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Understanding a Cloud Landing Zone

Migration to the cloud could be challenging, particularly for businesses with little to no cloud expertise or insufficient manpower to establish an effective and correct cloud environment. Additionally, an environment could include hundreds of subscriptions and accounts, making it more challenging to manage.

The solution?

A cloud landing zone.

Establishing a landing zone is the beginning of your business journey to the cloud. It is a constantly evolving configuration that can resolve the challenges of cloud migration and management more accessible and faster. However, it is first essential to understand what exactly is cloud landing zone, its benefits, and how it works.

What is a Landing Zone?

It is an underlying core configuration for a cloud environment adoption. Landing zones work as pre-configured environments to host teams and workloads in public, hybrid, or private clouds. A cloud landing zone can take care of the four significant aspects of the cloud:

  • Identity and access management
  • Networking
  • Security & Compliance
  • Standardized tenancy

It allows businesses to standardize the environments of clouds provisioned to development teams. The landing zone provides consistency among the users in access control, scaling, and naming. This adds to the security that prevents unauthorized or non-compliant configurations.

Benefits of Landing Zone

More businesses have started leveraging the use of the cloud and have started migrating their processes, data, and applications. Three of the biggest suppliers – Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services – offer multiple features and improvements in adopting the cloud to make it easier for companies to move.

Some of the significant benefits of establishing a cloud landing zone include:

  • Enhanced security controls – It allows you to apply multiple security policies between multiple workloads.
  • Central user management – It allows you to handle the authorization and authentication from a single control panel, allowing faster onboarding of new teams and application of particular policies on individuals or groups.
  • Isolation of Data – Restricting the environment to a particular account ensures information stays within the security policies and boundaries of the account. This indicates that even if one environment is breached, the rest of them stay protected since they are isolated.
  • Enhanced Visibility – Confining and tagging resources in a boundary provides clearer visibility of what every team is building and what is being utilized.
  • Setting Limitations – when environments are separated into multiple accounts, it allows you to establish limitations on the cloud services. This helps in preventing consuming more than necessary and prevents overprovisioning. For instance, developers can assess a specific amount of resources linked to a particular budget in a sandbox account, allowing businesses to avoid over-provisioning and overspending.

Lifecycle of Cloud Landing Zone

Every business wants to switch to the cloud, but the journey is not that simple. It is unwise to just jump into the cloud blindly without having a strategy in place, as this would end up creating confusion and frustration for all the teams.

This strategy can be created based on your business needs by focusing on a cloud landing zone. Therefore, you must understand the lifecycle of the cloud landing zone, which involve three main factors:

Design (Day 0)

A cloud landing zone creates a cloud environment foundation, making it essential for businesses to first create a strong strategy based on their requirements before starting their cloud journey. This can include cost optimization, high availability, configurations and networking, access and identity management, performance, workload management, and compliance and security.

Decide and create a proper action plan to help you prevent losses and hazards that might otherwise arise during the cloud journey and negatively impact your efforts.

Deployment (Day 1)

After you have created a strategy and design based on the requirements and specifications of your business, determine the deployment of the cloud landing zone to the Cloud Service Provider (CSP). The CSP manages the concept of landing zones differently compared to their framework of cloud adoption. You can decide on the services of cloud landing zone offered by vendors like GCP, Azure, and AWS.

Operations (Day 2)

Since the cloud is a constantly evolving environment, it requires continuous effort in the operations and management of the established landing zone. As the cloud environments continue to evolve, the landing zones must be updated and maintained based on the best practices of the cloud providers by utilizing innovative tools.

Right Time to Create a Landing Zone

One of the common questions businesses ponder on is when to create a landing zone. Ideally, you should create a landing zone before deploying the first workload on the cloud. This is because it offers:

  • A secure and protected foundation
  • Extensive network for business workloads
  • Tools to manage internal cost distribution

Remember, the first plan for your landing zone will not likely be the final version since landing zones are modular. Therefore, it is vital to create the landing zone with growth and scalability in mind. For instance, the initial workload might not need access to network resources on-premises so that you can establish the connectivity with all on-premises infrastructure later.

Wrapping Up

Managing different environments on a single account is not a wise practice for businesses and must be avoided. You must understand that onboarding new teams and workloads on the cloud platform could be insecure and time-consuming due to a lack of visibility and control.

Utilizing a cloud landing zone can benefit your business in migrating the teams and applications of your company to the cloud more securely and quickly. It allows automatic configuration and setup of your account. The cloud landing zone ensures speed and quality improvement with its well-defined operating platform.

Whether your business is looking to improve the speed of migration or moving to the cloud for the first time, a cloud landing zone builds a strong foundation and provides you with more control over your budget. It also increases the resilience of the network and improves governance.

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