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Tips for Finding the Right Hybrid Cloud Provider

July 9th, 2019 by admin

two hands in the middle of a cloud

So, your organization has decided to adopt a hybrid cloud architecture? That’s great news! Soon you’ll have a flexible model in place, with the ability to strategically run workloads of data where it makes the most sense. Either in the public cloud, private cloud, on-premise on dedicated servers, virtual or cloud servers, or some combination of these. Not only that, with this hybrid cloud approach your enterprise will be more adept at managing security and compliance requirements, and having the ability to scale as requirements change.

That’s why leading enterprises are moving to the hybrid cloud model in droves, particularly when it comes to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions. According to Forbes, IaaS/PaaS markets could rise from some $38 billion in 2016 to $173 billion in 2026. Not only that, Synergy Research Group found that private and hybrid cloud infrastructures have the second-highest growth rate (after public IaaS/PaaS services) with 45% growth in 2015 (Source: Forbes ).

The only big decision left is selecting the right hybrid cloud provider. Finding a provider with the most experience and support options related to an organization’s current and future needs is priority one. If you’re considering a hybrid cloud service provider, here are some additional tips to consider:

  1. Outline business objectives – Before speaking with various providers, it’s important to take the time up front to outline the immediate and long-term business objectives of cloud adoption. A hybrid cloud environment provides a secure, unified environment to run diverse applications, and only pay for the resources consumed. That means that each application and workload selected for the hybrid environment makes up the optimal infrastructure type, including databases, web servers, application servers, storage, firewalls, etc. Often the largest benefit of the hybrid cloud environment includes integrating two applications running on private and public clouds, such as integrating SalesForce.com or a business analytics tool with a legacy system. In this example, it’s important to look for a hybrid cloud service provider that has not only the capabilities required but also the big-picture grasp of the benefit of integration across the infrastructure and mixing private cloud elements in a single workload.
  2. To leverage the full value of hybrid cloud, look for providers that offer interoperability across the infrastructure, application portability and data governance across infrastructures. This way, regardless of where compute, application, networking, and storage resources are running they are working together and they are accessible through a unified management platform. Ask cloud providers what platforms are available to streamline the management of cloud apps and deployments and the creation of hybrid cloud instances.

  3. Evaluate migration paths – Because hybrid cloud environments allow organizations to methodically and purposefully make a shift to the cloud, it’s the perfect model for provisioning applications and scaling on-the-fly. It provides the ability to add new applications quickly without being throttled by red tape. However, as mentioned earlier, that doesn’t mean enterprises shouldn’t have business objectives set and a plan in place for migrating to the cloud. When shopping cloud providers, ask if they provide classifications for defining workloads to prioritize which applications are best suited for a cloud environment. This classification system may help rank which applications and workloads should be migrated first, and which should follow. For instance, if an application development and testing environment are needed prior to production, it may make sense to spin up a virtual cloud instance to run these workloads before moving CRM applications.
  4. It’s also important to assess the experience and resource availability of internal IT resources during cloud migration and to evaluate how cloud service providers can complement this skill set.

  5. Consider compliance and security concerns – The hybrid cloud is all about determining which workloads can efficiently and cost-effectively be transitioned in a very dynamic enterprise environment. It’s important to evaluate functional requirements for Quality of Service (QoS), pricing, security and latency, and of course, requirements related to regulatory and privacy needs. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to meeting and maintaining compliance, there are best practices for running effective compliance management initiatives. It is imperative organizations look for hybrid providers that have the right people AND technology in place. This could include technologies like firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and log management appliances. But providers should also employ skilled resources who are knowledgeable about PCI-DSS rules. For instance, an experienced team would recognize that data must be kept locally, with a secure connection to the public cloud for processing.
  6. When evaluating hybrid cloud providers, look for partners that specialize in product knowledge that’s most applicable to your enterprise. Finding a partner that can support current business objectives along with the ability to support business and infrastructure changes down the road. This will help prevent slowdowns during the migration effort and provide a solid foundation for future growth and hybrid adoption.

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