How many clouds do you need before you have a hybrid cloud environment? Whether you have one cloud combined with a legacy data center, a formal hybrid cloud with both public and private clouds, or a multi-cloud environment with duplicate clouds for redundancy, you’ve got hybrid IT running your business.
For most companies, this move to hybrid IT is driven by a combination of concerns, including cost savings, performance, and agility, but the ultimate goal is almost always to have technology support revenue growth.
That means developing cloud strategies to align cloud usage with business needs and tackling these challenges:
1. Making strategic decisions about where to run each workload. Any workload can potentially reside either on premises or in the cloud. You’ll find arguments supporting keeping core systems internal and placing less important systems in the cloud; you’ll also find arguments for placing mission-critical systems in the cloud where the built-in high availability ensures they’ll have minimal downtime. Ultimately you have to decide how much risk to take and whether the expected rewards exceed those risks.
2. Manage cloud expenditures. The more clouds you have, the more your clouds will cost you. If your data center is full of equipment reaching its retirement date, those costs may be justifiable, but if your equipment still has an extensive expected lifetime, you may prefer to make as much use of it as possible. You’ve also got to work through the complications of making multiple clouds communicate, and the costs that come along with that.
3. Keep data secure. Hybrid cloud means lots of data movement between environments. Data security, always important, becomes even more important and more challenging when using public cloud, where your servers are managed by a vendor and shared with other tenants.
4. Gain a view into your environment. The many pieces of hybrid environments make it difficult to understand your status and your capacity at a glance. Single pane of glass monitoring is more of a dream than a reality for most installations.
5. Understand how you’ll scale. Hybrid cloud means you’ve got many alternatives for scaling up and out. You should understand your plan for every system, including whether you’ll scale in public cloud or private cloud, possibly introducing hyperconverged infrastructure into your data center to support that growth.
6. Leverage automation. The only way to effectively control environments that are complex mixtures of technology is through automation. Combine that automation with DevOps procedures to gain the agility promised by cloud infrastructure.
Have you developed a strategic plan to help you make the most of your hybrid IT environment? Contact dcVAST to learn more about how you can effectively support and utilize your hybrid IT environment no matter how many clouds it contains.