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Find Out More About Hybrid Cloud Strategy
Kevin Patel
AUG 14, 2016 00:02 AM
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Hybrid cloud refers to a cloud computing environment that uses a blend of third party public cloud and private cloud service by orchestrating between these platforms. That is, it pulls in operations, traditional data center infrastructure and applications to offer an efficient customized solution that enterprises need. Hybrid cloud offers businesses more data deployment options and flexibility by allowing the movement of workloads between public and private clouds as computing costs and needs change over time.

Hybrid cloud is mostly valuable for workloads that are dynamic or highly changeable. For instance, a transactional order system that tends to experience a spike in demand during the holiday season is an ideal candidate for hybrid cloud. This application could run on the private cloud, only using cloud bursting when accessing additional computing resources that are in a public cloud. To connect public and private cloud resources, a hybrid cloud environment is required.

Cloud infrastructure is a highly efficient advancement of the scale out deployment and server virtualization model even though it is not ideal for all applications. A good hybrid strategy requires proper planning as opposed to taking simple steps. This ensures that the plan will be operational. Generally, a cloud computing strategy is like a business strategy, hence must be planned in the context of business objectives and goals.

Here are some of the major stages in planning a hybrid cloud strategy:

  • Assess the Current State of your IT Strategy

You need to begin by assessing the present state of your IT strategy and how effective it is in serving the business. IT organizations have grown in an unplanned fashion. Despite having begun like well planned hardware and software sets, they have grown over time into a collection of multiple computing silos.

Although your IT infrastructure may be a well orchestrated and planned environment, it is like to resemble a garage that is packed and disorganized. Furthermore, it is likely to be between two extremes. That is, it provides the kind of manageability and flexibility that supports business change and new initiative or it is a collection of different software products, different servers as well as a variety of disconnected tools.

Ultimately, your assessment must be honest to ensure you understand what is working and what does not work. Look at the systems that are vital to the business operations and the applications that no longer embrace the changing trends. In addition, assess the flexibility of the existing infrastructure, in a situation where the business must undergo change.

  • The Future of your Business

It is important to not only understand the current state of the business, but also how it is likely to evolve in the next 3 to 5 years. Some of the questions that you need to ask include the following:

What is the future of the business?

Do you belong to an industry the experiences dramatic shifts in how suppliers, customers and business partners collaborate?

Are your emerging competitors implementing technological approaches that you must also embrace?

What opportunities present new business strategies whose driving force is emerging technologies?

If there are changes in your industry you need to ensure that you have the right technology to enjoy a competitive advantage. Thus, this process presents unanticipated advantages like preparing you for in depth understanding of the opportunities that are emerging as well as position your business for change.

  • Learn and Experiment with Cloud Computing

When you know the current state of your business as well as its possible future, take time to experiment and learn the cloud computing options. Take time to understand the best practices and various cloud computing options that can be helpful to your business. You can also examine the strategies your peers are using and the results they are getting. Some of the questions that you may ask include the following:

What innovations are marketing young companies?

What best practices have worked for other companies within your industry?

What innovations are young companies bringing to market?

How can you present a new approach that will allow you to compete effectively with large organizations in your industry?

The best thing about cloud computing is that you can experiment. That is, a majority of the companies offer trials of their technology. Furthermore, open source offering gives the opportunity to test if the options will serve your business for free.

  • Get your Most Strategic Partners Involved in the Process

It is crucial to get strategic partners involved in this process. Your customers and suppliers are your best customers, as they will help you understand how they can collaborate with you in future. While at it, be sure to take into account- privacy, security and governance policies that you must adhere to, as these become part of how you deal with cloud computing as an organization.

  • Plan for Implementation

It is impractical to try and get everything done at once, thus you will need an implementation plan through which you can deploy sections of your overall plan.

You could begin by providing controlled access to public cloud service for developers trying a new application with the aim of supporting a business initiative that is experimental.

Ultimately, you should always look at your hybrid cloud strategy as being a multi-year effort. This is because it includes everything from the private cloud service to supporting the emerging internal development as well as deployment needs to a means of leveraging public services in liaison with the data center.

About the author

Kevin Patel is a Service Assurance Technology Analyst at Xangati. A self-proclaimed tech geek, with a passion for the ever-changing world of virtualized and hybrid-cloud environments. Kevin has a passion for dissecting tech topics such as virtualization, data center migration, storage, networking and cloud. On his days off, he can be found watching sci-fi movies, rock climbing or volunteering.

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