Consider the life of an IT manager, 10 years ago — before the rise of cloud computing from a business perspective. In the absence of virtualization, the conventional IT manager worked with entirely local assets, usually set up inside of an on-premise data center facility, connected to the local network. It was something of an ideal scenario, because physical hardware and software stacks were built according to the security, compliance and reporting needs of the respective enterprise. Sure, there were different applications and workloads at the top of stacks, but the underlying hardware, software, security and monitoring were all consistent. According to Gartner, “Historically, data center strategies focused on keeping applications running, providing sustained and controlled growth, and doing it in a secure and fault-resilient manner.”

Today, businesses have the opportunity to deploy workloads in a variety of locations and environments, such as colocation, software-as-a-service and cloud. While there are a great deal of benefits to doing so, this hybrid model can have the potential to introduce a certain amount of complexity as a result of workloads running on outside stacks of operation systems, hardware configurations and networks that may not offer consistent monitoring and security tools. Further, cloud workloads aren’t physically or logically attached to a company’s network anymore, which can introduce control, visibility and security concerns.

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