A ‘hybrid cloud’ solution is one that uses both private and public clouds. Properly defined, implemented and managed, hybrid cloud offers an organisation the security and corporate compliance of a private cloud while being able to tap into the agility and cost effectiveness of public cloud.
Flexibility is of course a key requirement for today’s IT environments, and in rolling out a hybrid cloud solution you need to ensure you don’t artificially restrict your ability to respond rapidly to changing requirements.
Even if you have already ‘put your toe in the water’ with public cloud services, the starting point for your hybrid cloud should really be your private cloud. Spend time working out what elements of your IT environment should remain under management by your internal team, and ensure that your private cloud solution provides the ease of management and high levels of security you need.
With your private cloud environment designed, you can then determine which elements of your infrastructure are suitable for the public cloud, and begin to specify how those public clouds will operate. You may choose to have all your public cloud-hosted systems with one provider, or you may select several service providers to deliver specific aspects of your environment – for example, a publicly hosted CRM application from a specialist provider, and public cloud services that provide you the ability to rapidly create, use and destroy development and test environments from another provider.
Your internal IT resources must be heavily involved in the design and ongoing management of the hybrid cloud, working directly with the public cloud service providers and ensuring that all services are delivered in line with organisational policies, meet specifications for security and performance and remain cost-effective.
Key considerations when evaluating cloud solutions include:
If you need help to plan or implement your hybrid cloud environment, a Data#3 Cloud Readiness Assessment offers a close look at the current state of technology services and provides matching with appropriate cloud options.