The future of the Cloud is hybrid.
Today, many enterprises are choosing a hybrid cloud infrastructure – a combination of public and private cloud deployments. They’re finding that one cloud doesn’t suit their ever-growing needs. The public cloud is convenient and cost-effective. The private cloud is best for customization and security. You can have the best of both worlds.
Conduct a Needs Assessment
Make a list of everything you need from the cloud. Having a public cloud service provider manage all your servers and software will free up your IT team. Your team won’t have to worry about fixing crashed systems or security. Moreover, the team members have more time to innovate and improve the bottom line of the business.
For the private cloud, you have two options. The first is the self-hosted option. You would need to invest in physical infrastructure and have a competent IT team to set up and manage the deployment. This can be costly, especially for a small business. The second is leasing private cloud space from a third-party provider, such as Amazon, Microsoft, Rackspace, etc.
Categorize Apps and Data
A hybrid cloud system separates applications and information into categories based on where they should sit in the cloud. Identify what you want to move to the cloud and what should remain. You shouldn’t dive headlong into migrating your private system into a public cloud. You could expose yourself to a security risk.
Choose a Hybrid Cloud Vendor
When setting up a hybrid cloud, you’ll need to harness the services of one or more public cloud providers. Don’t just dive headlong into choosing a provider. You need to do some due diligence.
Delve into the services offered by each potential provider to find out whether they align with your plans. For example, if you want to use a public cloud deployment for application workloads, you might do well with Microsoft Azure or AWS EC2. Also, find out whether it provides hybrid cloud software to manage your deployments.
Keep your business goals in mind as you assess providers. You want to go with one that will meet your needs both now and in the future.
Plan for Outages
You need to have a disaster recovery plan in place. It should document the processes, tools, and policies to use in the event of an outage. Downtimes can be very costly, so you need to prepare. This is particularly important for mission-critical applications that are a core part of your infrastructure.
A solid cloud backup plan can come in handy during an outage. The thing is, even the best-in-class cloud providers experience outages. Find out if your vendor offers a built-in backup and recovery solution.
Migrate in Increments
Do not move everything at once. Instead, identify applications, processes, and tools you can migrate first. You can use this initial workload as a pilot project. Learning how to navigate the environment without taking too big a risk.