Blog AI & ML

Top Misconceptions About Cloud-Based Infrastructure Management

Doug McDonald Director, Product Management for Healthcare Published 28 Feb 2020

As the Director of Product Line Management for Healthcare solutions at Extreme, I have been talking to many involved in the healthcare industry about the now mainstream adoption of cloud-based technologies.  Although once hesitant to embrace cloud, we have seen the transition of many critical healthcare applications including Electronic Medical Records, Contact Centers, email and collaboration applications and Health Information Systems to public clouds / software-as-a-service models.    

When it comes to infrastructure management and the transition from on-premise to cloud-based systems, healthcare hasn’t been quite so bullish.   The adoption rate of cloud-managed infrastructure within healthcare (according to an Extreme Networks survey) is only 14%.  A huge reason for the low adoption is the perception that cloud-managed offers are not clinical grade and don’t offer the reliability and security needed for mission-critical hospital environments.

This blog outlines the top objections we hear from healthcare companies on infrastructure management and shows how choosing a third-generation solution, such as ExtremeCloud IQ, can avoid these pitfalls and enable a cloud-management infrastructure solution that meets the demands of clinical environments.

  1. A loss of connectivity to the public cloud is going to have an impact on my network services.

With Extreme, a loss of connectivity to the public cloud will not impact network traffic or the underlying infrastructure.  This is because there is no dependency on the cloud management system for the infrastructure to function. Alternative offers that are based on centralized control planes mean that there is a dependency between the infrastructure and the cloud, and the infrastructure control plane would be lost with the loss of the public cloud.  With Extreme’s distributed architecture, although you will lose connectivity to the management interface, the network itself is not impacted in any way.

  1. If my cloud-subscription service expires, my users will lose the ability to connect to the network.

Unlike some competitive solutions, if your cloud-subscription service expires, your users will still be able to connect and utilize the network completely.  This is again because with Extreme each infrastructure component has its own control plane and its own local configuration file.  This means that users will still have untethered access to the network.

  1. Continuous feature updates to the cloud management platform means I will lose control over software updates and patches on my infrastructure.

When Extreme Networks talks about continuous innovation and continuous delivery as one of the benefits of a third-generation cloud management platform, this only relates to the management features.  No changes are ever applied to the network devices or the operation of those devices and are left in strict control of your IT organization and network administrators. 

  1. My infrastructure is more secure with an on-premises management platform.

While that might have been the case a few years ago, there have been huge advances in cloud-based security.  The top cloud vendors— AWS, Google, and Microsoft Azure— have spent billions on security and have massive teams of cybersecurity experts and data scientists, far exceeding the capabilities of any individual enterprise.  Additionally, Extreme has achieved ISO 27001 certification for our cloud offerings, further enhancing our cloud security offering.  

Furthermore, many next-generation network security solutions are leveraging Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ ML) technology to faster detect and remediate against threats.  Since the use of AI and ML requires a huge data pool to learn from, as well as significant compute resources, it is best suited for public cloud implementations.  In fact, much of the innovation that is occurring in networking and security is via the public cloud.  However, if you are still not convinced, ExtremeCloud IQ comes in private and local deployment models in addition to its public cloud offer.  Private and local deployment models never use the public cloud, with the local IT administrator maintaining full control.

If you want to learn what the three additional misconceptions are about cloud-based Infrastructure management, download this At-A-Glance. 

Learn more about the values of ExtremeCloud IQ in a healthcare setting, download this solutions brief.

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