Top Tips for a Hybrid 2017
Added Thursday 22 December 2016
According to research by Markets and Markets, hybrid cloud is set to grow by more than 20% per annum until 2021.
This is a significant uptake in a relatively short period of time, acknowledging the proven business benefits that a hybrid approach can deliver. As a word of caution though, industry research also suggests that a high percentage of organisations don’t get hybrid cloud right at the first attempt – wasting time and money, having failed to recognise and address the potential pitfalls.
So, to help you avoid making mistakes by learning from those that have already made the transition, we asked Scott Murphy, Head of Cloud in the UK for leading technology solutions and services specialist, Arrow ECS, to share his top tips for succeeding with hybrid cloud:
Keep IT simpleThere’s no escaping the fact that organisations will still have to manage their legacy infrastructure and applications, so it makes sense to enable cloud services by using templates and mediations to rapidly and securely integrate with and access back-end systems – taking advantage of APIs to help simplify and govern data access. Use Public Cloud (SaaS) strategically to avoid the hassle and expense of building, operating, and maintaining both app and infrastructure – only paying for what’s actually needed and avoiding ‘re-inventing the wheel’
Size MattersDon’t leap head-first into a major project. Start with a small trial project that enables your organisation to review its processes – making changes in real-time and building up operations incrementally.That said, it’s important to prepare for ‘hyper-scale’ by enabling an elastic infrastructure that can handle increased and unpredictable workloads – automating health monitoring and corrective actions to avoid complexity.
Spoken to HR yet?Having the right people in place is critical when deploying a hybrid cloud. New technologies may well require new skillsets, which are currently in high demand so not always easy to recruit and retain. Integration of on-premise and public cloud services will be key, along with adapting your organisation’s business model to take advantage of the new systems, so building the right team of in-house and contracted expertise needs to be a priority.
Don’t let security stop youThere’s nothing more likely to a stop a project in its tracks then concerns over security and compliance. The key is to fully comprehend and document procedures and processes up front – determining how sensitive data will be stored, protected in transit and accessed securely.
Keep your balanceIt’s going to be a careful balancing act – allocating the right levels of capital expenditure for the infrastructure needed to host on-site systems, with the operational expenditure associated with public cloud services. Many organisations fail to calculate the total cost of ownership for hybrid cloud correctly, causing budget and board-level issues further down the line.
Expect the unexpectedWhether applications and data are stored on-site, off-site or in the cloud, you need to be certain that it will still be possible to achieve the required levels of availability in any event. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity planning should form an essential part of any hybrid cloud initiative – ensuring that recovery time and recovery point objectives meet your organisation’s needs.
Stuck in trafficCalculating the level of bandwidth and speed of connectivity needed to transfer, replicate and access data across in-house and cloud networks is critical to the success of any hybrid environment. It’s also essential that both platforms are compatible and fully integrated to avoid performance management and scalability issues as workloads change.
Recognising the need to adopt cloud technologies alongside legacy infrastructure as a means of working smarter is one thing, but actually selecting the right technology and approach can be a daunting and complex process for many organisations. Get hybrid cloud right and it will give a significant boost to your bottom line. Get it wrong and it can have a negative rather than positive impact on productivity and innovation.