Five cloud challenges for DDI and how to beat them

The cloud-first transition has splintered network visibility and control for NetOps. But the DNS, DHCP, and IPAM hurdles they face can be overcome.

Last updated on June 21, 2021.

As organizations look to innovate faster, they turn to hybrid and multi-cloud strategies that require unique cloud DNS capabilities to bolster DevOps teams.

This cloud-first transition has splintered the network visibility and control that NetOps has fought to attain. Subsequently, IP conflicts arise due to overlapping IP space. This results in outages to critical services and applications.

Why does NetOps feel like cloud is happening without them? Why are they struggling to manage the cloud like another data center? This post will explore the five DNS, DHCP, and IP address management (together known as DDI) challenges that NetOps can face during their cloud journey. Additionally, it will touch on the capabilities needed to regain network visibility and control.

Five cloud-first challenges for DDI

Even getting to cloud-first is not without hurdles for DDI. Here are five key challenges:

The Wild West

With the advent of the cloud, various departments and teams are often using their own cloud accounts. As a result, network admins lose central visibility into or control over DNS activity. Shadow IT becomes the norm. This is commonly driven by a perception that traditional infrastructure teams are too slow to react to the needs of DevOps.

Ultimately, data conflicts, errors, outages, and unnecessary expenses result when there is no single source of truth for assigning IP space across environments.

The great divide

With a transition underway, some resources are in the cloud while others are in the data center. Subsequently, cloud and on-prem DDI become separate entities. When the cloud creates autonomous areas of the network with its own DDI resources, any centralized system erodes.

The inevitable result is service delivery delays as admins work to integrate disparate DDI systems. Orchestrating changes across these environments is particularly hard. It becomes an intensive, manual process that can introduce errors and slow innovation.

A rat’s nest

Network admins also need a complex set of DNS forwarding rules to govern resolution across clouds and data centers. It’s easy to end up with thousands of conditional forwarding rules to patch everything together. And these rules need constant updating.

The work to maintain a complex nest of forwarding rules falls to a single person or small team. These complicated rules also threaten data conflicts and outages.

The path less taken

Enterprises are likely to consume services directly from public cloud SaaS services like Office 365 and Salesforce. However, it is a challenge to connect users to those services without routing all of their DNS and application traffic back to a centralized location.

Intelligent routing of DNS traffic to services in the data center, a company-controlled hybrid cloud, or in the public cloud can also be costly.

Someone else’s security

Moving to the cloud means security information in someone else’s data centers. It also means triangulating against someone else’s infrastructure. Furthermore, it means dealing with someone else’s software running through the network. On top of that, there’s a whole class of cloud-specific malware.

With the shared responsibility model used by most public cloud providers, customers are on the hook to secure everything outside of the provider’s infrastructure.

What infrastructure teams need to regain network nirvana

Infrastructure teams can regain visibility and control of DDI in the cloud and on-prem for a seamless experience. Here are unique capabilities network admins should be searching for:

  • 360-degree visibility: Discover and synchronize DNS data across clouds and keep track of what services have been created by DevOps teams.
  • Complete control: Manage IP space across clouds and centralize authority for DNS resolution to reduce service delivery delays.
  • Reduced complexity: Automate provisioning and configuration of DDI services in any cloud to eliminate complex upkeep of overlay solutions.
  • Accelerated optimization: Centralize configuration and management of DNS routing rules to overcome conditional forwarding complexities and ensure fast user experiences.
  • Increased security: Ensure consistent enforcement of security policies and collection of query and response logs from all DNS resolvers. This visibility and control also aids in root-cause analysis of security threats to reduce time-to-detect and remediate.

A cloud-first approach

Faced with visibility and control challenges to cloud adoption, NetOps can overcome them through automation. Too often, organizations are using legacy DDI systems that can’t achieve cloud and on-prem harmony. Without a purpose-built DDI platform, data conflicts, errors, and costly outages occur. That’s why NetOps teams prefer a DDI solution that helps extend, automate, and secure their complex networks.

Why do 72% of enterprises struggle to realize the full value of the cloud? This report by EMA breaks it down.

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