The hybrid cloud is more popular than ever—today, 58 percent of organizations rely on hybrid strategies. Encompassing a blend of public and private cloud environments, the hybrid cloud gives adopters total freedom to build the infrastructure they require to meet their business needs. For many organizations, it’s not a matter of if they’ll migrate to the hybrid cloud, but when.
From potential challenges to app migration, here are a few key considerations you’ll need to make before jumping in with the hybrid cloud:
1. How will we manage our hybrid cloud spending?
Managing cloud spend in any environment can be a challenge, so you will need to implement protocols early on to ensure that you’re reaping the full benefits of the hybrid cloud without wasting any of your budget. To properly manage your cloud budget, you should look into machine learning tools that can help you create a cloud spend forecast. This will allow your team to estimate your organization’s cloud usage and determine how much of your budget you should allocate to those needs.
You can also use machine learning to look at specific projects by cost and determine where you can combine or eliminate cloud workloads. Many vendors even allow you to set a limit on capacity by project, so you’ll have better control over the resources you use and what you spend on them.
2. What challenges will we face in a hybrid cloud environment?
For all the benefits that the hybrid cloud can bring to your organization, it will also elicit a number of challenges for your team. Understanding these roadblocks will be crucial to overcoming them and streamlining your hybrid cloud management.
Many organizations struggle with the complicated IT architecture of the hybrid cloud as it involves a combination of in-house, private, and public cloud environments. Your IT team must have the skills to manage the flow of data across these disparate environments. You must also ensure that your team will be capable of running your hybrid cloud infrastructure; if they are not, you should be open to hiring experienced professionals or training your existing staff.
When adopting the hybrid cloud, you may also experience issues with business continuity. Effective bandwidth management will be critical to ensuring that you avoid network latency and other interruptions in service that can bring your organization to a halt. In a similar vein, you’ll need to address disaster recovery as soon as possible. Without a failover strategy in place, your organization could be left without its cloud services when it needs them most.
3. How do we secure our cloud infrastructure?
Hybrid cloud security will start with your cloud provider. As such, you should evaluate your vendor for its security controls. The cloud security landscape is constantly evolving to meet changing compliance needs, so you must ensure that your provider leverages the latest controls to safeguard your information. It’s also vital that you receive confirmation of your cloud vendor’s compliance with all the major security regulations.
Not all the security burden will fall on your vendor’s shoulders, however. Your organization will need to employ its own tactics to ensure the safety of your information in a hybrid cloud environment. Implementing monitoring tools will give you better visibility of your cloud infrastructure and alert you to potential vulnerabilities before they become an issue. You should also consider more advanced security tactics like multi-factor authentication, which will bar anyone who doesn’t have the right credentials from accessing your hybrid cloud environment.
Security shouldn’t stop once you’ve implemented the right tools. You’ll need to conduct security assessments on a regular basis to ensure that your environment remains secure and compliant over time.
4. How do we select a hybrid cloud vendor?
Hybrid cloud environments are highly complex. You need to enlist the help of a vendor that is capable of managing this infrastructure and meeting your organization’s unique needs.
When evaluating prospective vendors, start with performance. Many hybrid cloud providers focus on specific workloads, so you will need to be sure that your vendor is optimized for the workloads you plan to move to the cloud. If your organization focuses on DevOps, for example, then you’ll need a vendor that can guarantee the performance levels you need for those workloads.
You should also consider hybrid cloud providers that will work closely with you during the migration process. Since you’ll be moving some resources into the public cloud and some into the private cloud, it will be vital to work with a provider that can ease the onboarding process. Ask prospective vendors about the tools that they provide to help with migration. Some may even provide you with a consultant to help you navigate the adoption process more smoothly.
5. How do we handle app migration?
As you gear up for migration, you’ll need to decide where to host your applications. Whether you choose to keep them on premises or move them to the private or public cloud, your decision will depend on a number of important factors.
Mission-critical applications require consistent uptime. Though the public cloud is more flexible than your other options, problems with latency and connectivity could leave your organization without these vital apps when housed in this environment. Apps related to functions such as e-mail and CRM would be a better fit for the public cloud.
In addition, you may need to adhere to security requirements that make certain apps unfit for migration. Some apps even rely on licensing models that may not allow them to operate in a traditional cloud environment. Even so, the hybrid cloud gives you the flexibility needed to find the cloud infrastructure you need for each app.