Hybrid cloud means blending the public cloud's capabilities with the capabilities in your own, on-premises infrastructure. Making this architecture work requires making decisions about which workloads should be moved to the public cloud and which remain on-site. These decisions require evaluating both technical and business considerations.
The technical factors that affect hybrid cloud decisions include:
- Security. Perhaps the top concern for companies considering using public cloud, whether standalone or integrated into a hybrid configuration, the security of every application and its data needs to be carefully reviewed. Maintaining sensitive data on site intuitively feels more secure, but you need to compare your business's ability to keep up with security patches and other controls to the capabilities of a cloud provider with certified environments and dedicated resources.
- Legacy application support. While many companies would like nothing better than to get legacy applications out of their data center, migrating these applications to the cloud can be extremely difficult. The architectures often aren't well suited for the cloud and they may have licenses that can't be transferred. The issue for technical teams becomes how to integrate legacy islands in the data center with modern resources in the cloud.
- Migration concerns. Even applications with architectures that match the cloud's requirements can be difficult to transition, especially where there are large volumes of data. Migrating data to the cloud while applications are still running and updating on-premises requires having a mechanism for synchronizing data updates. The complexity of executing and validating this process needs to be reviewed before committing to putting large datasets in public cloud.
Business concerns to consider when planning your hybrid cloud:
- Governance needs. Although it's often thought of as a technical matter, data governance is primarily a business issue that requires understanding the data collected by the business and the level of control it needs. Distributing data across platforms can make it more complicated to achieve this understanding.
- Business growth. Private cloud, unlike public cloud, requires buying spare capacity in advance of need. If you have applications for which resource needs are uncertain, placing that application in public cloud can potentially make it easier to respond to demand.
- Financial issues. Cost is almost always a consideration. Because public cloud reduces your immediate outlays, it can help meet tight budgets in the short term. Careful review of cloud costs is needed to ensure you will achieve this benefit; longer term, the one-time investment in on-site licenses can be more cost-effective. It's also important to realize that your costs in the public cloud are not fixed, as providers can change their rates and pricing strategies.
Hybrid cloud can be an effective strategy for managing your IT infrastructure and meeting business needs, as long as it's carefully designed and data and applications are strategically placed in either public or private clouds. Professional services from dcVAST can help you assess your requirements and develop and implement an effective solution. Once implemented, services including managed Nutanix and NetApp ensure your hybrid cloud runs with maximum efficiency. Contact us to learn more about designing and managing hybrid cloud solutions.