Planning for the Challenges of Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud offers the promise of the best of both worlds. Use your own equipment when you want to, and take advantage of the cloud’s on-demand, infinite-capacity when you need it. But having your data and processing in two places brings management challenges, too. Fortunately, if you pay attention to these issues, you won’t have double the trouble.
One of the biggest challenges with cloud, whether you plan on using hybrid cloud or just public cloud, is understanding your data and its privacy needs. Although the security risks of cloud are often less than thought, it’s still necessary to know which data is sensitive so you can make sure it receives the appropriate level of security and access control.
Hybrid cloud can be used to extend your internal capacity during periods of heavy demand, so it’s important to know what your capacity limits are and when you’ll leverage the cloud resources. You’ll want to identify triggers for switching processing to the cloud and for switching it back to your data center.
Hybrid cloud requires your internal network to connect with the cloud. This means coping with your bandwidth and latency issues during data transfer. You’ll also need to review the network security options to determine if you can use the same strategy in the cloud as in your local data center.
Inevitably, things will go wrong. You’ll need a new plan for investigating issues that helps you determine whether the problem is in your private or public cloud. Be certain you understand the level of support the cloud provider will offer when investigating problems.
Understanding where your workloads will reside is one of the biggest challenges for using the hybrid cloud. Managing workloads is easier if the applications will permanently reside either in cloud or on-site; if you plan to move applications between locations, be sure you understand how to make the shift and how to transition both data and processing, plus any impacts due to differing underlying architectures.
Data and Application Integration
When using hybrid cloud, applications and data cross the boundary between public and private devices. Enterprises need to understand how data will transit the network, and any potential performance issues due to throttling by the cloud provider.
Relying on cloud requires an increased focus on network, application, and data security issues including identity management, data protection, and compliance. You may need to carefully oversee cloud usage to comply with data sovereignty requirement. Look for identity solutions that don’t require users to have a separate set of cloud credentials; if separate credentials are needed, they should comply with corporate policies regarding complexity and mandated change periods.
General Management Concerns
Hybrid cloud means you have two environments to monitor. Your local team will require additional training; you also may need to buy or develop new tools to provide a cross-platform view of your entire system. You’ll need new processes to oversee configurations if users take advantage of self-service cloud procedures; you’ll need new ways to ensure consistent and compatible environments when you’re maintaining your internal devices and the cloud provider maintains their cloud systems.
Get Help With Hybrid Cloud Solutions
Prescient Solutions is a Microsoft Partner with deep experience building solutions using the Microsoft Azure cloud. Our experts will help you leverage its resources and integrate them with your own to create a successful hybrid cloud platform that supports your business. Contact us to learn how we can help you solve hybrid cloud management challenges.
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