Hybrid cloud environments have become increasingly popular with small and mid-sized businesses. A hybrid cloud approach can provide organizations with multiple benefits that can help them address business objectives and remain competitive in their market sector. Some of the characteristics that make a hybrid cloud advantageous also add to their complexity, making them more difficult to manage and support efficiently.

We’re going to look at the challenges that need to be attended to when utilizing a hybrid cloud environment. We’ll discuss best practices for success and investigate effective solutions to minimize complexity and optimize the benefits of a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

What Are the Advantages of a Hybrid Cloud?

A hybrid cloud is one in which a combination of computing power, storage, and services provided by multiple environments are employed to meet business requirements. A hybrid cloud may be constructed using private clouds, public cloud services, on-premises data centers, and edge installations. Companies can evaluate the offerings of various public cloud service providers (CSPs) and choose the best solutions to address their unique needs.

Hybrid clouds have become popular because of their potential advantages and ability to meet diverse business objectives. The most important benefits of a hybrid cloud approach include:

  • Flexibility in choosing the optimal solutions for specific business requirements from multiple providers or in-house resources;
  • Scalability by engaging virtually limitless public cloud resources to address peak usage demands;
  • Cost-efficiency by engaging in comparative shopping for similar solutions from competing providers;
  • Enhanced security by segregating and processing sensitive data in a private cloud;
  • Improved compliance by maintaining regulated data in a private cloud;
  • Added resiliency by spreading the infrastructure over multiple physical environments;
  • Access to cutting-edge technology offered by specific providers;
  • Optimizing performance by selecting the most efficient solution for specific workloads;
  • Avoiding vendor lock-in by taking advantage of solutions from multiple providers.

The Challenges of Managing a Hybrid Cloud Environment

Several challenges may impact an organization’s ability to obtain all of the advantages possible with a hybrid cloud. Following are some of the major challenges facing companies adopting a hybrid cloud mindset.

  • It can be difficult to integrate the diverse technologies from multiple providers to align with business objectives. Data transfer between environments can be difficult and hinder efficiency.
  • Visibility into data resources across all environments is essential so they can be given the appropriate level of protection.
  • Security becomes more challenging as there are now multiple environments that must be protected. Connected infrastructures increase the attack surface that must be safeguarded from threat actors.
  • Regulatory compliance can be difficult when data resources are spread among several computing environments. Companies may want to select a single environment for processing regulated data.
  • Managing costs can be complicated and result in unexpected expenses and budget overruns. The pay-as-you-go model available from many public cloud providers lends itself to abuse if not managed effectively.
  • Efficiently provisioning resources across multiple environments can be difficult and contribute to excessive cloud computing expenses. Companies have to be careful and not inadvertently replicate solutions or resources such as storage capacity with multiple vendors.
  • Diverse skill sets may be necessary to optimally manage the multiple environments comprising a hybrid cloud. Additional staff may be required to get the most out of new hybrid cloud solutions.
  • Enforcing consistent data handling policies and access methods can be difficult when multiple environments are in play.
  • Performance may be impacted by bandwidth limits or network latency when communicating between different cloud environments.
  • Data protection and business continuity may be complicated by the need to create backups and disaster recovery plans for multiple infrastructures. Failure to protect mission-critical solutions throughout the hybrid cloud can be devastating to a business.

Best Practices for a Successful Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

The benefits make it worthwhile for companies to address the challenges that may accompany adopting a hybrid cloud approach. Implementing and following these best practices can help businesses succeed with utilizing a hybrid cloud environment.

  • Define clear objectives that will be addressed by the multiple components of a hybrid cloud. There should be compelling business reasons that influence the decision to simultaneously implement and manage several computing environments. Organizations need to avoid moving to a hybrid cloud simply because is it a popular trend.
  • A unified management platform is one of the most beneficial best practices to address hybrid cloud complexity. The ability to achieve visibility into all data resources is critical in protecting them effectively. Monitoring and managing the environment from a centralized platform aids in optimizing resources and avoiding unexpected expenses. Centralized management can also help eliminate costly and unapproved shadow IT solutions that threaten data safety.
  • Invest in employee training to obtain the maximum value from cloud resources. In-house resources may be encouraged to obtain certifications that demonstrate their ability to manage hybrid environments.
  • Implement strong security measures to protect the environment and data resources. This includes solutions such as identity and access management (IAM) and encryption to protect data from unauthorized access.
  • Robust data protection solutions need to be in place to safeguard from data losses initiated by human factors or natural disasters. Plans to recover business-critical systems need to be developed and regularly tested to maintain business continuity across a hybrid cloud.

VAST Helps You Navigate Hybrid Cloud Complexity

VAST understands the complexity of the hybrid cloud. We offer multiple solutions to help your company get the maximum performance and value from your hybrid cloud environment. Our services also address the need to protect your infrastructure and its valuable data assets. Let’s look at some of the services and solutions we provide to tame the challenges of hybrid cloud complexity.

  • VAST View offers a comprehensive solution for managing and achieving visibility into a hybrid cloud environment. The tool assists in migrating to the cloud and optimizing resources after a migration.
  • Cloud Backup-as-a-Service (CBaaS) provides businesses with a fully managed backup solution that protects information in any type of computing environment, including a hybrid cloud.
  • Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) protects your hybrid cloud environment with a solution built on AWS Elastic Disaster Recovery. This DRaaS offering provides a cost-effective and efficient method of disaster recovery without constructing a dedicated infrastructure.

Get in touch and let us help you get the most out of your hybrid cloud investment.