If you’re considering integrating a private or public cloud with your onsite data center, a hybrid cloud model is in your future. You’re in good company. Eighty five percent of organizations now have a multi-cloud strategy, according to the RightScale State of the Cloud 2017 report.
A hybrid cloud model is integration in its broadest sense, across multiple vendors, and it will impact your infrastructure, development platforms, applications and databases. You’ll need a well-designed technical strategy to support your goals and overcome the challenges of moving to a hybrid cloud environment, along with a budget to support both. Here are some important considerations:
1. Mitigate security risks
Monitoring and securing information as it enters and leaves the cloud requires the simultaneous management of different security platforms. Data protection and identity management processes become crucial as sensitive, valuable data is transferred between private and public cloud environments. Security challenges increase as multiple cloud providers are added.
Security policies must be reviewed for relevancy in a hybrid cloud environment and enhanced as needed. Moreover, infrastructure designs must account for the security policy and be carefully tested across all integration points to assure operational compliance. From the access points to the data center, an integrated security plan must be in place.
2. Understand compliance requirements
Closely related to security issues, legal and technical compliance policies are critical. It’s important to understand all compliance and security requirements and your provider’s ability to meet them.
- Legal compliance − Does your cloud provider have all the required industry certifications?
- Technical compliance − According to shared responsibility, your cloud provider is in charge of hardware, while you’re responsible for software configuration and applications security. Make sure you have enough tools and resources to implement a secure and technically compliant solution that meets your organization’s requirements.
3. Manage integration complexity
You’ll need to consider compatibility implications across different levels of infrastructure. With dual levels of infrastructure—a private cloud or data center your company controls, as well as a public cloud your company leverages—chances are they’ll be running different stacks, increasing the level of technical skills that will be required. The integration of legacy systems with cloud computing is a complex challenge, and you’ll also need to manage access and control across vendors.
Does your team have the technical competency and bandwidth to manage and integrate both environments? Creating the infrastructure to manage this integration is complex, as hundreds of applications may be involved.
It’s also important to select providers who can work together for a seamless integration. With multiple vendors, it’s important to protect your corporate identity and branding to ensure a good user experience.
4. Have a scaling plan and know your limits
Whenever possible, engineer your data so it can be scaled up and down, behind your firewall and in the cloud. This allows you to take advantage of the capacity in the cloud when you need it and keep it behind the firewall when you don’t.
When managing servers that exist across multiple environments, you’ll need to understand the constraints and maximum scalability capacity of each. This includes understanding when an application or environment is over or under provisioned.
As applications and the volume of data increases, it’s important to keep abreast of infrastructure limitations. If your applications are interconnected in a cloud environment, issues with one application could cause other applications to malfunction, so load supporting needs to be carefully managed. It can be difficult to understand the limits of data capacity in each environment, which is why load testing is important to the success of any cloud environment.
Come back later this month for considerations 5 through 9 of 9 Tactical Considerations For Moving To A Hybrid Cloud.
About Xigent Solutions
Xigent Solutions specializes in IT services and solutions for mid-market organizations. By partnering with our customers holistically, we engage on both strategic and tactical levels to help them drive greater business outcomes from IT. We do this by helping our clients create and manage Business Efficient IT (BEI) where IT resources—people, process and technology—are more fully utilized with Xigent’s enterprise based methodology to deliver greater outcomes while minimizing IT cost and inefficiency. To find out how Xigent Solutions can help your business make the digital transformation, contact us.