By Joe Kim, SolarWinds EVP, Engineering and Global CTO


Abruptly moving from legacy systems to the cloud is akin to building a new house without a foundation. Sure, it might have the greatest and most efficient new appliances and cool fixtures, but it’s not really going to work unless the fundamentals that support the entire structure are in place.


Administrators can avoid this pitfall by building modern networks designed for both the cloud of today and the needs of tomorrow. These networks must be software-defined, intelligent, open and able to accommodate both legacy technologies and more-advanced solutions during the cloud migration strategy period. Simultaneously, their administrators must have complete visibility into network operations and applications, wherever they may be hosted.


Let’s look at some building practices that administrators can use to effectively create a solid, modern and cloud-ready network foundation.


Create a blueprint to monitor network bandwidth on the cloud


Many network challenges will likely come from increased traffic derived from an onslaught of devices on the cloud. The result is that both traditional and non-traditional devices are enabling network traffic that will inevitably impact bandwidth. Backhaul issues can also occur, particularly with traditional network architectures that aren’t equipped to handle the load that more devices and applications can put on the network.


It’s becoming increasingly important for administrators to be able to closely monitor and analyze network traffic patterns. They must have a means to track bandwidth usage down to individual users, applications, and devices so they can more easily pinpoint the root cause of slowdowns before, during, and after deploying a cloud migration strategy.


Construct automated cloud security protocols


Agencies moving from a traditional network infrastructure to the cloud will want to make sure their security protocols evolve as well. Network notification software should automatically detect and report on potentially malicious activity, use of rogue or unauthorized devices, and other factors that can prove increasingly hazardous as agencies commence their cloud migration strategy efforts.


Automation will become vitally important because there are simply too many moving parts to a modern, cloud-ready network for managers to easily and manually control. In addition to the aforementioned monitoring practices, regular software updates should be automatically downloaded to ensure that the latest versions of network tools are installed. And administrators should consider instituting self-healing protocols that allow the network to automatically correct itself in case of a slowdown or breach.


Create an open-concept cloud environment


Lack of visibility can be a huge network management challenge when migrating to the cloud. Agency IT personnel must be able to maintain a holistic view of everything that’s happening on the network, wherever that activity may be taking place. Those taking a hybrid cloud approach will require network monitoring that allows them to see into the dark hallways that exist between on-premises and cloud infrastructures. They must also be able to continuously monitor the performance of those applications, regardless of where they exist.


Much as well-built real estate increases in value over time, creating a cloud-ready, modernized network will offer significant benefits, both now and in the future. Agencies will be able to enjoy better security and greater flexibility through networks that can grow along with demand, and they’ll have a much easier time managing the move to the cloud with an appropriate network infrastructure. In short, they’ll have a solid foundation upon which to build their cloud migration strategies.


Find the full article on Government Computer News.