Ever since the mainstream adoption of cloud computing in the enterprise, organizations have been seeking the benefits of public cloud, while still wanting to retain the control of data center operations.
For this reason, among others, many enterprises have worked their way towards a hybrid cloud model, which offers the best of both worlds.
However, for truly successful hybrid cloud operations, enterprises must acknowledge and seek solutions for the pain points that are unique to this technology. A recent report from O’Reilly discusses this topic in detail, and we’ve pulled the top 5 strategies for hybrid cloud success to share here.
1. Create a unified infrastructure control plane
As shared in the report, separate cloud environments can have wildly differing management interfaces and expertise in one cloud environment doesn’t necessarily translate to another. Cloud management is typically siloed as well, with each cloud platform having its own management team. All this combined, plus the limited interoperability between clouds, results in a lack of integration throughout the network.
To solve these issues, O’Reilly recommends unifying infrastructure management through a single control plane that can be applied everywhere. Once the control plane is selected, the next step is to modernize data center infrastructure to use that control plane as much as possible and specifically choose public clouds that you allow to use it. More information on this strategy can be found in another O’Reilly report.
2. Streamline the application lifecycle
Once infrastructure management has been dealt with, the next place to focus attention is the application lifecycle.
As shared in O’Reilly’s report, the utilization of hybrid cloud environments has rapidly increased user expectations for speed and accessibility. Application deployment is also more complex in a cloud environment, with different cloud platforms requiring different tools, processes, and additional effort from IT.
Other complications come from the need for scaling during periods of peak load, and the differing needs between cloud native and traditional enterprise applications.
Overall, the application lifecycle is a major area of improvement for hybrid cloud environments. O’Reilly suggests the use of automation to shorten delivery time and avoid the risk of human errors. It can also help evolve the organizational structures of cloud platforms to be more fluid and less reliant on specialists for the day-to-day management tasks.
3. Simplify application migration
Traditionally, application migration between clouds requires modifying the application to be compatible with the environment to which it’s being migrated. However, if the first strategy recommended by O’Reilly has been put in place, it’s much easier and eliminates the need for complex migrations.
Utilizing the second strategy to streamline application management also positively contributes to application migration, and between the two, the need for re-platforming or refactoring can be reduced or even eliminated.
4. Utilize consistent security policies
Despite all the benefits of cloud computing, it also comes with its own specific security challenges. As shared by O’Reilly, “As with infrastructure management in general, the default for hybrid cloud security is a siloed approach that increases complexity and risk.”
Some of the complexity comes from the need for separate security models and tools for each cloud, while even more comes from not having a global view of security due to the siloed approach.
That said, there are a number of security solutions that are available for hybrid and multicloud environments. To pick the right solution, O’Reilly emphasizes the importance of evaluating your organization’s requirements and the skills of your security team.
5. Track cloud spending
It isn’t news that hybrid cloud environments complicate IT spending and keeping track of it, but it certainly does not have to be complex. While many organizations make use of spreadsheets or other traditional methods to track of costs, O’Reilly suggests making use of a specific cost management tool to get spending optimized and under control. These solutions often come with tools that offer costing analysis and the ability to identify areas where you can reduce spending.
Similar to the fourth strategy, it’s important to evaluate your requirements and the skills of your team before choosing a solution.
Are You Looking For Hybrid Cloud Solutions?
Now that we’ve discussed the steps that can put you on a path of hybrid cloud success, we’d like to suggest Nutanix as a solution provider for your hybrid cloud needs. Better known as the leader in hyperconverged infrastructure and the premier enterprise cloud solution provider, Nutanix offers a large (and evolving) portfolio of tools to simplify your hybrid cloud deployment and reduce overall IT costs.
NEXT STEPS: Where does hybrid cloud fall in your list of priorities as you digitally transform your business? How virtualized is your data center now? In this eBook below we invite you to take a closer look at software defining your infrastructure as part of your digital transformation journey. Software defined infrastructure reduces complexity as you introduce new advanced technologies in your IT environment, including building and managing a hybrid cloud architecture and/or supporting a multi-cloud model. Check out the eBook below, “The Journey to a Digital Enterprise with Software Defined Infrastructure.”