Hybrid cloud has been the talk of the town for all the tech companies – big or small, old or new. And for all the right reasons. To put it simply, a hybrid cloud is a computing environment orchestrating between a third-party public cloud and a local private cloud. It provides enterprises with additional flexibility and data deployment options. With a hybrid cloud, enterprises can move workloads between resources according to needs of the business and costs.
In a recent report, Gartner has predicted the global end-user spending on public cloud services to exceed $480 Billion by next year.New trends in cloud computing are continuing to expand the breadth of cloud offerings and capabilities, accelerating growth across all segments in the cloud services market.
With the pandemic-induced virtual world, many companies were left with no option but to move some of their storage infrastructure to the cloud. However, securing some data in an on-prem environment and moving the rest to the public/ private cloud provides an optimum solution from security, accessibility, and cost perspectives. And hence, hybrid cloud instantly strikes a chord as we see the demand for storage and access of data increasing.
Top three hybrid cloud attractions:
- Better security, as data tiering can be more efficient
- Ability to store data under specified conditions
- Effective workload balancing at an optimum cost
Hybrid cloud solutions not only allow organisations to host their applications on multiple environments but also provide businesses greater flexibility.In an era when ‘data is the new oil,’ protecting your business’ data is a critical element of your storage strategy.Once implemented, it is critical to manage a hybrid cloud infrastructure efficiently as it has cost and security implications.
Here are some important considerations for building your organization’s hybrid cloud strategy:
- Choose a Consistent Architecture
To achieve a good level of flexibility and portability, organizations should incorporate consistency into their architecture while adopting a public cloud. Standardizing the operating environment across private and public clouds can help reduce the complexity of cloud migration, while ensuring the business runs on existing foundations.
- Decide on an Orchestration Strategy
Orchestration connects tasks across the infrastructure, creating cohesive workflows. The lack of effective orchestration between on-premises and public cloud systems can lead to loss of connectivity to key business applications and data sources, especially during migration periods.
A consistent orchestration enables organizations to leverage cloud resources with a low level of complexity. The end goal of orchestration is to make applications and services portable, able to run in any cloud without requiring software or configuration changes.
- Simplify Monitoring and Management
To enable cohesive management of a hybrid cloud, organizations need a single management solution they can use across infrastructure and applications running both in public clouds and on-premises.
- Ensure the Environment Meets Policy and Governance Requirements
IT policy compliance includes everything from legal compliance, to industry standards, to internal organizational policies. When moving data and workloads to the cloud, maintaining compliance in a unified and consistent way is critical to reducing business risk. By integrating governance into hybrid clouds at every stage, systems and employees can make architectural changes without violating critical requirements.
- Automate your Infrastructure
IT automation is particularly important in a hybrid cloud environment. Automated management promotes self-service and reduces IT labour, reduces the risks associated with human error, simplifies policy enforcement, enables forward-looking predictive maintenance. At the end of the day, a hybrid cloud that is well automated is easier and cheaper to build, maintain, and operate.
The Future is Hybrid
We are all zooming into a hybrid world – be it work environments or cloud environments. Now is the golden hour as cloud providers are offering innovative solutions that that flexible, agile, scalable, and cost effective.
We have witnessed drastic changes in cloud offerings facilitated through strategic partnerships between cloud providers including the major hyper scalars and the cloud service providers. These partnerships enable and empower customers and offer a one-stop solution to all their cloud management requirements.
(The author is Managing Director – Marketing and Services at NetApp India and the views expressed in this article are his own)