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The growth of hybrid and multicloud environments is a response to the growing need for more versatile and agile data management, allowing organizations to combine the advantages of cloud services with on-premises data centers and access various services across different cloud providers without being locked into any one vendor. However, administering such operations introduces a new level of complexity.
NetApp BlueXP simplifies the complexities of operating a hybrid and multicloud data estate at the enterprise level by providing a single control plane for building an efficient and reliable hybrid multicloud storage solution.
In this article, we discuss the complexities of managing hybrid multicloud enterprise data estates and how BlueXP’s simple yet powerful storage administration capabilities help streamline those operations.
Read on, or use these links to jump down:
- The Complexity of Hybrid Multicloud Data Estate Administration
- How BlueXP Transforms Enterprise-Grade Hybrid Multicloud Administration
- The Complete Toolset for Hybrid Multicloud Administration
The Complexity of Hybrid Multicloud Data Estate Administration
While turning to hybrid multicloud architectures adds flexibility, administering and managing data across multiple cloud and on-prem environments requires a high degree of coordination and synchronization. There are often many issues when it comes to data consistency, compliance, and regulatory requirements that must be addressed.
Managing a hybrid multicloud data estate presents a range of challenges for storage administrators:
Data explosion: With data being generated at an ever-increasing rate, it's essential to allocate and manage storage resources to support high-volume data transfers. Achieving this means relying on niche expertise for managing stored data and configuring underlying resources.
Data privacy and security: With data distributed across different cloud and on-prem environments, safeguarding sensitive information is another integral challenge. This essentially requires an extensive security strategy that is supported by robust encryption, access controls, and monitoring mechanisms.
Compliance and regulations: With various regulations for different regions and use cases, establishing visibility and processes that guarantee conformance while ensuring efficiency requires deeper familiarity of these standards and a robust data governance strategy.
Maintaining technology evolutions: The technology landscape is ever-evolving, providing new tools and techniques for efficient data management across hybrid environments. Organizations must keep up with these changes to ensure that they are using the most efficient tools and leveraging the right practices.
Managing hybrid environments: Storing data across multiple cloud and on-prem environments means data consistency, networking, and integration challenges.
Managing hybrid environments also generally involves multiple interfaces for different services across different environments. These interfaces may have different configuration requirements, making them difficult to manage consistently. Organizations must ensure their infrastructure is capable of handling different data formats so data remains consistent across all environments.
Escalating costs: As data volumes grow and storage needs expand, so do the costs. Organizations can control expenses by optimizing storage usage, using cost-effective cloud storage solutions, and implementing efficient data management processes.
These points really just touch the surface of what it takes to orchestrate hybrid multicloud deployments. To find out more, read about building an effective hybrid strategy here.
How BlueXP Transforms Enterprise-Grade Hybrid Multicloud Administration
NetApp BlueXP offers a unified control plane for storage and data services, with an intuitive interface and powerful automation to simplify hybrid multicloud storage management. The platform provides visibility into an entire data estate and helps administer operational policies and processes consistently across all your environments.
Here’s how it works.
BlueXP achieves true data resilience through a combination of security measures for integrated protection, including:
BlueXP provides a secure solution to store and manage access keys for both cloud provider and self-managed credentials.
Authorization and Tenancy
BlueXP ensures that granular access permissions are managed effectively, while still maintaining flexibility and agility of their distributed, hybrid environments. That’s thanks to tenancy models that map resources according to organizational and business structure, and using Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) for storage operations and governance.
Identity and Authentication
Leveraging Auth0 for centralized login and user management, BlueXP’s Identity and Authentication service enables you to navigate across all of the platform’s services without having to sign in multiple times.
The service also provides several key features, including the creation and management of principals, an API for authentication flows, and the generation of identity representation. Additionally, the support for federation and LDAP login allows you to use existing corporate credentials to access BlueXP without the need to create and remember new credentials.
In this way BlueXP eliminates the need for users to rely on different sets of logins, cutting down the risks of having weak or lost passwords.
Compliance and Certifications
BlueXP provides robust support for various industry standards and regulations, as sensitive data needs to comply with regulatory requirements—whether it’s SOC2 type II, GDPR, CCPA, ISO 27001, SDL, GTC, etc.
Audit trails and activity logs
BlueXP provides a comprehensive audit trail of all user-initiated and service account operations, ensuring compliance with policies, security, user login, cost, and regulations. This activity log is safely stored for long-term retention, enabling businesses to use the data for compliance or governance purposes.
Regular self-assessments and annual third-party reviews
BlueXP's systems and processes are built to follow regulatory requirements irrespective of an enterprise’s industry needs. The platform's compliance support is also complemented by its enterprise-grade administration capabilities for user management, authentication and authorization, access control, and auditing.
