In this 3-part blog series looking at Hybrid Cloud Deployment, Systal’s CTO John Bidgood shares his experience on the most common questions we hear on the challenges and pressures that senior managers face when implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure. Hybrid Cloud being the prevalent solution that most IT departments are now implementing as they adopt a cloud first strategy.

This post will explore some of the pressures felt by senior team members looking to implement a hybrid cloud and outlines some of the most common missteps in bringing a hybrid cloud structure into a business.

Hybrid Cloud Deployment – Pressure Points for the Senior Team

The biggest pressure for IT managers and CIOs when implementing hybrid cloud is first and foremost to manage a perfect balance of helping to support the conflicting business demands of managing cost, agility, performance, service levels and security.

They must often correct the assumption within the business that Hybrid Cloud:

  • Is easy to implement
  • Is able to almost completely replace an enterprise IT operation i.e. its IT people and its infrastructure

Instead we find that you have to change your IT architecture to support any new cloud operation. To a certain extent you have to tailor your existing environment to accept the addition of hybrid cloud. You cannot just buy in the services and expect them to work. Investment is needed in in-house skills and/or partners to establish, maintain and integrate a hybrid cloud operation.

The cost of interoperability and migration of workloads to public/private cloud services is something that they must consider carefully. Even though hybrid cloud itself might be a cost saver in comparison to a datacentre, there can be a considerable cost implication of integrating and migrating hybrid cloud into your existing infrastructure. This would be the extra cost of, for example, network connectivity, licensing or simply the time required to build and test all of the supporting infrastructure before migration can begin.

Common Mistakes

Poor Planning – incorrect planning of cloud services results in mismatched sizing requirements and service agreements. You need to plan the target environment required and plan how to scale that environment to actually meet the SLAs that the business demands. Often people ask for too much capacity and end up paying for something they are not using or asking for too little and underestimating their eventual costs. Sometimes public cloud can often end up costing more than retaining an existing operation or investing in their own private cloud.

Oversimplification – Thinking that you can perform a simple “lift and shift” of workloads to cloud from existing in-house IT services. Many people underestimate the effort and time required to migrate from a classic IT service to cloud.

Underestimating the skills needed in house – To achieve hybrid cloud, companies ideally need to find the optimum IT model by integrating cloud, internet service and in-house solutions together, while at the same time continuing to provide the same day to day service for the operation of the business. This means that companies may need to expand with a mixture of potential new training, new hires and potential partners to implement and support.

Overestimating what you might get from a cloud vendor – Typically the cloud providers themselves will not help you integrate their service into your business; you will have to perform the integration yourself or work with a partner to do it.

In our next post, we’ll take a look at the connected security aspects of implementing a hybrid cloud structure, and how you can prepare for cloud across your organisation.  Get in touch with us if you are thinking of implementing a hybrid cloud structure in your business.