Possibly the last thing you want to read when you open our tips email is an overly technical article on why hybrid cloud is a pragmatic approach to supporting your software defined environment. If the jargon is already making you reach for the delete button I wouldn't blame you, but seriously there are some good reasons why it might be a great solution for your business.
Many apps are already hosted in the cloud, however, two out of every three apps remain on-premises. This leaves many businesses caught in the middle of old and new with resource tied up managing a complex IT environment.
After a recent review of one of our internal data centres at Chess we decided to switch to a hybrid cloud approach, and I'd like to share 3 key reasons that influenced our decision.
Is Hybrid Cloud Right For You?
In simple terms Hybrid Cloud is a cloud-computing environment that combines a mix of public cloud, private cloud and on-premises infrastructure, in theory it allows your business to rent additional IT resources when needed, offering convenience, flexibility and scalability.
The cloud combination has various touch points and integrations between them, yet the infrastructures are fully independent, preventing data leaking from one platform to the other, and this makes it a very attractive solution.
Look Closely at Speed and Cost
Deciding which applications to move to the cloud and which ones to keep on premises is the key to a successful hybrid cloud strategy and costs are a big influence on decision making.
When we compared the cost of moving to Azure, our chosen solution of running VMware arrays in co-locations, was 60% cheaper a month to run. Choosing to continue with virtualised servers for core applications and public platforms where appropriate also meant we could run the project much more quickly and reduce our office footprint within a 3 month target.
Look closely at where the cost savings come from and weigh against security and control considerations.
Plan for Predictability
The saying 'Own the base, rent the spike' neatly captures the ability to burst to the cloud whenever extra capacity is needed, making the hybrid model a great choice for predictability.
Development and testing are common uses for cloud servers (think “rent the spike”), but when it comes time for production, you want to know exactly how your platform will perform. In many cases, public cloud will work fine, but some businesses may prefer to stick with dedicated servers for at least some of their mission-critical launches. For example, dedicated servers can be configured to meet performance needs and then be supplemented with multi-tenant cloud servers for overflow traffic.
Take Security and Compliance Seriously
A common concern about cloud technology among businesses is security. Many auditors frown upon multi-tenancy and require dedicated solutions for some (and sometimes all) aspects of your hosted infrastructure.
A hybrid portfolio eases these concerns by allowing you to choose dedicated servers and network devices that can isolate or restrict access. Furthermore, your devices can be configured so your dedicated servers and cloud servers can communicate on a private network, turning what were two separate solutions into a single integrated architecture.
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