Picking the Perfect Hybrid Cloud Strategy

By CIOReview | Thursday, August 4, 2016
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The IT industry is debating on the merits of the private and public cloud for a long time. Both clouds hosting solutions have their own set pros like a private cloud enable organizations to maintain the control and visibility of business-critical applications, while public cloud allow companies to gain capacity and scale services whenever required. These solutions have different attributes and functionalities that can benefit the organization in many different ways like a private cloud is more secure, but costly, while public cloud with its  security concerns but is cost efficient and offers better flexibility. Large organizations tend to choose private cloud, and smaller firms go for the private cloud, but in some cases, firms need combined qualities of both private and public cloud solutions. To fulfill this demand a new cloud platform came into market named as “hybrid cloud”.

A hybrid cloud hoists a cloud-computing environment that possesses consolidated functionalities of public and private clouds. It allows workloads to swap between public and private clouds according to the computational needs. A hybrid cloud inhabits best of both clouds like, on-demand access to the resources, security features, and others. It provides the scalability of public cloud along with the much-needed security aspects of the private cloud. A perfect hybrid cloud implementation can be very beneficial for an organization.

To select a fully-fledged hybrid cloud strategy, customers need to test it according to the use cases. These use cases check the working capabilities of cloud strategy on various grounds and help in selecting the perfect one that an organization requires. Here are the use cases to leverage before selecting a hybrid cloud strategy:

Development and Testing: Hybrid cloud enables organizations with the flexibility to occupy the required storage for a limited time-period without making an extra investment for building any new infrastructure.

Expanding Current Applications: Hybrid cloud provides the ability to expand current applications to the cloud to meet sudden growth requirements and release on-site resources for further business utilizations.

Disaster Recovery: Every business firm is well aware of the possibility of losing critical information related to businesses. Implementing individual disaster recovery solutions at every business site is quite expensive and not a feasible solution also, but hybrid cloud provides a reasonably priced disaster recovery solution with varying cost, capacity, and commitments.

The Web and Mobile Applications: Hybrid cloud is an ideal solution for mobile and cloud-native applications that are data sensitive and require elasticity to tackle unpredicted or sudden traffic spikes. Hybrid cloud enables business firms to keep sensitive data on-site and maintain the current IT-related policies to fulfill the requirements of application security and compliance.

Development Operations: The developers and operations work together to increase the delivery rate and quality of integrated software and hybrid cloud enables them to cope with off-site and on-site workload placements.

Strategy to Incorporate

A successful implementation needs a proper strategy so it is necessary to create a hybrid cloud strategy that combines software as a service, public Infrastructure as a service and private internal cloud services to achieve individual business goals. Recent surveys have showed that nearly all organizations believe that they need to add a hybrid cloud into their infrastructure, if not now then in the near future, but they are not able to develop a proper hybrid cloud strategy. The primary goal of companies while forming a strategy will always be to minimize change by altering only necessary parts in the current infrastructure.

A hybrid cloud strategy integrates the extension of fixed capacity hosted or on-premises IT infrastructures into a dynamic, scalable and adjustable private cloud services. On the other side, strategy uses the public IaaS to bestow infinite and seamlessly scalable on-demand Cloud Bursting. This enables IT Infrastructures to facilitate existing workloads with the preparation for the cloud era applications.

The Need of Hybrid Cloud Strategy Implementation in Organizations

While taking the first step towards business shift, it requires a detailed understanding of the pain points to be fixed, and resource planning with focused discipline execution. Therefore, it is necessary for the business firms to understand why they need this hybrid cloud implementation because it will help them in creating a proper strategy. Some reasons behind the creation of cloud strategy are improved efficiency, higher resilience, increased agility, and enhanced collaboration.

How to Start with the Cloud Implementation Process?

Increased agility or improved efficiency is although the primary need of a company, but cloud strategy needs to be specific in terms of expected outcomes. Before implementing, certain questions need to be cleared about, like what applications company possesses and what they are planning to use in future. Who will be the end-users or stakeholders? What will be the required security policies? When do firm will change from off-site to on premises? What will be the strategy, timeline? What will be the cost policies? One thing is obvious that within two years the application requirements and user expectations will change, so proper planning to tackle those changes are compulsory.

For building a proper cloud strategy, companies need to understand the current status of cloud in the company and how will they leverage it in the future. Then utilize these findings to understand what is desired to achieve from the cloud, and lastly they need to be sure that those choices will be according to the future needs. Answering these questions establishes the essence of applications involving the current resources in the data center.

A proper hybrid cloud strategy needs to fulfill following points:

Assessing Current IT Environments: It needs proper planning for making cloud strategy because sometimes little shortcoming can accommodate a grave error. If the current applications of the company are running on cloud bursting mode than it is certain that the company need to start planning from the data center side. The firm needs to select cloud bursting practices and public cloud services that are fully compatible with current applications. If some application portion permanently resides in the public cloud than it needs to start from cloud side.

Planning Migration on Current Cloud Basis: Companies need to determine optimum public cloud choices based on features and price basis and then bestow plans of application integration and hybridization according to the choices. If the first choice presents many hybridization issues, then move to the second option and so on, until you find the perfect match.

Conclusion

Hybrid cloud enables organizations to bestow combined attributes of private and public clouds. This helps them to overcome various issues present individually in both solutions. The hybrid cloud solutions can assist them in tackling those issues quite efficiently. An accurate hybrid cloud strategy not only help firms in resolving issues, but also improve the current infrastructure by better resource allocation both on-site and off-site.