Today, there are numerous options available for companies to connect enterprise applications to cloud infrastructure. Cloud adoption is no longer a question of preference but an obvious choice. Companies are now focusing on creating the right mix of public and private clouds to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Hybrid cloud is more cost-effective, reliable, and less risky. As per G2, by 2022, over 90 percent of enterprises will rely on a hybrid cloud environment for meeting their infrastructure needs.
Here are a few best practices for hybrid cloud management. But first, let’s understand the basics of hybrid cloud computing.
What is a hybrid cloud?
A hybrid cloud is one where a company’s on-premises infrastructure is linked with either a private cloud (internally managed) or a public cloud (from a third-party vendor).
Hybrid cloud solutions allow organisations to host their applications on multiple deployment environments. A hybrid cloud solution provides businesses greater flexibility since the workloads can be moved between different cloud solutions as per need.
In fact, a hybrid cloud gives businesses greater control over their private data. Organisations can store sensitive data on their private cloud while leveraging the resources of the public cloud.
Best Practices for Hybrid Cloud Management
Assess your current workloads
The first step is to assess your current workloads and identify the environments required for public cloud, private cloud, and IT before searching for a cloud vendor.
In case you have highly confidential data that needs strict monitoring, a public cloud won’t make much sense for your organisation. You might need to deploy an on-premises setup while shifting some seasonal workloads to the public cloud.
Before jumping on the hybrid cloud strategy, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Who will own the work assignment?
- How essential are those assignments?
- Who gets the call if something goes wrong?
- When and where do the work assignments run?
- In public, private, or both kinds of cloud alternatives?
Understand security and governance
Cloud security should be the top concern for your organisation. If you are responsible for managing the hybrid cloud for your company, you need to be proactive about system security. You must consider leveraging resources like IAM systems to control access to data on the cloud.
Here, two areas need to be acknowledged:
- System security and its effect on performance: While data encryption can help protect sensitive information, it can also slow down the overall performance of your cloud system. Therefore, you need to be ready to address it if it comes up during monitoring.
- Policy management and enforcement: Hybrid cloud managers also need to be well-informed about written policies of cloud system governance. This will ensure non-interference with operations.
Companies should consider the automation of processes while developing and maintaining a hybrid cloud. Processes like resource provisioning, application deployment, and performance monitoring should be automated so that the core workforce can focus on important activities like application development and legacy software improvement through re-architecting.
Automation will also allow your team to stop worrying about underlying system operations and instead focus on more important tasks.
Choose the right cloud vendor
To ensure the success of your hybrid cloud solution, it’s your responsibility to scout for the best cloud vendor for implementing a hybrid cloud environment. You must choose a cloud partner with proven experience in implementing hybrid clouds.
You must discuss some key aspects like scalability options, ease of data migration, and integration before collaborating with any partner.
Invest in hybrid cloud management tools
Irrespective of where the workload runs, hybrid cloud management tools will help manage and monitor cloud costs and provide consistent user experiences. In fact, these tools help simplify and streamline operations.
While selecting a hybrid cloud management tool, you can use an evaluation framework that covers the following six capabilities:
- Support for cloud platform resources, including onboarding, resource discovery, cloud platform support, and cloud services support.
- Automation and orchestration, including configuration management, workload lifecycle automation, automated provisioning, and workflow design interface.
- Cloud service administration and governance, including administrator and user usability experience, templates and designer usability, permissions, quotas, incentives, and compliance tracking.
- Cloud optimisation on cost and performance.
- Cloud monitoring on cost, performance, and capacity.
- Integrations and APIs.
Use vendor-agnostic services
It is a good time for companies to take advantage of the healthy competition brewing between cloud providers. Since not all providers deliver consistent services, it’s beneficial for them to remain nimble and test out different services before finalising a provider. This can help lower costs and increase performance.
You must select a cloud provider that can guide the cloud migration process. Asking the following key questions from your cloud provider might help:
- What tools, including third-party tools, do they have to make the migration easier?
- What’s the level of their expertise and experience?
- How can the provider help you deal with inflexible architectures, legacy systems, and complex interdependencies?
- What level of support can it provide during the migration process?
The future belongs to hybrid cloud
The flexibility, agility, and scalability offered by hybrid cloud computing are why it’s gaining popularity. Organisations have a great opportunity to capitalise on this environment, and create a hybrid cloud adoption or migration strategy that suits their requirements.
Gaining an insight into the best practices for hybrid cloud management will also help make the most of your investments.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)