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What is a Hybrid Data Center?

The emergence of cloud computing has provided organizations with access to infrastructure that flexes and contracts to meet their business needs. This provides several advantages over traditional, on-premises data centers where companies are constrained by the physical hardware that they have deployed. The cloud provides developers with access to more agile systems that better meet evolving business needs.

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Hybrid Data Center Architecture

A hybrid data center combines on-prem and cloud-based infrastructure with orchestration that allows data and applications to be shared between them over the network. This allows an organization to achieve a balance between the capabilities and benefits provided by public and private clouds, and on-prem infrastructure.

Hybrid data centers span public and private clouds and on-premise environments. Let’s take a look at some of the key architectural components and considerations of a hybrid data center:

Workloads

A workload – which is simply the ability of a computer system to do work – is one of the primary components of a hybrid data center. These workloads can be broken up into three main capabilities: processing, storage, and networking.

In a hybrid data center, workloads can be split across on-prem data centers and public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. The public cloud provides significant advantages in terms of scalability, agility, and flexibility. Edge and regional data centers can bring significant computing and storage resources closer to the user.

On-prem data centers have their advantages as well. For example, an on-premise data center eliminates regulatory concerns regarding the locations where protected data is stored, processed, and transmitted.

Cloud Native Technologies

Hybrid data centers enable organizations to take advantage of the unique capabilities of cloud environments within their data centers where organizations can develop and host applications in scalable, dynamic environments.

For example, serverless applications remove the need for developers to maintain the infrastructure that their applications need to run. This allows them to focus on creating applications that meet the needs of the business.

Unified Management

While hybrid advantages have their advantages, they can also be difficult to secure. On-prem and public and private clouds are all unique environments with different security needs and challenges.

Effectively managing and securing these environments requires unified management solutions. This minimizes unnecessarily duplicated effort and decreases the probability that inconsistent security enforcement will introduce new cybersecurity risks.

Hybrid Platforms

Cloud providers are increasingly realizing the potential of the hybrid cloud and are developing solutions to make it easier to implement. For example, hybrid cloud frameworks like Azure Stack or AWS Outposts make it possible for organizations to use on-prem servers to run workloads that previously would have been hosted within the public cloud.

Hybrid Data Center Security

The hybrid cloud, with its wide range of environments, creates significant security challenges. Effectively securing hybrid data centers requires solutions with the following features:

  • Unified and Borderless: Tailoring security to each environment is complex and unscalable. Security for hybrid data centers must be unified and offer a single interface for monitoring and managing the security of multi-cloud and on-premises assets.
  • Automated and Simplified: As organizations adopt DevOps, they need security that can keep pace. This requires support for automation, including integration with CI/CD pipelines, programmatic management, automated incident response workflows, and dynamic updates that eliminate the need for humans in the loop.
  • Deep and Granular: Hybrid data centers are complex ecosystems, requiring deep and granular visibility and security management. Securing these environments requires the ability to perform in-depth traffic inspection including tailored threat intelligence, content, code and image analysis, monitoring user and app interactions, configuration changes and other account activity.
  • Scalable and Flexible: Cloud environments provide access to dynamic and flexible infrastructure. Securing hybrid data centers requires solutions that can grow with the needs of the business.
  • Resilient and Redundant: Data centers offer high availability and redundancy to support business functions. Security must provide the same guarantees to minimize disruption to operations.
  • Dynamic and Context-Aware: Hybrid data center security solutions should ingest data from across the entire environment and use it to develop adaptive and context-aware security policies that ensure consistent security across the board. These policies should adapt dynamically to reflect changing configurations of the data center’s infrastructure minimizing the need for manual change controls where possible.

Secure the Hybrid Data Center with Check Point

Business needs are evolving as companies require distributed applications and work to support an expanded remote workforce. Hybrid cloud data centers and security architectures are essential to meet the business and security needs of the modern enterprise.

A crucial part of this security is the use of automation and AI to provide scalable and unified threat management and to ensure that security can keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape. As data centers become hyperscale and virtualized – delivering applications at the network edge – security must follow suit. With Check Point, customers can unify management of their entire hybrid data center estate under one umbrella.

Maestro is a hyperscale security solution that provides cloud-level agility and scalability on-premises. To learn more about Maestro and its capabilities, check out this whitepaper. You’re also welcome to request a demo to see how Maestro works for yourself.

Check Point CloudGuard is an industry-leading unified cloud native security for all your cloud assets and workloads, giving you the confidence to automate security, prevent threats, and manage posture – everywhere – across your multi-cloud environment. To learn more about CloudGuard, check out this ebook. You’re also welcome to request a free demo  or sign up for a cloud security trial to see for yourself how CloudGuard can protect your hybrid data center.

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