Businesses and organizations are increasingly recognizing the immense benefits of migrating their infrastructure and applications to public cloud platforms such as GCP. However, before you take flight on the Google Cloud platform, there’s a crucial first step you must take: planning for a landing zone. Here, we’ll delve into two distinct types of landing zones that Google Cloud offers: the Basic Landing Zone and the Enterprise Landing Zone. Understanding the differences between these two options is vital, as it can significantly impact the overall success of your cloud deployment.
Secure your future in the cloud with our Landing Zone.
But What Really is a Landing Zone?
Think of the landing zone as the foundation for your cloud journey—a well-designed blueprint that sets the stage for a seamless and efficient migration process. It serves as the starting point where you lay the groundwork for the entire cloud infrastructure, ensuring that it aligns with your organization’s goals, security requirements, compliance standards, and cost optimization strategies.
A Landing zone can mean different things to different organizations. However, in our experience, Google Cloud Landing zone is largely involved with setting up of a basic construct like Security controls, Policies, Logging, Auditing, Naming convention, Network design, High availability, DR, etc., which will ensure that the end users of Google Cloud get the best of the services and at the same time, ensure all principles and values – such as Reliability, Security, Availability, and Observability – are taken care of.
Basic Landing Zone
Basic landing zone helps to get a Startup or a Corporate kick started with minimum controls and structure. Below highlighted are some essential components of a Basic Landing Zone on Google Cloud. Let’s take a closer look at each of these components:
1. Organization Setup: The organization setup is the top-level entity in Google Cloud’s resource hierarchy. It serves as the foundation for managing resources and services across the entire organization. Within an organization, you can create projects, set policies, and manage billing. A well-organized and thoughtfully designed organization structure is crucial for efficient resource management, security, and governance.
2. Resource Hierarchy: Google Cloud’s resource hierarchy helps you organize and manage resources in a logical and hierarchical manner. At the top is the organization, followed by folders (optional) to further group projects, and then projects themselves. The resource hierarchy allows for centralized control over policies and permissions and helps in managing resources effectively across different teams or departments.
3. Network Design: Networking is a fundamental aspect of any cloud infrastructure. In a Basic Landing Zone, you design and implement a secure and scalable network architecture. This includes setting up Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) networks, subnets, firewalls, and VPNs, ensuring isolation, and controlling access to resources. Proper network design lays the groundwork for a robust and secure cloud environment.
4. Logging and Monitoring: Monitoring the performance and health of your cloud resources is vital to identify and address issues proactively. Google Cloud provides a range of monitoring tools like Google Cloud Monitoring (formerly Stackdriver), which allows you to collect, visualize, and analyze metrics, logs, and other data from your applications and infrastructure. Properly configured logging and monitoring enable faster troubleshooting and improve the overall reliability of your system.
5. Alerting: When running critical workloads in the cloud, timely alerts are crucial to respond swiftly to incidents or abnormal behavior. Google Cloud’s alerting capabilities allow you to set up notifications based on defined thresholds or specific events. By doing so, you can be promptly informed of any issues that require attention and take appropriate actions.
6. SIEM (Security Information and Event Management): Security is a top priority when it comes to cloud deployments. Implementing a SIEM solution helps you centralize the collection, analysis, and response to security events and incidents. Google Cloud’s security services, along with integrating with third-party SIEM tools, enable you to maintain a vigilant and secure cloud environment.
These components, when combined, create a strong foundation for your cloud journey. The Basic Landing Zone is designed to provide a reliable, secure, and well-organized starting point for organizations looking to harness the power of Google Cloud Platform. As businesses grow and their requirements become more complex, they can build upon this foundation to create an even more sophisticated and tailored cloud architecture.
Enterprise Landing Zone
Whereas Enterprise landing zone includes in depth analysis of all different controls and additional components with multi cloud or on-premise integrations with discussion around the cloud operating models. Below are some additions that come with the Enterprise Google Cloud Landing zone.
When it comes to running production workloads in the cloud, reliability and high availability are of paramount importance. Downtime or disruptions can lead to significant financial losses, damage to reputation, and loss of customer trust. To ensure a robust and dependable infrastructure, two primary approaches stand out: leveraging SLAs (Service Level Agreements) with managed services and implementing a multi-region setup.
1. SLA with Managed Services:
Many cloud providers, including Google Cloud, offer managed services with defined SLAs. A Service Level Agreement outlines the level of service reliability and performance that the cloud provider commits to deliver. This includes uptime guarantees, response times for support requests, and other key metrics. By utilizing managed services with SLAs, you are essentially offloading the responsibility of maintaining and ensuring the availability of those services to the cloud provider.
Google Cloud’s managed services, such as Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) for container orchestration or Cloud SQL for managed databases, come with SLAs that promise a certain level of availability. These SLAs often exceed the reliability that can be achieved through self-managed infrastructure, making them an attractive choice for many production workloads.
2. Managing SLA with Multi-Region Setup:
While managed services provide robust SLAs, some organizations may have unique requirements or legacy applications that demand greater control over their infrastructure. In such cases, building a multi-region setup becomes a compelling option. A multi-region setup involves deploying your application and data across multiple geographical locations, ensuring redundancy and failover capabilities.
By distributing workloads across different regions, you protect against the risk of an entire data center going down. Even if one region faces an outage, your application can seamlessly switch to another region, providing continuous service to users.
However, managing a multi-region setup requires careful planning, implementation, and ongoing monitoring to ensure that it meets the desired SLAs. It involves addressing challenges related to data replication, synchronization, and consistency, as well as considering the impact on latency and cost.
Ultimately, whether you opt for managed services or a multi-region setup, prioritizing reliability and high availability is essential for delivering a seamless experience to your users and customers while safeguarding your business from costly downtime and potential disruptions.
Security is a paramount concern when setting up an Enterprise Landing Zone on Google Cloud. An Enterprise Landing Zone serves as the foundation for a secure and compliant cloud environment for the organization. It incorporates various security best practices and features to safeguard data, applications, and infrastructure. Here are some essential security aspects to consider:
- Organizational policy (like public IP should not be allowed)
- Identity Access Management
- Security command center
- Security best practices for different Google Cloud services.
- NFGW can be implemented with partner solutions like paloalto, fortinet etc.
Access management is a critical aspect of an Enterprise Landing Zone on Google Cloud. It involves defining and enforcing policies that control who can access which resources within the cloud environment. Proper access management ensures that users, services, and applications have the appropriate permissions to perform their tasks, while unauthorized access is prevented. Here are key elements of access management in an Enterprise Landing Zone:
- Login with SSO (Federation with Azure AD, Otka or any saml provider or onprem AD is possible in Gcp).
- IAM roles are predefined or can be custom. Best to avoid basic roles.
- Resource hierarchy for better IAM access and organization policy.
- Service account with key should be discouraged
- Workload identity federation should be opted.
Observability is a crucial aspect of an Enterprise Landing Zone on Google Cloud. It involves gaining insights into the performance, health, and behavior of the cloud infrastructure, applications, and services. By implementing observability practices, organizations can proactively identify issues, troubleshoot problems, and optimize their cloud environment. Here are key components of observability in an Enterprise Landing Zone:
- Logging and Monitoring
- Operation suite
- Service mesh
- Siem with ELK
It is important to note that this is not a comprehensive list however. This is to provide a general idea of the construct of the enterprise landing zone and its relevance on Google Cloud.
We at Niveus have the expertise as well as the tools and products which will align to your unique migration requirements and have it deployed. By using our state of the art tool or Infrastructure as Code, we get your cloud environment up and running in no time.