There is a major emphasis among businesses across all sectors of commerce and industry to take advantage of cloud computing. The cloud promises many benefits to companies that choose to avail themselves of the services offered by providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google. Organizations can meet their changing requirements through the flexible scaling of storage and computing resources available from cloud providers. Cutting-edge technology can be introduced to a computing environment without the need for capital investment or in-house expertise.
Used intelligently, the cloud offers businesses a variety of methods to radically change the way they manage their data and stay competitive in their market. Predictions indicate that up to 83% of enterprise workloads will involve the cloud to some degree by 2020. About a quarter of these implementations will use a hybrid cloud solution. The hybrid cloud model incorporates an enterprise’s legacy IT assets with additional resources obtained from a third-party provider. A hybrid cloud implementation may also be referred to as a private cloud.
The Growing Popularity of Hybrid Cloud Solutions
After initial experimentation with the wholesale migration of workloads to public cloud providers, a more measured and granular method of transferring a computing environment to the cloud is gaining traction among corporate decision-makers. The goal is to identify the systems that make the most sense to migrate to the public cloud from a financial or data security perspective. Rather than viewing the cloud as a complete solution for their computing needs, organizations are taking a harder look as to how they want to deploy cloud resources.
Critical workloads related to intellectual capital, sensitive personal data or finances are run using on-premises systems in a hybrid implementation. This enables owners of the data assets to exert the maximum amount of control over them and ensure they are not compromised by exposure to unknown entities. Not all applications or databases should be in the private cloud. Despite the security promised by cloud providers, additional access to sensitive data poses risks that may not justify the financial or operational benefits of the private cloud.
Less high-impact applications make perfect candidates for a new home in the private cloud. These might include marketing tools and other processes that are important to the business but do not require the same level of security as a mission-critical system. The private cloud offers a great platform for testing and development without impacting the in-house computing capacity. Storage and computing resources can be obtained from the private cloud on an as-needed basis to augment on-premises capacity.
Benefits and Challenges of a Hybrid Cloud Environment
Planning is key to obtaining the maximum benefits from a hybrid cloud solution. It can also minimize some of the challenges that are faced by enterprises employing the hybrid cloud model.
Benefits of the hybrid cloud model include:
- Improved reliability and redundancy;
- Higher-quality data;
- Faster access to data analytics;
- Reduced infrastructure and application complexity;
- Faster customer updates.
Some of the challenges faced are:
- Integrating legacy and cloud systems;
- Performance monitoring;
- Regulatory compliance;
- Staff retraining.
Additional Complexity for IT Operation Staffs
A hybrid cloud environment may decrease complexity in some regards while increasing it in other ways. The demands on an operations staff are an example of the additional complexity that may accompany a hybrid cloud solution. Now they have another platform to worry about.
Addressing multiple platforms simultaneously can quickly lead to information overload and human error. If new or additional tools are required to manage and monitor the cloud environment it can slow response time or result in missed opportunities to proactively head off performance problems. While the business as a whole enjoys the benefits of the new way of doing things, the team responsible for monitoring the environment might not be as pleased.
Monitor Everything From a Single Platform
With the right monitoring tools in place, moving from an in-house to a hybrid cloud environment will not pose any challenges to your monitoring team. They can continue to provide the insight and alerts required to keep your systems operating at peak efficiency. This is important since a planned move to a hybrid cloud should not result in any unnecessary complications.
IDERA’s Uptime Infrastructure Monitor is a comprehensive monitoring tool that enables you to monitor your in-house and cloud environment from the comfort of a unified dashboard. The application enables the creation of customized dashboards for focused monitoring as well as its all-encompassing view of your infrastructure. It provides server monitoring of physical and virtual servers running on any operating system.
Uptime also provides capacity planning and SLA management features which make it even more valuable in a hybrid cloud implementation. It instills a high degree of confidence that you have all the information you need to keep your environment working for you and your customers.