Has your organization identified an initiative to move to the hybrid cloud? Your data center likely isn’t ready to just be picked up and relocated; you’ll need to complete specific preparations before making the switch. Here are several items to check off your list before fully integrating hybrid cloud.
Item #1: Determine Your Organization’s Purpose and Goals
There’s a lot of hype about the hybrid cloud and rightly so due to the exciting opportunities it offers, but it’s important IT leaders don’t simply jump into it because they think they are missing the boat. In order to justify such a transition, IT needs to clear objectives for both resource allocation and overall computing philosophy. To help develop your hybrid cloud strategy, here are some helpful considerations:
- Move your organization to Office 365 to host your email, personal files and AD accounts
- Configure a cloud bursting solution for seasonal spikes and unpredicted peaks in demand that exceed the capacity of your data center
- Create a Disaster Recovery plan that can be utilized for both disasters and load balancing
- Integrate an Identity Management solution that offers Single Sign-On (SSO) for the majority of your enterprise applications
Item #2: Assess Current Network Infrastructure
Can your current network carry the load? Both the hybrid and public cloud models will increase the utilization of your Internet bandwidth. If your enterprise isn’t currently on the cloud computing bandwagon, you need to assess your network bandwidth to ensure your users get the same performance from the cloud that they experience within the LAN.
Take the time to identify and rectify any latency bottlenecks. Increasing your internet to 2GB or more will have little impact if it still connects to a 1GB interface on your firewall. Be sure to assess your routers and core switches as well. The location of your data and services when accessing them should be totally transparent from a performance point of view. Remember that large amounts of data will be traveling to and from the cloud if you are employing the cloud as a primary storage silo. Contact WEI for advice on revamping your network bandwidth.
Item #3: Evaluate Your Current IT Team’s Skills
It’s important not to assume your IT staff has the necessary skills to successfully manage a cloud environment or that they can adapt to it quickly. The traditional network is designed around making the user experience as managed and controlled as possible in an infrastructure defined by standard protocols. On the other hand, the cloud is designed to support web services and is about elasticity, agility and perpetual alteration. It is a world in which applications are assigned and not installed.
Soft skills are essential for IT personnel who will interact with your cloud provider; they are, in a sense, a business partner and you must have staff personnel that can communicate and work with them effectively.
Item #4: Evaluate Compliance; Check Government and Corporate Policy Restrictions
Being aware of compliance requirements is most important if you are considering hosting data in the cloud. Industry or governmental regulations may require certain data types to be stored on premise, which is important to know. In some cases, your own corporate policies may require you to do the same. A thorough study of your data types should be performed in order to identify any compliancy issues.
These are just four considerations when moving your data center to the hybrid cloud. If you have been considering implementing a hybrid cloud solution, contact the cloud experts at WEI. We look forward to answering your questions!