Like any major decision (buying a house, choosing a pet, changing careers), certain considerations need to be made. In IT, moving to hybrid cloud is no exception to this rule. If you’re considering adopting a multi-cloud strategy, here are some important questions to put on your to-do list:
The most important consideration is your migration/onramp strategy. More specifically, what is it? This question might sound vague, but it’s very important. What’s your scaling model look like? Do you have backup in case of failure during the migration? What about disaster recovery? Coming up with a detailed plan of attack will make the rest of your considerations easy to manage or solve.
Managing your strategy: How will you take charge of your new hybrid cloud environment? Once you’ve come up with your strategy, it’s time to take control of it. Whether you’re managing it yourself or considering a managed hybrid cloud provider, you’ll want to make sure either they or you can answer the following questions.
Billing management: Hybrid cloud offers great opportunities to reduce your IT costs, but there’s also the danger of losing control of your spend. Let’s go back to a question in the first consideration: What’s your scaling model look like? It’s all too easy to swipe a credit card and buy some public cloud servers you later forget about, leading to cloud sprawl. RightScale estimates cloud waste to be 15 percent more than organizations budget for. How will your strategy address this important issue?
Workloads. Workloads come in all shapes and sizes, some of which are better suited to the cloud than others. Are you running batch workloads that can run in the background or overnight over the public cloud? Or do you need high-performance, low-latency workloads that require all the computing power in your data center? The answer will help you set up and manage your hybrid cloud.
Compliance: If you’re in a regulated industry like healthcare or finance, your data will be need to be compliant with industry-specific regulations no matter where it is. What controls do you need in place to fit the requirements? Can your cloud service provider confidently fulfill your audit needs?
Security: Like compliance, just because you put your data in the cloud doesn’t automatically make it secure. What kinds of network protections will you take to keep your most valuable asset secure?
Talent management: IT is evolving from an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model to Platform as a Service (PaaS) or using containers such as Docker. Keeping up with the landscape as well as adapting to the learning curve that comes with these new technologies is something that will take time and money.
Cloud transition time: If you’re moving from a private cloud to a mix of public and private, your staff will need time to adjust to the new setup and understand how it all works. If you’re changing from a legacy IT-based environment to a multi-cloud one, they’ll need even more time to catch up. What tools do you have in place to help your team get up to speed, quickly and accurately?
Each of these questions requires serious time and consideration, and can ultimately become a challenge to your hybrid cloud transition if you decide to manage it yourself. However, a managed cloud provider can help you answer all of these questions and take care of #2-8 so that you can focus on developing the best strategy for your business.
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