Last year, a DDOS attack disrupted major parts of the internet in both North America and Europe. The attacks seemed largely targeted on DNS provider Dyn disrupting access to major service providers such as Twitter, Spotify, Github, Paypal, and more. This kind of botnet-driven DDOS attack is a harbinger of future attacks that can be carried out over devices in an increasingly connected world based on the Internet of Things (IoT).
This disruption highlights a particular vulnerability to businesses that have chosen to rely on cloud-based services like IaaS, SaaS, or PaaS. The ability to connect to these services is critical to business operations and even though the service may be running, if users cannot connect, it causes business downtime. What is particularly concerning about these attacks for small and midmarket organisations especially, is that they become victims of attacks directed at larger targets.
As the IoT becomes more of a reality, more and more devices of questionable security will join the internet and the potential for these attacks and their severity can increase. Increased attacks mean internet services become less reliable. When looking at how to compare cloud computing and on-premises hypercoverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions, and one of the decision point should be its reliance on the internet. It is not only a matter of ensuring a stable internet provider, but also the stability of the internet in general with the possibility of attacks targeting a number of different services.
Organisations running services on-premises were not affected by this attack because it did not affect any internal network environments. Choosing to run infrastructure and services internally definitely mitigates the risk of outage from external forces like collateral damage from attacks on service providers. Many organisations that choose cloud services do so for simplicity and convenience because traditional IT infrastructure, even with virtualisation, is complex and can be difficult to implement, particularly for small and midsize organisations. It is only recently that hyperconverged infrastructure has made on-premises infrastructure as simple to use as the cloud.
The future is still uncertain on how organisations will ultimately balance their IT infrastructure between on-premises and cloud in what is loosely called hybrid cloud. It is likely that it will simply continue to evolve continuously with more emerging technology. At the moment, however, organisations have the choice of easy-to-use hyperconverged infrastructure for increased security and stability, or choose to go with cloud providers for complete hands-off management and third party reliance.
There are valid reasons to go with either cloud or on-premises. The solution may well be a combination of the two. But, organisations should be aware that on-premises IT infrastructure no longer needs to be the complicated mess of server vendors, storage vendors, hypervisor vendors, and disaster recovery solution vendors. Hyperconverged infrastructure is a viable option for organisations of any size to keep services on-premises, stable, and secure against collateral DDOS damage.