The hybrid cloud is an excellent tool for enterprise, but like any new technology, there are some definite challenges when navigating unfamiliar waters as well as a few potential snags in the road that can delay, hinder or even potentially terminate your hybrid cloud implementation. Below are some of the potential missteps that you can avoid if you properly plot your transition in advance.
6 Common Hybrid Cloud Implementation Mistakes1. Ignoring Hidden Cloud Costs
The ability to back up terabytes of files from your data center to the cloud is one of the biggest reasons organizations get on board with the hybrid cloud. Cloud providers prominently promote the unprecedented levels of redundancy their systems have to offer. They are also quick to advertise the low costs associated with backup storage. In many instances, organizations can back up their data to the cloud for as little as a penny per GB of data.
However, there are usually more charges than just the cost of the data storage, as prices this low are usually designated for archived storage that won’t be touched for a while. This “cold storage” is about low cost, high capacity and data durability. However, speed comes at a price. While this archived storage is a perfectly suitable solution for inactive data, organizations looking for a means to overcome a total hardware failure or implement disaster recovery will most likely be disappointed. Be sure to ask your cloud service provider about all costs up front.
2. Overpaying for Storage
Most network managers are familiar with the various storage formats such as block, file, object and tape. It is easy to be aware of these different types of formats within your organization’s data center because they are visibly recognized. As you know, different types of data justify different storage formats.
It is important to remember cloud providers employ the same storage platforms that reside in your own data center. Because of this, it’s imperative to take the time to understand various data storage options that a potential cloud vender offers as well as their associated costs. Then assign the appropriate data cost structure to your various data types.
3. Not Understanding Your Hybrid Cloud Service Level Agreement (SLA)
One of the common financial mistakes IT managers make is investing in things they do not understand. Many times, individuals will avoid taking the time to read the fine print or ask questions, and then regret it. When you sign up with a new cloud vendor, you are signing on with a partner, one that will be providing mission critical services your organization and users depend on. Some of the significant details to discern are:
- What is the guaranteed uptime?
- Is there a guaranteed window of recovery time?
- What type of support does the cloud vendor provide?
- What type of security does the cloud provider include?
A proper SLA defines expectations and roles your cloud provider will be assuming. Remember that implementing hybrid cloud is a mixture of two worlds: your data center and the cloud. You cannot afford to be arguing over who is responsible for what during a service interruption, so go ahead and ask the crucial questions up front.
4. Treating All Cloud Providers the Same
It isn’t a good idea to choose a hybrid cloud vendor based solely on name recognition; not all providers are the same and no two are identical. The first step is to understand the services provided by potential cloud vendors. For example, there is a big difference between those offering Platform as a Service and those offering Infrastructure as a Service. For a disaster recovery solution, you will want a provider that can guarantee your data resides outside of your region. It is also important your cloud provider has the scalability to accommodate growth of your resource demands over time.
5. Failing to Document Cloud Resources
It is important to fully document your cloud resources in the traditional way you approach documentation on premise. In fact, because these resources are out of sight, it is more critical to document and diagram them. Record IP addresses of cloud servers just as you would internal ones; knowing which servers your critical apps reside on is imperative in the cloud.
6. Not Having a Partner
Whether you need an outside expert to simply review and appraise your cloud strategy, or guide and assist you through the design process and the vetting of potential solutions, having a consulting partner to help with implementing hybrid cloud can prove invaluable.
These are just some of the missteps organizations make when implementing and building a hybrid cloud solution. Although these may be but simple oversights, they can translate into costly delays and mistakes. We’d love to assist your hybrid cloud transition; contact our experienced team at WEI today for assistance.