Multi-Cloud Strategy Has Dangerous Undercurrents For Telcos | A Mobile Europe Article Featuring Assured Data Protection

It’s turbulent and currents are not necessarily in harmony.

A multi-cloud strategy could be fatal for any telco, delegates heard at a recent NetEvents conference on Multi-Cloud and Cloud Native Networking. 

Security specialist Stewart Parkin, CTO at Assured Data Protection explained how a telco in a state of cloud incongruity brings with it its own unique data protection frustrations. Protecting its data and recovering it, from ‘any cloud’ to ’any cloud’, in reasonable time, is virtually impossible, Parkin warned. 

“It’s a management nightmare. Maintaining different tool sets, formats and data repositories is one thing – but it’s very uncommon for these to work intra-cloud. You can’t backup an Amazon EC2 instance in AWS backup, then restore it to an Azure Virtual Machine with the native tools,” said Parkin.

Telcos forget that you also need to check a multitude of backup tools to ensure that their EC2 and RDS instances, Azure SQL PaaS databases, GCP VMs have all backed up. “The report says they backed up, but did they work, how do you test that, across platforms, while also making sure those 20 new virtual machines that DevOps has just spun up for a new critical application, are in protection?” said Parkin. 

There are other questions that typically get overlooked in the rush to the clouds, said Parkin, who gave a few examples: Are all of the company policies across the clouds, correct? Are they the same? Do they meet regulatory requirements? If you need to change a policy, where do you need to change? What affect might that have on other data?

For compliance you must ensure that the backup data is immutable, segregated from the production platform owners, encrypted, stored within region and out of region if needed, said Parkin. 

Other questions arise, Parkin warned the telcos: “What does your cross-region egress look like? Are you storing it out of cloud and if so, what does the egress cost here? If you are taking it out of cloud, are the backups portable? Could you use the EC2 snapshot to recover the VM locally to VMware or Azure if you needed to? If not, why take it out of the cloud, you’ve essentially got a very expensive collection of ones and zeros,” said Parkin

All of these things can be fixed, and catered for, but they need to planned and controlled with the right technologies and solutions. However, now that people expect things to happen just because they clicked a button, the boring but vital work such as data protection, backups and recovery are often left for a rainy day. On that day they will become the single most important thing in the telco’s business, warned Parkin.

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