Hybrid Cloud Workflow and Integration

By CIOReview | Thursday, April 6, 2017
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IT enterprises today continue to incur wastage of resources in the form of excessive capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) and this greatly impedes their business growth objectives. For enterprise IT organizations keen on running applications and inducing agility into their operations, the adoption of a hybrid cloud architecture has become an imperative. A hybrid cloud model leverages the flexible and scalable options offered by both the private and public cloud environments and allows enterprises to shift their non-mission critical workloads to the public cloud while managing the mission-critical data on-premises in a private cloud. Hybrid cloud implementations bridge the chasm between private and public clouds in addition to lowering OPEX for functions such as SaaS (software as a service). The benefits of adopting a hybrid cloud architecture range from exceptional scalability options affordable cloud storage, along with options to keep mission-critical data on-premise.

Implement the Right Hybrid Cloud Strategy

The first step toward effective utilization of hybrid cloud in an enterprise entails building a strategy for hybrid cloud workflow management and integration. Before implementing a hybrid cloud solution, IT enterprises need to create a hybrid cloud strategy that allows them to come up with the right mix of software as a service, infrastructure as a service and private cloud services, to further their business goals.

After assessing the current IT environment, an IT enterprise needs to zero in on the best cloud bursting practices and public cloud services that are compatible with their existing applications. This should ideally be followed by selecting the optimum public cloud service, based on features and price compatibility and after having evaluated the hybridization issues that may arise post the application integration.

Map Out the Hybrid Architecture

A hybrid cloud architecture is based on a clear understanding of the front-end/back-end nature of applications that support end users. Cloud-friendly application pieces relating to the presentation of information, user interface, and support have to be clearly separated while designing a workflow between the front and back ends. The hybrid architecture integrates different applications and data elements. The success of a hybrid architecture is dependent on a clearly defined hybrid model that is supported by the tools and techniques incorporated in an enterprise hybrid cloud. Before transitioning to a hybrid cloud model, it is necessary for an enterprise to identify the business objectives behind the move. The trick lies in identifying the applications that need to be cloud sourced. By mapping appropriate applications to the enterprise's hybrid cloud vision will enable them to measure the value they can derive out of a public cloud. The wide array of enterprise IT applications that could be moved to a hybrid cloud include transactional web applications, private transactional applications, SOA distributed applications, and data mining applications, among others.

Frame a Hybrid Cloud Roadmap

By adopting a more strategic cloud approach, enterprise IT departments today have access to some of the most innovative technologies that allow them to be more agile and flexible. The success of a hybrid cloud endeavor depends on how enterprises chalk out a roadmap for it. A mix of people, processes, and technology is what it requires to create and steer a plan to implement a hybrid cloud. In addition, prioritizing the migration of workloads and applications into a hybrid cloud environment makes it easier for enterprises to leverage the scalability of the cloud without putting undue stress on their internal infrastructure. Lastly, deploying a hybrid cloud securely is crucial for having a reliable and highly available cloud environment. By establishing audit trails for compliance and security, hybrid cloud deployments can be secured more effectively compared to an on-premise environment.