of trust and we take that trust very seriously. Let me give you an example of how appslensTM can provide security (one of the optimization criteria previously mentioned) to a customers’ environment through identity and access management.

appslensTM controls the way users can access a customer’s cloud environment. Access controls for the cloud should follow the “least privilege model” for better security. appslensTM achieves this using a “Quorum based Authentication Model”. Any authorized user can access the cloud console with read-only access, but if that user wants to make a change, there is an approved change request mechanism within the system that must be enacted first. This elevated privilege access is only provided after another level of authorization. We achieve this using a one-time password. If the access requested by the user is administrative in nature, appslensTMmakes a secure API connection with the change management engine in real-time, checks the status of the ticket, gives feedback, and creates a temporary session only valid for fifteen minutes for the user to make changes. This process ensures that such administrative access must be approved internally and that approval is only given if there is a real need to make the change. So it’s impossible for a person to access the AWS console and make random changes and leave without anyone knowing about it. Combining this process with cloud API audit frameworks such as AWS CloudTrail, we can ensure secure cloud access.

If you are interested in learning more about our Cloud Managed Services, please contact me at julian.troake@appsassociates.com.

Julian Troake
Julian is the Marketing Director at Apps Associates and is responsible for developing and implementing the marketing strategy. Julian has a broad background in IT services marketing, communications, internet marketing, and sales support and has delivered successful marketing campaigns across the globe. Prior to joining Apps Associates, Julian held senior positions in Fortune 500 companies like Xerox and EMC Corporation.

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