Note: This article is part two of a two-part series addressing eight essentials for a hybrid cloud implementation. Click here for the first article. Furthermore, this article presents supplementary information from the Codero whitepaper “A Comprehensive Overview of the Hybrid Cloud” which can be downloaded here.
Hybrid cloud computing can deliver business agility and reduce operating costs. However, implementing an effective hybrid cloud requires a thoughtful approach.
In part one of this two-part series we addressed the four initial elements in moving to hybrid cloud environment:
- Assessment of the current environment
- Planning and guideline documentation
- Determining the cloud deployment model
- Integration with existing enterprise IT
Here we continue with the remaining requirements for a successful hybrid cloud implementation.
Governance Policies and Service Level Agreements
More and more, businesses are exposing key data to cloud-based applications and hybrid deployments are becoming more common as organizations host data in both public and private clouds and manage orchestration between the two. This trend requires an effective cloud governance and compliance strategy that considers existing policies around availability, security and compliance.
The three primary issues to address in observing governance policies and Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) are:
Disintermediation. No one wants a chaotic IT environment and without thoughtful consideration, non-IT users can go rogue and create solutions on their own or use applications in a way that doesn’t mesh with governance policies. Approved cloud service providers should be documented for business users to curtail disintermediation.
Change management. Application upgrades and changes to the environment should be documented, set on a timetable, and communicated to the IT organization. Test those changes and upgrades to avoid business disruption and make change management part of the SLA to reduce versioning problems.
Data management. Proper data security guidelines should be in place so that data transmitted to the public cloud is encrypted to prevent access to information by cloud service vendors and other personnel not privy to sensitive information.
Network Connectivity Requirements
Companies moving to a hybrid cloud need to specifically address the requirements of each link between components that span two or more cloud services or on-premise systems. Make sure there is sufficient connectivity available to support those requirements. Often, organizations will make use of network virtualization if available. Lastly, environment resilience and disaster recovery should be addressed by connectivity requirements.
Organizations should consider the following in addressing network connectivity requirements:
Bandwidth. The value of data is tied to its on-demand availability. Optimally, the hybrid cloud features a system that is bandwidth-aware, where scalable bandwidth can be used for increased efficiency in responding to demand.
Latency. When data and apps are scattered across different cloud services, latency can become an issue. The best prescription is to select a physical location for your cloud environment that’s close to your users to minimize latency.
Firewall. For an elastic and scalable solution, most cloud providers suggest a cloud-based web application firewall (WAF), which are usually agnostic and don’t require hardware or software changes to adapt to expansion.
Security and Privacy
Security risks associated with cloud computing in general also apply to hybrid deployments. However, multiple cloud environments in a hybrid setup require organizations to view the entire environment as a whole – and not segments – in applying across-the-board security measures. Particular aspects of the security protocols need to address:
- ID and Access Management (SSO & Federation)
- Secure networking
- Perimeter security with a firewall across external interfaces
For companies that operate in an industry like healthcare or financial services where there are strict compliance rules around storage of customer data, security and privacy will take on a whole new level of importance.
Establish a Solid Partner Relationship
The last consideration in a successful hybrid cloud implementation is the relationship you maintain with your cloud provider(s) of choice. Look for a trustworthy partner like Codero, with proven experience in implementing hybrid clouds.
Choose a partner that can meet your business objectives and will help guide you through the process. Often, we suggest that companies ask prospective cloud services vendors for customer references from (1) those in similar industries and (2) those who will have a similar hybrid cloud environment.
For more on hybrid cloud implementation considerations, download Codero’s latest whitepaper – A Comprehensive Overview of the Hybrid Cloud. Learn more about the power and agility offered by a hybrid cloud deployment, including:
- Definitions of the hybrid cloud with possible deployment models
- Key considerations in evaluating and adopting a hybrid cloud environment
- Benefits and common use cases for hybrid cloud deployments
- Critical elements of a successful implementation
- Checklist for evaluating a hybrid cloud solution provider