The elements, understanding and considerations of hybrid cloud connectivity

29 March 2021

Cloud adoption is a huge part of digital transformation, however some organisations that we’ve spoken to have made the bold leap to cloud without really understanding if that is the right solution for their requirements. Of course the cloud can offer speed, security and scalability but this shiny tech can be really distracting. Some of these organisations have faced challenges around financial losses due to unexpected data costs and others have faced setbacks due to vendor lock-in contracts. Thorough planning is needed to fully understand the requirements, consider what volumes of data are included in migration and day to day operations, and build a strategy that works for the business. 

An IDC survey reported that 93.2% of survey respondents are using more than one type of cloud infrastructure, and are moving to adopt a hybrid cloud approach in order to address their business needs. The survey found that these infrastructures were generally made up of one or two public clouds plus one or two private cloud environments. The survey highlights what we’re seeing day to day – that hybrid cloud strategies are becoming the enterprise ‘norm’. 

Hybrid cloud strategies help to keep businesses competitive by reducing or controlling costs, maintaining performance and security to regulation and make sure that the organisation is protected against cyber threats. 

So what steps do you need to take to be able to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy while keeping full visibility and control of your network?

Step 1: Identify appropriate data

  • Understand why you want to move the data and whether it would be better suited to cloud or on-premise
  • Implement the right levels of encryption and compliance as needed
  • Deploy a proof of concept to avoid nasty surprises

Step 2: Understand the application stack when disaggregating/abstracting

  • Understand whether some applications are better suited to be in different locations – partly in the cloud and partly on-premise
  • Monitor performance to ensure that latency doesn’t affect user experience negatively
  • Make sure that you’re testing in parallel to spot application slow down or failures

Step 3: Transfer your data

  • This is the most important! 
  • Get a full understanding of your network architecture, sizing, limitations and latency before transferring data
  • Be mindful of how long the data will take to transfer, whether services will be unavailable and if you will need to perform a stop and restart

Step 4: Architect redundancy and scalability

  • It’s paramount to have full redundancy and scalability so that and miscalculated bandwidth requirements have the flexibility to scale and don’t stop any migration in its tracks
  • Set up multiple ingresses and egresses to the cloud that data is being transferred to
  • overprovision from your committed information rate to avoid needing to reprovision circuits at high costs

Step 5: Automate your configurations

  • By doing this your reliability will improve and you can vastly reduce or even eliminate errors from performing tasks over and over again – not to mention the time that this gives back to the IT team
  • Implement common policies and workflows to reduce errors across the different environments
  • Don’t automate for the sake of it – even though it’s a cool technical challenge

Step 6: Monitor performance and availability

  • Aggregate your logs and alerts across the underlying cloud fabric, the virtual appliances and the servers themselves
  • Don’t end up saturated with alerts and too much noise to know what to do with
  • Ensure that you have full visibility of your network from a security, consumption and utilisation perspective to get an accurate system health reading

These are just the very high level points to consider when looking to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy. For a more in-depth look at these steps, with more information on the elements of a hybrid cloud strategy and the top 3 considerations of hybrid cloud connectivity, please download the 6 Steps to Hybrid Cloud Connectivity ebook.

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