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Hybrid IT - A Winning Strategy

Hybrid IT infrastructure that combines on-premises and public cloud capabilities is a strategy many enterprises are embracing to maximize flexibility and performance. In fact, Rightscale’s fifth annual State of the Cloud Survey finds that nearly three-quarters of today’s enterprises are using a hybrid infrastructure — the study indicates that the adoption rates have increased from 58% in 2015 to 71% in 2016.


But how do you know if hybrid is right for you?

It used to be that enterprises fell into two distinct camps when it came to cloud computing.

  • One camp valued the scalability and agility inherent in the public cloud.
  • The other avoided the cloud, instead focusing on the control, security and stability inherent in private IT infrastructure.

Today, more enterprises are realizing the cloud is no longer an either/or choice. With hybrid cloud, they can get the best of both worlds and ensure their IT infrastructure closely aligns with the needs of their business.

 

As more organizations consider a hybrid IT strategy they should keep seven key factors in mind.

Better control over Shadow IT

Many times, line-of-business (LOB) managers and end users with pressing business needs are unwilling to wait for internal IT and instead look to public cloud vendors to provide new applications and services. Referred to as Shadow IT, this type of environment is usually the first step toward a hybrid environment. Acknowledging its existence and bringing it under centralized IT management ensures the business sees IT as a valued service provider and not a hindrance.

Manage swings in app demand and performance

Organizations with highly-dynamic applications that spike unexpectedly in demand and usage can easily and cost-effectively use the public cloud to spin up new resources and scale to support peak loads, then scale back down to on-premises once demand drops.

Ease app development and test

Rather than replicating the production environment on-premises for testing, organizations are leveraging the cloud for quick iterations and rapid development, then running apps on-premises only when they are production-ready.

Handle varied workloads

Organizations often find it more cost-effective and secure to run the front-end interfaces for large public-facing applications in the public cloud, while supporting the back-end services (and critical data) for those on-premises, where they have better control and security.

Support varied user bases

As more enterprises support both on-premises and mobile workforces, they find a mix of cloud and traditional IT solutions work best, as they can provide the ultimate in mobile access via public cloud services, while keeping users of more performance-intensive, sensitive or compliance-oriented applications on-premises.

Meet workload demands

Hybrid infrastructure forces enterprises to re-evaluate their network to ensure it can support the demands of workloads that are constantly shifting from on-premises to the cloud and back again.

Manage hybrid environment

With hybrid IT, administrative tools must be able to manage both cloud and on-premises assets, using the same set of security, user and application policies.

What is your cloud strategy? Whether it’s public, private or hybrid, OneNeck IT Solutions can help ensure your IT infrastructure is optimized to support your business needs.
Considerations for a Hybrid Cloud Strategy
FEATURE 1

Considerations when Developing a Hybrid Cloud Strategy

A recent study from Forrester Research shows that 58 percent of the responding companies already have some type of hybrid cloud deployment. The study highlights the fact that the majority of companies now view a hybrid cloud – some combination of public and private cloud usage – to be optimum for an effective IT strategy. In another study from IDC Research, the most commonly cited reason for a hybrid cloud strategy was the need for business agility. In fact, 73 percent of the IDC study respondents cite agility as the primary reason for moving to the cloud.

 

While most private cloud production workloads center on large scale data volumes and infrastructure needs, workload awareness and management is often ignored in the hybrid strategy, but is on one of the biggest factors affecting its success.

Workload Awareness and Tiers

Managing and balancing workloads is crucial to an effective hybrid cloud strategy. The decision to deploy solutions on public or private clouds should be directly linked to the business requirement and the SLA. As an organizing principle, many companies segment their workloads into tiers, with Tier One workloads most likely to be in the private cloud for performance and control. Tier One workloads are usually those that require large scale data volumes or heavy infrastructure needs. Examples might include content serving and management, database management, big data and analytics, or virtual desktop management.


When segmenting workloads for your organization, factor the following characteristics into your decision. The more of these factors inherent in a workload, the more likely it should be a Tier One workload with closely managed performance.

 

  • Need to keep information confidential
  • Regulatory or security requirements
  • Need for reliable consistent performance
  • Revenue generation
  • Audit or change control requirements
  • Data volume and scale

Workload Priorities

Many companies find that their Tier One applications cluster in specific business areas, especially commerce, mobility and collaboration. Commerce solutions deserve a high priority because even slight differences in performance can adversely affect a customer and negatively impact revenue.


Users have little or no patience for delays in mobile solutions and many experts recommend a maximum of one to two seconds response time for mobile apps to keep users engaged. Go beyond two seconds and users will likely move on to another site, making it critical that mobile apps be served quickly.

 

For collaboration to feel natural and interactive, these tools also require rapid response times. User frustration kicks in beyond two seconds, and by ten seconds, you will have lost their attention.


By prioritizing and balancing workloads, you can optimize performance of critical applications while managing the cost of deployments, including storage and other infrastructure components.

Optimized Cloud Characteristics

When seeking to develop a hybrid cloud strategy, companies with highly optimized hybrid strategies are aware of workloads and use consistent SLAs regardless of private or public cloud deployment. While the top performing companies with successful hybrid cloud strategies manage their workloads as a matter of course, smaller companies may not have either the skills or the resources to manage workloads in house. Companies that understand the benefits of an optimized hybrid strategy may want to engage with a partner for hybrid cloud help. OneNeck provides hybrid cloud solutions for its customers. We will help architect, deploy and manage your hybrid cloud solution for added scale, flexibility and security within in your business.


As with any major infrastructure change, it will require planning and a good use-case analysis. In the case of the cloud, doing the discovery work of a Hybrid Cloud Assessment can save quite a few headaches in the future, as you’ll better understand your current capabilities and what the optimal type of cloud, or clouds, will be. But most of all, taking the time to do a Hybrid Cloud Assessment helps align your IT strategies directly with the goals of your organization and arm you with the roadmap to move forward with confidence toward your hybrid cloud solution.

Cloudy with a Chance of Confusion

White Paper

The objective of this paper is to take a simple approach and describe the benefits of cloud and clarify for the reader the different shapes of the cloud. It focuses on what it takes to eliminate the potential pain of transformation to the cloud and why initiatives such as virtual private clouds are gaining popularity. While the cloud elicits a broad range of topics and concerns, this paper focuses on cloud architectures that address computing infrastructure, or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) rather than Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud computing.

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Cloud-Confusion-WhitePaper
Considerations for a Hybrid Cloud Strategy
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