These capabilities collectively provide businesses with complete control over their data and users, ensuring that they are always in compliance with the necessary regulatory requirements.
BlueXP offers observability features that enable full-stack visibility into storage infrastructure and applications. The platform's monitoring capabilities enable businesses to track metrics such as CPU and memory utilization, disk I/O, network traffic, and application response times. This information can be used to pinpoint where performance might be degrading, keep system performance optimized, and provide users with the best possible experience.
Audit logs are essential for troubleshooting, optimization, and compliance purposes. BlueXP’s audit log tracks and captures activities initiated by both users and service accounts. The audit log is designed to meet compliance requirements, with long-term log retention and tamper-proofing to ensure log integrity.
The audit service also seamlessly integrates with other SIEM and ITSM tools such as Jira, DataDog, Splunk, and ServiceNow for seamless issue tracking and management.
Alerts and Notifications
BlueXP provides multi-channel alerts and notifications, allowing near real-time visibility of storage provisioning and consumption. These alerts can be further customized to meet the needs of businesses and can be sent via email, SMS, or other collaboration channels.
With the power of AI, BlueXP offers recommendations and remediations on performance optimization and automation. By analyzing system metrics, AI can identify performance bottlenecks and recommend optimization measures that can improve performance of storage services. This enables you to take a proactive approach to system optimization, resulting in a better user experience and reduced downtime.
Costs and Billing Experience
BlueXP's usage and cost observability features provide a comprehensive view of storage usage and costs, allowing administrators to identify inefficiencies and optimize storage consumption.
This is particularly important for enterprises that need to manage large volumes of data and require a proactive approach to monitoring and optimization.
Through a simplified and secure billing experience, BlueXP helps manage billing and payments efficiently. Because the payment information remains stored securely within this platform, the need to manually enter payment details for each transaction is reduced. For secure transactions, the service also enforces an additional layer of encryption and authentication for payments.
License and subscription management
BlueXP's subscription management allows administrators to optimize costs by selecting storage consumption models and paying only for the amount of storage they use. The BlueXP digital wallet helps you easily track subscription costs and pay a uniform price for different capabilities such as public cloud marketplaces, BYOL licenses, and Keystone Flex subscriptions.
BlueXP provides powerful automation capabilities that help you consistently and reliably scale up systems and practices while reducing manual effort and human error risks.
The platform's software-defined storage capabilities streamline and accelerate workflows, so you can consistently achieve service levels and improve productivity for your large-scale storage system.
UI, API, and automation
The unified BlueXP user interface (UI) provides a simplified and streamlined user journey, making it easier to manage all your storage resources. Through a self-explanatory capabilities menu and seamless workflows for service activation and integration, setting up complex data estates is much easier.
Each service in the NetApp catalog exposes an API that uses mainstream protocols and standards, which admins can subsequently use to automate integration with their applications/systems. To manage storage resources at scale, the BlueXP Terraform provider and Ansible modules are also available to automate provisioning and deploying of services across different environments.
BlueXP’s AppTemplate service enables standardized resource creation and simplifies volume provisioning for specific workloads and use cases. These templates streamline the resource provisioning process, ensuring consistency and efficiency across different cloud environments.
With the AppTemplate service you achieve:
- Automated and streamlined infrastructure provisioning
- Centralized location to activate app services
- Simplified idle resource location workflow
BlueXP offers three deployment modes to address varying levels of security demands. These modes enable enterprises to design storage systems that provide the best balance of features and capabilities for their unique requirements.
A standard NetApp configuration that leverages BlueXP's SaaS layer and encrypted data transmission over the public internet. This mode is designed for general-purpose workloads without specific restrictions on the use of the internet.
A tightly controlled configuration that provides enhanced security and performance features for more granular control of information flow. This mode only covers a selection of NetApp services available within specific cloud regions, and is typically useful for regulated industries, such as healthcare and financial services, which require strict compliance with data protection requirements.
A highly customized configuration that features complete isolation from any public network connection, cloud services, or offerings. This mode leverages BlueXP’s local UI and capabilities to enable storage administration in dedicated, on-prem or private cloud environments.
The Complete Toolset for Hybrid Multicloud Administration
Enterprises looking to stay ahead in their digital transformation journey are increasingly turning to hybrid multicloud environments to accelerate innovation and drive growth. As we’ve written about elsewhere, this trend has effectively ended the war over the cloud. But the complexity can often be staggering.
NetApp BlueXP solves all that, with an enterprise-grade administration platform with powerful capabilities to automate critical operations and deliver integrated data service capabilities across a broader hybrid multicloud data estate.
There’s finally a way to eliminate complexity, increase innovation speed, and deliver on the outcomes that matter most.