By John Bidgood, Chief Technology Officer.
Successfully implementing your hybrid cloud strategy
We recently blogged about how to get started with a hybrid cloud infrastructure for your organisation, planning out the public/private balance, peaks and troughs in demand, network consolidation and virtualisation required to create the simplest, most flexible and cost-effective hybrid cloud architecture possible.
But once you have rationalised your existing setup and created the best possible foundation for your hybrid cloud, what next? How do you successfully implement your hybrid cloud strategy?
There are many different areas to think about, but you might want to start by considering whether you need to work with a cloud broker. Just like any other broker, this is a third-party organisation which acts as an intermediary between you and the cloud provider or providers that you are working with. Brokerage can be invaluable when the technical capabilities or simply when direct hybrid cloud experience within your organisation is more limited, since part of the role lies in researching the different services available and coming up with the blended model that best suits your needs.
Connectivity and orchestration
Then you can move on to thinking about the technical requirements of your new architecture, including connectivity, orchestration, security and compliance. There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all solution for deploying a hybrid cloud, but tackling these areas discretely and logically can be a big help.
Cloud orchestration – the process of arranging and automating a series of tasks so that you get a single consolidated workflow, accelerating the provision of new services and applications across your architecture – is one of the great benefits of migrating to a cloud infrastructure. However, it needs to be carefully planned, working from a business needs perspective and considering which applications you need for day-to-day operations.
Security and compliance
Hybrid cloud infrastructures alleviate the concerns that many organisations have regarding the security and integrity of key data when moved into public cloud environments. They enable organisations to select dedicated servers and devices for hosting the most sensitive information and critical systems. Essentially, they can mix and match, keeping key elements of the infrastructure on-premise for tighter visibility and control, and migrating others to the public cloud for easier and more cost-effective management. Devices can also be configured so that specific servers communicate on private networks. However, achieving this means having a logical and thorough approach to the hybrid cloud setup, going through all your existing applications and datasets and considering whether they are best kept on-site or moved to the cloud.
On a related point, hybrid cloud architectures can alleviate concerns that auditors may have regarding multi-tenancy and hosted infrastructures. If auditors require specific aspects of an environment to be hosted on-site, then this can be achieved easily, without giving up the broader public cloud benefits.
Consider backup, archive and disaster recovery
Disaster recovery plans are essential for large organisations, which otherwise risk grinding to a halt and even total business failure in the event of a malfunction. With no cloud resources at all, disaster recovery is a costly and cumbersome exercise, involving remote backup sites which need to be manned and managed. Migrating key data and applications to the cloud makes disaster recovery much quicker, simpler and more cost-effective, and using a combination of public and private ensures that data and applications receive precisely the right levels of protection. However, once again, to make your hybrid cloud deployment a success, this needs to be properly planned and carefully thought out.
Systal can advise on all of these areas, taking away the complexity of your hybrid cloud deployment and making it work for you. Get in touch with us today for advice and support.